It’s one thing to open a café in a ‘tried and true’ area, another completely to step outside the box and bring new life to a relatively untouched suburb.
Hospitality veteran Kate Bennett has never trodden the well-worn pathway. From pubs and bars to cafés, Kate and her husband Graham have taken on challenges and triumphed.
“I’ve always wanted to open a café in Nerang,” Kate tells us, saying that she saw the huge untapped potential in an area where many would hesitate to venture.
In the couple’s second café, Hudson & Rosie’s Table, some onlookers may see a repeat performance of their opening of Mudjira in Mudgeeraba, six years ago. However, there were both similarities and differences.
Like Mudjira, Hudson & Rosie’s is situated in an already busy shopping centre, Highland Park Shopping Plaza, a tenancy that they eagerly secured when it became available. Besides indoor seating, there’s also an ambient alfresco area that Hudson & Rosie’s, like Mudjira, spills out onto. It’s a shared verandah space to which Kate has lovingly added her own trimmings of timber and foliage.
However, there are differences as well. In Mudjira, an already established café, the Bennetts had gradually changed the menu to be ‘food preference friendly’, while still keeping classic favourites. In Hudson & Rosie’s, the dining climate has changed enough that they could jump right in with a menu of their choice. Who would have believed back then that, alongside Eggs Bene, one of the café’s best-sellers would be Scrambled Tofu!
What Hudson & Rosie’s offers is an all-day, all-comer menu, a parade of dishes ranging from açai bowls, mushies on toast and toasties to burgers and Sichuan noodles. From vegan to Asian and slow-cooked meat to the Americas, this menu has it all.
“Most of our menu items are vegetarian or plant-based and gluten-free, with extras such as brisket, smoked salmon and bacon available to be added in,” Kate says.
Healthy is the name of the game in the drinks menu too, with smoothies, cold-pressed juices and organic coffee all on offer.
Of course, lots of us love an indulgent take on classics, the Cornbread Bene being a prime example on this menu, as well as an Avo smash with balsamic beetroot purée and sweet pickled tomatoes adding flavour. Seeds and our favourite soy quinoa sourdough bring loads of texture to the dish. Optional extras allow you to make the dish your own.
Prefer traditional? There’s bacon and eggs, a cabinet of quick meals and home-baked goodies far too scrumptious to share. Coffee and a treat? You’ll be eating a cake that’s truly homemade and Gabrielle Coffee’s organic FatCap blend, the beans sourced directly from farmers.
All stunning in presentation and taste… So, what’s the highlight?
To us, it’s the high standard of food and service to which Kate Bennett aspires.
“When a customer comes into our café, everything has to be perfect,” Kate says. “From the greeting to the music, the table service to the meals, their experience must be next level. It’s all very well to hear good things about us, but it must measure up when people come here,” she adds.
Experience shows at every turn.
“From our choice of suppliers to the development of the menus with our chefs, from the hand-pressed juices to the soy candles made specifically for us, everything is hand chosen because it comes from a good place,” Kate tells us.
In line with that, Kate’s building of hospitality culture is next level, investing in her team of young locals to develop their confidence and independence. Building community, making diners feel welcome at the same time as she’s mentoring staff…it’s all part of Kate’s daily role.
“Kate has an attitude of giving back in everything she goes,” manager Emma tells us. It’s a telling comment.
Great food, coffee, service and ambience – the tenets of an outstanding café are all here. Our dining experience shows us that passion for true hospitality always shows. At Hudson & Rosie’s table we not only glimpse that passion, it’s a shining light.
Hudson & Rosie’s Table, Highland Park Shopping Plaza, 16/106 Alexander Drive, Highland Park, Nerang Ph: 07 5574 7953 Open: Mon – Fri 6am – 2pm; Sat – Sun 7am – 2pm