We recently spent a day up in the Perth Hills after being invited to visit a quirky South African owned cafe, Cafe Mojo, in Mundaring. Owner Jo is originally from Cape Town (but lived most of the time in Swellendam), and her husband Ronald is from The Netherlands.
Jo grew up in South Africa till she was 21 and travelled for 10 years on a Private Motor yacht working as a chef for the rich and famous. Ronald has travelled around the world as a backpacker a couple of times, and loved it.
In 1990 Jo’s sister moved to Australia, her parents followed in 2003 and Jo followed in 2011 permanently after she met Ronald.
Café Mojo Mundaring was established in 2017 and extended by the Mundaring Wellness Centre in 2019 to make a complete business.
Cafe Mojo Mundaring
The cafe is super popular with locals and Jo says they even have customers that visit the cafe every day – now that’s a sign they’re doing something very right.
We visited one Sunday morning in spring and found a gorgeous cafe with heaps of tables in their large back garden, making it ideal if dining al fresco is your thing. There was a harpist playing songs by The Eagles and Queen which was just fab as we listened to guess the songs as he played. They regularly have local musicians playing live music at the cafe – just another way they support the local community.
One of the things I loved about Cafe Mojo was that the menu is an all-day menu. They have a good range of brekkie and lunch style dishes, and they do half portions of anything for kids – fab for younger ones who don’t like to be limited to 2 or 3 dishes on a regular kid’s menu.
They also have a cute coffee menu with pictorial representations of each coffee style.
Being brunch time Mr C opted for bacon and eggs, Mini C went for the giant pancake (no berries or fruit of any kind!) and I chose the halloumi and corn fritter as I couldn’t decide if I wanted lunch or breakfast and it was the perfect combo of both.
We all enjoyed our meals and they were beautifully presented too.
As it was a rather warm day for spring, iced coffees and iced chocolates were in order and they were delish! Perfect for a hot day when you need your caffeine fix but don’t want to heat yourself up even more.
About Cafe Mojo
When we arrived we were warmly greeted by Jo and Ronald and found out all about their business and journey to Australia. Here’s what they had to say.
Why did you buy Cafe Mojo?
We established the business based on community feedback. The feedback was that a café was missing which provides wholesome quality meals for everybody (vegans and baconarians the like), great quality coffee, and a community space where children, dogs, laptop workers, and everybody was welcome.
What’s the story behind the name?
Mojo came to use after a lot of brainstorming and stuck really well in our customers’ soul. It sums up what we are …. Somewhere to come and get your MoJo back. Somewhere to connect with yourself and others.
What’s your main role at Café Mojo?
Jo is the head chef, does general management, and day to day running. Ronald takes care of coffee quality, book keeping and administration and general IT matters.
What do you offer at Café Mojo?
Café Mojo is a community hub where everybody feels welcome, everybody gets a hug in a mug. We provide quality wholesome real food for a reasonable price. We are always friendly, welcoming and have space for everybody, be it dogs, cats, children or horses, you are all welcome.
We pride ourselves in offering something for everyone, we cater to Vegans, veggies, many food intolerances as well as the mainstream conventual eater. We offer a lot of community events and opportunities for people to connect. we offer a high quality of food and coffee, sourced locally as much as possible. We also have a wellness centre and so offer many different therapies and classes to support holistic health and wellness.
We offer a co-working space with free high-speed internet, playground for children, as well as space to hire for workshops. We are more than a café, we are a community.
What are the most popular dishes?
Veggie burger for sure, with the Rueben Sandwich a close second.
Our Veggie burger ( stack of sweet potato, grilled halloumi, avocado, tomato, mushroom, and pesto) and our pancake( you can have this vegan / gluten-free or regular and topped with berries cream or cashew cream ), with the Rueben Sandwich a close third. However, our menu changes twice a year but those 2 stay always.
What dishes have a South African element to them?
Most of them have some sort of SA ingredients or flavours, we do a wicked homecooked JohBurger , this is a traditional burger with an egg but we make the burger patties with boerewors spices.
We also use Mrs Balls chutney in our brekkie roll.
How do people react to Cafe Mojo?
People always wonder around saying “I didn’t know it was here”, we are Mundaring (Perth’s) best-kept secret! We are truly loved in our community and have a very loyal following.
What’s your favourite thing to do when you aren’t working?
I don’t understand that question …. The part about not working ????
Anything exciting coming up at Café Mojo?
YES, we have won the “WA 2019 Telstra Business Award” in the category “Emerging and Energised” and now we go to Melbourne to compete nationwide!
We can also win the “2019 Telstra Peoples Choice Award” and we would LOVE people to vote for us! If you can vote because you have experienced our community and café that’s great. If you haven’t been to us then why not vote for another Saffa putting WA on the map. A vote for Café Mojo is a vote for all South Africans in Perth!
*Disclaimer – I was invited to visit Cafe Mojo but all opinions are my own.
Karen Reeed11th December 2019 at 10:37 pm
We have been there twice and if it wasn’t so far we would be there at least once a week!! How about a Franchise Jo? It gas a wonderful Vibe where you can feel thoroughly spoilt without having to spend a fortune and biggest bonus the food very “Moorish!! ” Will certainly be voting if it has not closed yet!
Thank you for your hard work and genuine hospitality!