To the untrained eye, The Bakers Wife may appear a little chaotic. With a space larger than you’d expect, a coffee machine that never stops running and a kitchen that turns beautiful brunch fare, it may, at first, look a little crazy.
However, chaotic is the complete opposite of what this Camberwell cafe is. In a testament to owners, Sophia and Jana Andrianopoulos and Marcus Casa, The Bakers Wife runs like a well-oiled machine, with each element coming together to present a flawless brunch experience.
In 2016 Sophia, Marcus and Jana took over the space from Beejan Degani – a former baker who named the cafe after his wonderful wife. As Melbourne coffee addicts, Sophia and Marcus quit their corporate jobs to turn their love and passion into a career. Coming from accountancy and commercial construction respectively, the change was just what they needed. Although Jana had always dabbled in the hospitality scene, when the opportunity to own a cafe came up, she jumped right in as co-owner and Head Barista.
The Bakers Wife’s house blend is supplied by local roaster, Allpress Espresso. The Supremo is known for its sweet and bold notes with tastes of red berries and cocoa and combines beans from Brazil, Colombia and Papua New Guinea. These beans are roasted in a hot-air roaster custom-designed and built by owner, Michael Allpress and engineer, Mike Scobie. Their unique air-roasting method avoids any risk of tainting the bean and produces cleaner, sweeter tasting coffee. The team also offers cold drip when a hot coffee just won’t do.
If you’re in between meals, pair your coffee with one of the house-made pastries Marcus has whipped up that morning. If it’s time for breakfast or lunch, expect twists on breakfast classics. The ‘red hot chilli peppers’ offers chilli scrambled eggs on ciabatta toast, with the unusual additions of enoki tempura, chargrilled smoky bacon and miso mayo. Meanwhile, Dr Marty’s crumpets are served two ways: sweet, with cinnamon-spiced ricotta, berries and house-made blood orange marmalade, or savoury, with Meredith goat’s curd, house-cured salmon gravlax, capers and pickled red onion.
For lunch, order the Finding Barry catch of the day, or the Mary’s Little Lamb – slow-braised lamb shoulder, parsnip puree, polenta chips, harissa, pomegranate vinaigrette and dukkah.
In true Melbourne style, The Bakers Wife is housed in a converted garage. Exposed multi-toned bricks make up the four walls and towering cathedral ceilings give a lofty, airy feel. Its edgy industrial aesthetic is softened by the warm polished floors and dotted greenery, with large colourful murals painted on the walls.
The Bakers Wife runs on an ethos of efficiency, turning out consistent coffee and delicious culinary offerings in a space that seats dozens more than your average cafe. With the chance to reserve a table, it will quickly exceed your brunch expectations.