Monday, May 16, 2016

Build it and they will come

It must be cafe season as another inner-city style cafe called Mabel Jones has opened in Greensborough, which I think is a very smart move given it's one of Banyule's main hubs these days with a big population.  I love the blue coffee machine and will have to head there at some stage with friends from the area.
Image via Mabel Jones Facebook page
I've actually been spending time out in outer north Mill Park the past month or so as son number one has been doing a school extension program on Monday mornings and I have been a somewhat desperate person in search of a good cafe to grab a cup of coffee, a bite to eat and somewhere to work and kill a couple of hours.  I ended up asking my friend Kate for suggestions as she's formerly lived, and currently works, out that way and she came up with the goods!
Rivers of Yarrambat
Today, I spent my morning at Rivers of Yarrambat, which was beautiful.  As a retail nursery/cafe & foodstore/lifestyle hub complete with hair studio & day spa, and fitness centre, all in a stunning location near the river where you can feed the ducks - it's an excellent example of it working well.  They have a Sunday high tea once a month as well as cater to mothers & babies  and craft groups.  The food and coffee were fairly standard but I'm not complaining - the outer suburbs have a different feel and demographic to them and you can't expect it to feel like the inner city because it's clearly not Kansas!
Rivers of Yarrambat - inside the cafe
Other suggestions if you ever find yourself out that way were Farm Vigano in South Morang, which looks absolutely gorgeous, as well as Two Beans and A Farm at Carome Homestead in Mernda (also near the Plenty River) - probably not surprising they were farms given the suburbs out that way still include fresh produce farms and orchards.
Image via Farm Vigano
On a separate note, I've been saddened to read about Fairfax Media laying off some of its most senior journalists due to skill sets not being aligned and some journalists allegedly told they haven't been generating enough online clicks.  It's really hard in the digital age to stay relevant but for me, it's not always about clicks - it's not just the quantity of your audience, but the quality and I think that's something that gets lost in translation these days where it seems to all be about data and analytics - it makes the world seem like a very cold place.  When I worked at David Jones all those years ago, we applied an 80/20 rule where 20% of our best customers actually brought in 80% of the sales - it's not always about being all things to all people but understanding who your target market actually is.  Anyway, I digress...enough waxing lyrical for today.
Image via Two Beans and A Farm

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