As I wandered around the neighbourhood I noticed what looked like a new coffee shop on the corner of Bangalla St and Haig Rd in Auchenflower. Around the corner in Haig Rd there are a few shops and restaurants that have been around for years but it has always been one of those funny little sets of shops that has never quite worked.
However there are signs that this is changing; the very popular Auchenflower Cafe has opened up next to Torwood Park, the Rosalie medical practice has moved in above the IGA and now a new business Cheveux Design and Espresso has opened just off the main road. This is in addition to the ever popular, My Thai restaurant and Sprout Cafe who share the street with the Auchenflower Vet Practice and Baroona Rd Physiotherapists.
At first sight Cheveux Design and Espresso looks like a quirky cafe but on further inspection it becomes clear that this is also a hairdressing salon. And suddenly my high school french comes back to me: cheveux = hair. On the day I went to visit it was humid and raining lightly but it was very pleasant sipping my delicious Allbrew Espresso coffee while sitting out the front enjoying the view of flowering frangpani and jacaranda trees across the road. In addition to coffee, the espresso side of the business also offers a range of home made and organic breakfast treats made out of local and high quality produce such as Barambah Organics Feta and yoghurt. The menu includes fruit toast, home made banana bread, muesli, kale and vegetable savoury muffins and muesli slice. The cafe is open from 7am - 2pm Tuesday to Saturday.
The other part of the business, the hair salon is inside and also operates Tuesday to Saturday. This unusual business combination is the result of sisters, Carla (Espresso) and Nadine (Salon) uniting their interests and talents into several business in the one location. In fact, Carla also operates a HR consultancy and life coaching and the site has a small, fully equipped meeting space for hire. Combining skills, diversifying and minimising rent is a clever idea in an environment where small businesses all over Brisbane are struggling to survive. Even though I already have a favourite coffee spot I'll be back to try some food and enjoy the view.