There’s so much competition for coffee around Wray at the moment. I’m loving it.
My new favourite place is Vanilla Bean. It opened in the old Presto Cafe digs about a year ago. At first I wasn’t taken with it but the convenience of them being open before 6.30am (the only local cafe that does so) when I discover I’m out of milk and/or coffee for my machine at home had me going back.
While not actually on Wray Avenue (it’s on South Terrace), it’s less than 50m from the corner so I’ll claim it as part of the area. Besides, Adam can get his quality take away coffees out so quick I could be back home with them before any of the other vendors had even taken my order.
It’s not the coffee or the speed of service that I like most about Vanilla Bean though, it’s their genuine, neighbourly service. The proprietors are Howardians (a term I’m going to use now for peeps who live of Howard St) and they know the area and the feel of the community.
I can walk in to Vanilla Bean with a head full of sleep and before I even know what I’m going to ask for they’ll be starting on my “usual”. Adam takes the time to build up a personal rapport that I just don’t get from many businesses anywhere these days.
I see it as one of the positives of higher density, inner city living: having local businesses with real local knowledge, where business isn’t just driven by profit motive by by playing an important and responsible role in social cohesion.
More of it please,