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The Local Legends: The Team of Ashby Coffee House on Lakeside Living and Their Favourite Hidden Gems North of Perth

The Toby's Estate Local Legends of WA tell all about their slice of paradise north of Perth.
By Joe Rivers
December 08, 2023
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By Joe Rivers
December 08, 2023
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Ashby Coffee House is a true local success story. From humble beginnings at the tail-end of 2019, providing the people of Perth paninis, baked treats and coffee, to today where, four days a week, the Ashby serves up a wide range of brunch options and specialty dishes. Yes, there's a fry-up on the menu alongside a steak sandwich and the de rigueur smashed avo. But there aren't too many cafes offering up a beef brisket benedict with sriracha mayonnaise or featuring something known only as 'Pancakes of the Month.'

Ashby Coffee House, which opens daily at 6.30am, is a popular and vibrant part of the community and sits alongside the Ashby Bar & Bistro. The cafe certainly isn't just an add-on, though – in 2023, it won the Toby's Estate Local Legends Award, meaning the people of Western Australia have officially voted it the best Toby's Estate coffee emporium in the whole state.

As well as slinging superb cups of coffee and great food, The Ashby goes out of its way to be a meeting place and a hub for nearby residents with its quiet, dog-friendly, homely vibes, ample free parking, and outdoor seating area for that perfect arvo coffee in the sun. Ashby is a desirable place to live that's growing fast, and the cafe is a big part of that.

You need more than a killer coffee shop to make people want to call a place home. So who better to talk to than the cafe supervisor Zoe Clarke, who guides us through their ideal caffeine morning starter before taking us on a trip north of the WA capital?

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How did you get into the hospitality industry?
I've always had an interest in coffee and being a barista. I started in the industry roughly five years ago. Working within the coffee industry is never boring; from the bustling weekends slinging out hundreds of coffees to interacting with some unique characters and learning new brewing methods, there's always a new experience. I've always found cafes to have a bubbly, supportive work environment with customers and co-workers often turning into good friends.

What's your go-to coffee order, and do you have a trick for making the perfect cup every time?
My go-to is always a cold brew! If that's not available, I'll go for an iced long black or iced almond matcha. The secret trick for me would honestly just be consistency. Ensuring your grind is set correctly, your shots are pulling at optimal times and your milk's nice and silky. It's easy to always pour the perfect cup!

From your menu, what's the perfect pairing with a morning coffee?
Anything off our menu pairs perfectly with your morning coffee! However, you can never go wrong with the smashed avo. Our Benny Your Way (with either ham, beef brisket or smoked salmon), haloumi bruschetta and coffeehouse fry-ups are definitely customer favourites as well.

What made you choose to open in the area you're in today?
The Ashby/Wanneroo area is a lovely neighbourhood, and with housing development jumping in the last decade the area was missing a local cafe. We opened with the aim to provide a homey cafe vibe to the suburb and serve delicious specialty coffee and food to the locals.

Outside of your own cafe, where's your favourite place to grab a feed or an after-work drink?
Lucky for us, at the coffee house, we are situated across the car park from the Ashby Bar & Bistro. With a menu packed full of tasty pub classics, small plates and daily specials it's always a good feed! It has a massive cocktail list and plenty of beers on tap as well as a gorgeous garden bar. It's a great local spot for a post-work drink.

What's the most underrated spot for dinner in your area?
OEC sushi in Joondalup is amazing! It has a massive range of Japanese fusion cuisine with unique dishes. They're open for both lunch and dinner.

Where do you like to go to escape in nature nearby?
There are lots of beautiful parks and nature walks in the Ashby area. My favourite, however, would have to be Lake Joondalup; it has lots of native flora and fauna. There are multiple different trails to take and a massive lookout for lake views — perfect for a sunset watch!

If you had a friend come to visit, where's the first place you'd take them?
A spot I'd have to take a friend would be the Wanneroo Markets. The Wanneroo Markets have been open for years and are always nostalgic to visit. It's easy to get caught up in all the wonderful and unique stalls; a bonus would be the awesome fresh fruit and veggies and the massive food court.

Are there any other local small businesses you think people should support?
The area is surrounded by plenty of amazing small businesses. The flower boutique next door to us creates the most beautiful blooms daily; it's seriously hard to walk by without going in. Down the road is Andrew's Succulents, a plant nursery with the prettiest range of succulents and plants. It's a green thumb's dream!

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Ashby Cofee House is the Toby's Estate Local Legends winner for WA in 2023. For more information on it or other cafes that serve Toby's Estate, visit the website.

Published on December 08, 2023 by Joe Rivers
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