Cafes

Combi Brings the Raw Love to Elwood

By Katie Lanigan - 22 Apr 2014


Combi Coffee has moved and expanded, and the community is rejoicing. Since opening its doors in Ormond Road Elwood last week, Combi has quite literally become the place to be. Mothers, babies, bloggers, joggers, you name it – they're here! 

Upon arrival, I was greeted by smiles and the sweet sound of the barista frothing away. Wooden panels adorn the shop front which leads into a laid back, beachy fit out, inspired by the Combi couple's travels to LA, New York and Hawaii. The interior is effortless as is the food presentation, with edible flowers, coconut-coated smoothie jars and filtered water (literally) on tap. 

The one stand out piece of the interior for me is the blue and orange 'Follow Your Bliss' tiled counter, leading to the raw dessert display. The space (created by Luke Henley from Wild Hen) is uplifting and although busy, the palm trees, grounding food and jazz tunes in the background create a 'getaway' kind of vibe from the daily grind.

Gorgeous couple, Penny Loughnan and Anthony Baker, are behind the launch of Combi Coffee, born out of their combined passion for eating well and 'treating' well. Leaving behind their previous smaller venture up the road, they decided to expand their brand and bring wholefood variety and good vibrations to the Melbourne cafe scene.

The couple's intention is simply "to offer food that we make for ourselves at home that we could not find anywhere in Melbourne." Its appears that locals love to feast on the duo's kitchen creations  and have been hanging out for a cafe abundant in raw, vegan and gluten-free options, organic cold pressed juices, smoothies, coffee and Fairtrade produce.

Not only are the pair loved for their kind nature and generosity (they donate the entire contents of their tip jar to Ghana in Africa), they are equally as loved for their tasty food and organic, freshly roasted coffee beans. David Moon (former head roaster at Jasper Coffee) creates Combi Coffee from his space in the Yarra Valley and delivers weekly ground beans with a pinch of sweetness and balanced flavour.

Penny's passion for organic cold pressed juice, a Combi specialty, stems from some time spent studying at the Gerson Institute in San Diego, where she learnt all about the benefits of cold press juicing. Whether you want to detoxify or indulge, the selection of liquid gold at Combi has all palates covered. 

Penny also knows how to make food feel and taste good and uses products from aligned companies like Loving Earth.

The menu speaks for itself; however let me give it a voice for a minute and quickly mention MUST TRY dishes including The Chia Party – chia seeds soaked in house nut mylk infused with orange rind, berries, chocolate buckinis, coconut cashew yoghurt and berry coulis. The Shine On smoothie made with coconut flesh, mango, banana, spinach, fermented vanilla protein powder, nut mylk, mesquite and passionfruit and the Raw Pizza topped with an epic raw cashew cheese sauce also make my favourites list.

Besides the raw goods, some cooked dishes are on offer, including funky toasted options and slow-cooked lentil soup.

With a line out the door at 6:30am of eager coffee lovers after their Fairtrade fix, Combi Coffee has clearly hit the mark. Supporting an ethos based on sustainable food, loving people and delicious quality, a visit to Combi is a no brainer in my books!

(FYI dog lovers, keep your eyes peeled for Bow Wow – the resident Samoyed that offers cuddles softer than a blanket).

Combi Coffee | Shop 1, 140 Ormond Road in Elwood

Image Credit: Tash Sorensen, The Urban List.

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