For Grounders Café operators Kumru and Sam Benli, there’s nothing more fulfilling than seeing people socialise and connect over a cup of coffee. Grounders Café plays an important role in uniting the New Epping community as a ‘home away from home’ for residents, workers and visitors across the precinct, especially those exploring woorike jellicka park located directly in front.
Kumru reflects on her experiences as a new café operator, and why Grounders Café is a space that allows the community to connect, share stories and celebrate inclusivity while enjoying great food and drinks.
For Sam and I, it had always been a dream to operate our own café in an inclusive location in Melbourne’s north like New Epping. It’s a place that ticked all the boxes allowing us to create a place where the local community can come together, enjoy great food and drinks, and connect with one another. We always envisioned Grounders Café to be a place that feels like a ‘home away from home’.
Grounders Café is located directly in front of New Epping’s new park, woorike jellicka, where families can enjoy the best of coffee and leisure time. The park’s playground and our café together provide a safe space for parents and children to socialise and engage with each other. We are also within walking distance to the new health and wellbeing precinct where the Northern Private Hospital is located, providing a space for front-line workers and visitors to relax, unwind and catch up.
Grounders Café was designed with our own family in mind. We wanted it to be a space that could accommodate everyone in the community, including parents with prams and young children, while also ensuring the highest level of service and cleanliness at all times. The café’s cosy atmosphere encourages people to relax, chat and connect with each another, and you can always count on a smile from our friendly staff who love being part of this work environment.
Sam and I grew up in the heart of Brunswick and after getting married, we relocated further North and currently
live in Beveridge. Melbourne’s northern suburbs offer open spaces, fresh air and a sense of community. It’s a beautiful
place to call home, a place where everyone feels valued and connected. In the current climate, I believe it’s vital that a community provides a sense of belonging and support, built on strong relationships, shared values and a willingness to help each other.
Just like the rest of Melbourne, we take our coffee seriously and appreciate the art of brewing the perfect cup of coffee. This is something we are passionate about sharing with our customers. Our coffee blend is locally roasted and considers the palette of the broader Epping demographic. We’ve noticed that coffee culture encourages people to slow down, savour the experience, and enjoy the social aspect of meeting up. It has become a way for locals to connect, share stories, and appreciate the craftsmanship (and great taste!) in every cup.
New Epping is brand-new development that consists of such a diverse demographic. We saw an opportunity to contribute to this local community and provide a gathering space for people. The residents in the apartments above our café are our neighbours, so are the staff and visitors to the new Northern Private Hospital. It has been a pleasure to develop strong and supportive relationships with these various community groups, and the broader Epping community, through the journey of operating Grounders Café.