Joondalup has never really had a happening brunch scene. I did discover the gorgeous Gipsy Boy last year and enjoyed a lovely brunch there but besides that we don’t really venture into Joondalup much when it comes to eating out. That is, until now! I was recently invited along through my friend Amanda from The Chef, His Wife and Their Perth-Fect Life, to the opening of a brand new brekkie and lunch spot in Joondalup called Paper Avenue Cafe. I started chatting to the owners and realised immediately that they were South African (my ears are honed to even the slightest South African accent these days!). So of course I had to share this little gem with you all!
John and Erika along with their friend Justin are the owners of this gorgeous new spot. They’re all from Pretoria; John and Justin have been friends since they were 8 years old, and John and Erika met when they worked at Mimmos Pizzeria during their student days.
Erika and John have lived in Australia for 7 years, and prior to that the lived in Germany for 10 years. Justin and his wife on the other hand are new arrivals to Australia and have only been in Perth for 7 months having moved from Durban at the beginning of 2017. They had visited and fallen in love with Perth all the way back in 2005 and have been talking about making the move ever since.
Opening a coffee and food business has always been a personal dream for John and Erika. Before opening Paper Avenue, John was a director and global industry leader at IBM and Erika was part of the strategic marketing team at Nike Germany. With a beautiful new baby daughter, they felt that a life of constant corporate travel was no longer appealing and thought it was the perfect time to make their dream of owning a cafe a reality.
In South Africa, Justin was the CEO of an insurance company but he has always been passionate about retail. Having talked about opening a cafe with John and Erika for more than a decade, with a move to a new city the opportunity to take the plunge has presented itself and they all decided to do it now. And I’m so glad they did!
Paper Avenue is absolutely gorgeous inside. Situated near the Joondalup Library on Davidson Terrace, it oozes sophistication and is very crisp with it’s wooden accessories and white and pale blue scheme. They chose Joondalup as they are local to the area and felt there was no true speciality coffee venue in Joondalup. They planned to bring a European cafe feel to Joondalup and I think they’ve definitely succeeded.
The menu is varied and interesting, with your favourites like poached eggs and smashed avo along with more eclectic dishes such as the grilled halloumi with pumpkin and quinoa rostis.
Their drinks menu however, is where the real attraction lies. The coffee machine at Paper Avenue is completely custom made – that’s how serious they are about their coffee! The coffee itself is from Locale which is Victoria based and they have the trendy option of cold drip on offer too. But the highlight for me are the Cha Cha Tea mixers.
You can choose from the Chai Charmer, the Strawberry Swoon or the Apple Kiss. They’re flavoured syrups which can be added to your choice of milk – they recommend soy but I went with the Apple Kiss and almond milk. It was delicious! As someone who often skips hot drinks, this was a refreshing new choice and I was more than impressed. It smelled like a warm apple pie and it did not disappoint on flavour.
Their food is top notch too. At the launch event, we got to try the buttermilk pancakes with lemon curd and raspberry sauce, and the pulled pork brioche burger – both were outstanding.
I was so impressed we returned for breakfast that Saturday, to find the place absolutely heaving! We ordered the poached eggs on toast and the grilled halloumi with pumpkin and quinoa rostis. Again, the food was divine and the presentation is beautiful.
I have a feeling we’ve found a new regular brekkie spot in Joondalup and they’ll definitely be seeing us again! Thanks to John, Erika and Justin for hosting me at their launch and for reserving me a table on Saturday – we would not have got one otherwise!
Find them online at Paper Avenue Cafe, and on Facebook and Instagram.
Do you know a great business in Perth or WA run by South Africans? I’d love to know more about it so I can spread the word about them! Tell me all about them now on my form here.