It’s a warm, sunny day when I find myself in Fitzroy, slowly meandering up the iconic and eclectic Smith Street towards a unique new venture, simply titled, in gold lettering next to the front door, ‘Like Minded Projects.’
It’s a name that conjures up images of some sort of extravagant co-working space, which is actually not far from the truth. Like Minded Projects is a unique collaboration between three specialist businesses: roaster Coffee Supreme, whole food kitchen Fred Gets, and Ace raw cookies and milk.
In the saturated Melbourne cafe world, establishments can tend to bend over backwards to offer everything, often losing quality in the process. At Like Minded Projects, they aim to offer a range of delicious goods, but from individuals who specialize in each offering—essentially, they aim to still do everything, just better.
Elaine So, creator of Fred Gets and instigator of Like Minded Projects, elaborated to me: “Having previously opened cafes and forever juggling trying to nail coffee, food, service, and an amazing experience for the customer, I felt a sense of relief when I figured that if I worked in a collective I wouldn’t have to do it all.”
The space itself is stunning: floor-to-ceiling glass windows front the lengthy shop, with white-painted walls punctuated by flashes of brass, marble, wood, and striking neon signs.
Fittingly, the design of the space was collaboration between So, Samantha Eades of Stylesmiths, and the in-house design team of Sprudge's friends and partners at Coffee Supreme, led by Justin Emerson. A wall of hanging plants brings a comforting terrarium-like feel to the space, and the pendant lights from Anchor Ceramics look so beautiful that you want to reach out and touch them (which I did).
For food, Ace serves up their range of homemade nut milks alongside raw cookies, while Fred Gets makes vibrant salads, healthy-looking birchers, and even has a delicious cabinet of treats from Pana Chocolate, a raw, organic chocolate company based out of Richmond.
If you’re in need of a drink, there’s a selection of juices and iced teas through Fred Gets (delightfully labelled ‘Fred Gets Drunk’). Or you have the coffee bar—here is where Coffee Supreme shines, with their ‘Get Some’ coffee corner—a continuation of the Gertrude Stein’s concept store.
Speaking to Heath Cater of Coffee Supreme, he elaborated on the idea behind their portion of Like Minded Projects: “As a flow on from our Gertrude Stein's pop-up, our aim at Get Some is to give the education and the tools for people to make great coffee at home.” The only difference is that here, unlike Gertrude Stein's, you can even get espresso-based beverages, “so as to cover all the coffee bases.”
Like Minded Projects is a welcome addition to Smith street—a place to get tasty batch-brewed filter alongside a healthy salad and a range of (somewhat) guilt-free treats is a rarity, and when it’s done in such a beautifully fit out space, well, it’s something to be seen.