Crafted coffee and beer, and a leafy place to gather
There’s no shortage of cafés and pubs in the inner Sydney suburb of Erskineville, but few can boast the generous outdoor space on offer at Bakerman – a café/bistro by day and a bar/tapas restaurant in the evening.
Established in what was once the Erskineville Post Office building, Bakerman has a large and pleasant courtyard under mature trees, transformed at night by twinkling lights.
“Bakerman began as a bakery and patisserie about nine years ago,” said Joel Slattery, who owns the business with his partner Antoun Jabbour. “About a year ago, we began opening in the evening and introduced local and international craft beers, wines and cocktails. We also serve tapas and share boards, as well as delicious pastries and desserts made on the premises by our talented pasty chef.”
Joel and Antoun share a passion for offering freshly roasted coffee, leading them to launch their own coffee roasting business, Joe Bean, in 2013.
“Coffee beans are a fresh food product and our experience shows us that you get the best flavour and crema when you use the beans within a few days of roasting,” said Joel. “We felt that the pre-roasted beans from many large suppliers were not fresh enough for us, and so we began Joe Bean so we could roast our own. Word soon spread and now we supply other cafés and restaurants too.”
Joe Bean sources green coffee beans from plantations overseas and within Australia, choosing on the basis of seasonal availability.
“As a bespoke roaster, we can supply custom blends for our clients to match their preferences,” said Joel. “Our overheads are lower than the well known brands and our customers have loved the savings they’re able to make through us, as well as the wonderful quality of our coffee beans.”
Joel and Antoun’s preference for artisan style products also extends to the range of beers on offer at Bakerman.
“We serve 26 different beers, many from boutique breweries in Australia and Europe,” said Joel. “Each month we have a beer tasting night matched with food. In March we’re featuring beers from a brewery in Port Stephens. There are lots of interesting stories that go with the origins of each beer and our tasting nights are very popular.”
Bakerman’s kitchen has recently undergone a renovation and Joel and Antoun purchased many items of equipment through Caféideas.
“Our kitchen area is relatively small,” said Joel. “Through Caféideas, we were able to source new equipment that’s more compact, and this means we can make better use of the space.”
Joel said he values the help he’s received from Rachel in advising on the best choice of furniture and equipment for their requirements.
“For example, each evening we need to bring the outdoor tables and chairs inside. Rachel suggested that our original choice of furniture would be too heavy to lift and could not stack easily,” said Joel. “She did some research into options that would give us the look we wanted and be light enough to carry indoors and stack easily. We’re busy running Bakerman and Joe Beans so we didn’t have the time to do the research ourselves. It’s been good to have Rachel’s assistance with figuring out what will work best for us.”
Joel and Antoun’s recent purchases have included a gas salamander, three door under bench fridge, electronic coffee grinder, table top cutter/mixer, microwave oven, stainless steel benching, custom made shelving and a grill station. During 2013, they also purchased chairs, bar tables and bar stools.
“Both of us grew up in small towns in families that had businesses in hospitality – me in Oberon in NSW and Antoun in Northern Lebanon,” said Joel. “I guess that’s why we like the village feel here in Erskineville so much. We’re really happy to have created a place where we know all the locals and everyone feels welcome.”
Bakerman is located at 2/65 Erskineville Rd, Erskineville. It opens from 6am to 4pm on Monday and Tuesday, and 6am to 10.30pm from Wednesday to Sunday. Bookings can be made on 8090 0204. Joe Bean coffee can be sourced at www.joebean.com.au.