Newly opened Burwood Bench is a family affair combining a passion for baking and coffee making.
Co-Owner Kellie Francis operates Burwood Bench with husband Josh Francis, her sister Jodie Blatchford, and her partner Deb Thompson.
“We all work together really well. I’m a passionate home cook so I do the baking, my sister Jodie is the café manager and along with Deb, they make all the tasty salads,” she says.
Since the café opened in October 2015, Kellie says the reaction from customers has been extremely positive.
“They love the variety of choice we offer. We want our customers to feel refreshed after their visit, enjoy the range of healthy food, and fresh coffee,” she says.
That diversity includes a range of coffees supplied from Australian International Coffee Awards winner MFC Roasters. Both its Capital Roast and Organic Roast are served from the café’s white La Marzocco FB70.
“The Capital blend has a really nice caramel-fruit flavour along with an edgy acidity that provides great milk cut-through. And we love the Organic Blend for its chocolate tones and smoothness,” she says.
Burwood Bench is the first NSW-based café to serve MFC Roasters’ blends.
“MFC’s rise in the industry has been really impressive. Justin Mellors’ coffees are at the forefront of the specialty industry at the moment, and I’m learning a great deal from working with him,” Kellie says. “The city has really leaped forward in terms of its coffee quality in the past 12 months so we want to be at the top of the pack in terms of our coffee offering, and with MFC coffee I think we are.”
To cater to the surrounding business district, Burwood Bench also encourages batch-brewed coffee, which can be ordered for corporate meetings.
Kellie says it’s been a real hit with neighbouring offices keen to offer something a bit more special than an instant mix of coffee granules.
“Customers can take the coffee airpot at 11am, return it six hours later, and it will have barely dropped in temperature. It’s quite remarkable,” Kellie says.
Fresh food items are prepared and served daily, with a mix of sandwiches and savoury treats on offer.
Previously working as a former print manager, Kellie says the welcome sea change has been really motivating.
“I’m happy to get up at 4.30am each morning to turn the oven on to start baking,” she says.