Cremorne’s industrial backstreets are like the Narnia of Melbourne. You’re walking along, minding your own business, turn a corner and then—BAM—a giant chocolate warehouse that smells like your Nan’s hot coco.
This is what happened the first time we stumbled on Hunted + Gathered, on Gwynee St (about 10m walk from Richmond station, just FYI). Hunted + Gathered are one of Melbourne’s premier boutique chocolate brands, but until now the factory doors had always remained closed—Wonka style. No-one knew what sort of mystical sh*t Harry and Charlie Nissen were getting up to back there. That is, until they decided to open a cafe.
Now you can rock up at Hunted + Gathered for your pre-work espresso. But really, this place is a chocolate shop, so a run-of-the-mill latte is kind of missing the point. Instead, order up one of their signature hot chocolates, brewed from Dominican Republic cocoa beans. This stuff is like liquid gold—impossible silky, smooth, rich and not too sweet. We could have swum around in a big pool of it like Augustus Gloop.
The new cafe space has a New York warehouse kind of vibe. Giant vaulted ceilings. Minimalist white interiors. And the debris of chocolate manufacturing lining the walls. This isn’t sloppiness—the boys genuinely want people to know this is a working chocolate factory, pallets, forklifts, hessian bean bags and all.
Coffee and chocolate brews are the mainstay of the drinks menu, but the cafe is pumping out some wicked brekky treats too.
You won’t find a smashed av or chilli scrambled, but you WILL find the greatest choc brownie known to humanity. We don’t know what sort of alchemical wizardry is behind this thing, but you have to try one. It tastes the way a choir sounds.
Choc addicts, welcome to your new happy place.
Image credit: Annika Kafcaloudis