Commonfolk Coffee is a warehouse converted café and restaurant that you may expect to find in uber hip Fitzroy or Collingwood… but it is actually tucked away in an industrial area in Mornington.
Aside from a fantastic space to eat and drink, there are a series of small artist studios, where local artists not only display their work, but also actually do it in full view of diners. So you could definitely say that it is a unique place to get a cup of coffee and a bite.
Sam Keck from Commonfolk chatted to Trading Plates about how the concept came about and what constitutes the perfect coffee!
How did you come up with the concept for Commonfolk Coffee? It is such an unusual place, particularly due to its location!
My business partners and I had long wanted a large space so we could roast coffee. However we pretty soon realised that the rent would be way too high down near the main street of Mornington, so we started looking in the industrial area. One thing led to another and we found the current location (which at the time was a retired sandstone manufacturing factory). The concept itself was always based around accessible excellence – bringing the best coffee and food to common people, no pretentiousness, no agenda! We also always had a dedication to the aesthetic (hence the artists studios and fit-out concept).
What is your head chef’s background in food?
Our Head Chef is Geva Goren – an Israeli national who has done his time at a number of international catering companies and kitchens. His expertise extends to his local Israeli cuisine, as well as a vast knowledge of Asian inspired dishes.
How are meals and recipes devised?
We’re into pretty rustic food and we don’t pretend to try and be too avant-garde with our offerings. As a general rule, either Geva, myself or one of our kitchen team will present an idea and we’ll road test it as a special. If it kicks goals then we will ease it onto the menu. We change our menu seasonally to keep our customers interested (as well as ourselves). We’ll also often be running specials just to mix it up.
Where do you source your produce? What things are important to you when choosing ingredients?
We try and use as much local and organic produce as possible, but our main focus is sourcing the best coffees from around the world. However we want to reflect our commitment to accessible excellence through everything we offer and this trickles down to how, why and who we use to source our ingredients.
You have an amazing range of coffee options on the menu! Can you explain a bit more about what is on offer and why these choices were made?
We are committed to offering the absolute best of the best coffees and we don’t take any short cuts. We will always offer a varying range of both espresso and filter coffees to satisfy the harshest caffeine addict. We choose coffees based solely on their aroma, flavour and texture – from this point of view we aren’t particularly interested in gimmicks or trends.
What are the most popular meals and drinks on your menu?
You can’t go past a great cup of filter coffee (we’re championing the Hario V60 pour over at the moment) and we probably sell over 10 a day. In classic Melbourne fashion we also move a lot of flat whites! In terms of food I think we have a bit of a cult following for our Pulled Pork bun with house made BBQ sauce and one of my favourites is House Cured Salmon with lemon myrtle, red onion relish and soft-boiled eggs.
What are Commonfolk Coffee’s tips for making the perfect coffee?
Use the best quality freshly roasted beans, grind on demand and use filtered water (but not distilled).
16 Progress Street,
Mornington VIC 3931
(03) 5902 2786