UPDATE: November 2013 – Sometimes we revisit a place and are bitterly disappointed in the changes. It’s how we felt on returning to Lillie Lounge this year. The café now concentrates on coffee and sandwiches, with gluten-free well catered for. High Tea is no longer available. The Porcelain Tree no longer operates from this space, so the quirky homeliness feel is gone.
From the arcade you might think that the Lillie Lounge in Broadbeach is just a tiny nicknack shop with coffee to go, but you’d be mistaken. It’s the start of a new wave of commerce, with people sharing a common commercial space.
Of course the concept of a co-op is not new at all. It’s been around for centuries, but Josie Richardson has made it her own in Lillie Lounge. A hairdresser by trade, Josie advertised for vendors who wanted to work with her, interviewed applicants and settled on six who would complement each other’s businesses.
Two other hairdressers (Jackie and Sarah) and two beauty therapists (Cathy and Liz) work with Josie in the expansive salon and beautician rooms towards the back of the shop, each catering for their own clients, doing hair styling and colour, hair extensions, facials, massage, manicures and pedicures and selling hair and beauty supplies.
The entrance to the shop features a coffee lounge and Nicole Corr’s The Porcelain Tree, a vintage homeware outlet selling old English china, LP records, collectible glassware, furniture, handbags and suitcases. It also features a rack of vintage inspired clothing, all made in Australia, formerly available at the Miami Marketta. The shop is beautifully appointed, chic and fun, a treasure trove for collectors!
The Lillie Lounge Café is a charming little coffee shop where Annabelle serves cake, Mahalia coffee, tea and light lunches, such as salads, quiches and open sandwiches. There are gluten free and vegetarian options available and all meals are under $10. Best of all, the café specialises in High Tea, either Traditional, Naughty but nice, Healthy and gluten free, and Themed! It’s a fabulously convenient place to catch up with friends, BYO for that special event, but be sure to book the type of High Tea you want beforehand!
A cooperative is an innovative way for a variety of people to start their own business, especially complementary businesses such as these. Frankly, I’d be pleased to spend half a day with these ladies, being pampered, having my hair done, a facial or massage, ending up with a coffee and lunch! It’s a brilliant idea, girls doing it together, and a beautiful welcoming space. The invitation even extends to guys! As the sign says, ‘Come in, We’re open!’
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