By Amy Sky

Congratulations to New Zealand girl Bobby and her husband, Andrew who started a joint venture five years ago in the shape of a British-inspired Café; Duchess of Spotswood.

They chose the spot when they fell in love with the building and area. The couple knew the area was going to see some substantial growth, and they are now really seeing it come to life with the construction of apartment blocks nearby.

The café, which was inspired by Andrew’s homeland of Britain and previous hospitality experience, has a welcoming vibe, with the walls adorned in ink portraits by local artist, Steve Doan.

As one of the first in Melbourne to offer offal favourites – such as Black Pudding – on their menu, The Duchess is still in the top 3 of restaurants serving this delicacy in Melbourne according to www.theworldlovesmelbourne.com.

Bobby says that there are many contributing factors to why their café has succeeded these past years while others may not be doing so well, with more and more cafés competing for customers. She says the key has been serving meals featuring offal and small batch specialty coffee together, as well as a genuine concern for what the customer wants. She also attributes the café’s own quirks, like melting a chocolate spoon and Lindt Lindor ball, in with their charmingly served, specialty hot chocolate (delicious!) as part of their success.

While sitting in the gorgeous little café, I asked Bobby what advice she would give to anyone hoping to start a successful café, Bobby says to stick to what you know, and season your food. Bobby also advises that it is important to change with trends while staying true to yourself and your own theme. It also helps to keep up with social media. Bobby used a local business, Social Playground, to learn more about how social media can help influence and grow your business. Social media has been a helpful tool in keeping the business levels even during the influx of new café’s, shops and restaurants in the area, and even though it has meant new challenges, Bobby says that it is nice to have neighbours.

Open from 7am for that early morning pick-me-up, until 3pm, there is plenty of time to visit for a spot of coffee, an English-style breakfast, or a hearty lunch.

The Duchess of Spotswood is a gorgeous little café situated at 87 Hudsons Road, Spotswood.

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