It’s been almost two years since Daniel Smith set up First Fruits Coffee with a business partner in a tiny space in Ashmore.
Visiting the Cotlew Street alleyway shopfront where they not only roasted beans but also sold coffee, space was at a premium. Sitting on coffee bags was almost an option! From the level of success of their coffee, outgrowing the space was a given!
And what a lovely expansion it is! The fresh, light-filled café in the Clocktower complex is a well-chosen location for the café, owned by Daniel and his wife Anna with business partners Ben and Kristen.
Facing out to Olsen Avenue, clearly visible from the road with plenty of car parking around it, First Fruits is part of a small centre that also fronts Central Street, another busy bypass road.
The décor is pretty, yet robust and functional, the ‘distressed’ concrete counter a visual feast of colour and texture. Cane, wood and stone all add to the ‘down to earth’ vibe.
In an area crying out for more great food and coffee outlets, locals have embraced the new offspring like a bright light on a dark night!
Of course, Daniel’s coffee is one of the main attractions. Still maintaining the Ashmore shop as an espresso bar, the roaster has moved across to the larger venue, Daniel doing his weekly roast in the back of the café.
Hand sourcing some of the world’s best beans from Colombia, Ethiopia, Kenya and Panama, there are two single origins on offer daily as well as the big-bodied sweet and chocolatey First Fruits blend including beans from Colombia, Indonesia and Honduras.
Dan also runs a signature coffee range including Panama Geisha, Colombian Java and El Salvador Santa Rosa – rarities you’re unlikely to get anywhere else on the coast.
The larger more flexible new venue is perfect for cupping, sensory and latte art classes, which Daniel has started on weekends.
With Chef D’Arcy Westwood on board, there’s a short but wide-ranging brunch menu including a splash of each of the favourites: eggs, burgers, bowls (granola and acai), pancakes, veg and meat, along with a freshly-filled cabinet to go, and assorted cakes and slices.
That translates into a good balance between everyday brekkie standards such as eggs and bacon ($9) and a brekkie Burger to rush out the door at $10, or the Eggs Benny (with homemade rosti, hollandaise and salsa, if you must have it yet again!), and specialty items that are house originals (and, in our books, far more interesting) such as house-made (boiled and baked) bagels with a range of luxe toppings (think lox and cheese, pulled pork with apple slaw or cream cheese or a sweet version with blueberries and cream cheese, from $9 – $14).
We try the delicious vegan balsamic-stuffed mushrooms filled with brown rice, craisins, walnuts and house-made almond fetta $15; and some of the best buckwheat pancakes we’ve tasted (thanks to Sweet Caroline, whoever she is) topped with berries and coconut yoghurt or bacon, caramelised banana and maple syrup $13. Yummo!
With an airy open alfresco area at the front, the café is also perfect for a family outing, helped along with a special kids’ menu, items priced from $7 to $9.
With this café just the first of several on the planning table, it looks like these ‘first fruits’ may lead to a full harvest. We could not be more pleased!
You’ll find our first review of Daniel’s coffee here.
129-133 Olsen Ave., Labrador Ph: 0437 631 580 or 07 55 32 19 52
Open: Mon – Fri 6am – 3pm; Sat, Sun 7am – 3pm