Disability carer Kymberlee Strow and finance executive Sarah Jones packed up their inner-city lives in 2009 and moved to the suburbs to open Apples on Ainsworth. The former fruit shop, now a splendid little café, brings a measure of joy to an unremarkable shopping strip on a bland parcel of suburbia.
“If you’re going to eat, you’ve got to eat well,” says Strow. Ingredients are local, free range and organic where possible. Coffee is Byron Beans and teas are by local tea blender Nine Owls. They do a mean organic chai latte, sweetened with organic honey deposited by busy bees at nearby Forestdale.
The cheery girls ferry orders to odd-bod tables set with op-shop shakers and a mismatch of Nanna-esque plates on which bread, smashed avocado and lemon is served. Splashed with hand-pressed, organic olive oil, the sourdough (made by local artisan Donald) has a satisfying, trampoline-like bounce.
Beans with soft eggs and toast soldiers can be embellished with haloumi, bacon and roasted mushrooms, tomatoes or pumpkin. House beans are the real deal; kidney and butter beans, soaked overnight, and simmered till tender in a moreish tomato and onion sauce. Eggs – free-range 'of course' – are laid by the girls' own clutch of happy hens.
Then there’s Strow’s house-baked, mouth-puckeringly tart ‘raspberry and lemon meringue tart thingy’. Forgive the pastry – it's gluten-free, so fails to satisfy with buttery goodness – but does the job of holding zingy curd, crisp meringue and fresh raspberries.
Artisan ingredients are available to take home: relishes, olive oil, honey and the like. Old-style suitcases and crates filled with books and vinyl records spill onto the footpath, making this a place to browse and enjoy as much as a hearty brunch spot. Good? She’s Apples.