With a food philosophy that starts and ends with sustainability, The Depot Collective Café has breathed life into a previously neglected corner of the old bus depot on Franklin St.
As a whole, the space plays home to The Joinery, a Conservation Council initiative that brings together a community who share a love for nature and sustainable living. While the co-working eco hub also serves as a headquarters for environmentally-focussed projects.
The Depot’s operator, Maddie Harris (also of Café Troppo), is an interior architect by trade, but her passion for everything eco-friendly aligns perfectly with that of The Joinery.
“We thought a café would complete the space,” says Maddie, and that it has, giving like-minded people a place to come together over a cup of coffee. It was a year in the making, and while The Depot has only been up-and-running for a few months, it’s starting to gain traction among city-dwellers.
The retro fit-out, most of which was done by Maddie herself, is made up of repurposed materials, while an eclectic mix of knickknacks give the sunlit space a homey feel. As do their greenery-laden pot plants and striking mustard yellow walls.
“We have a sustainable approach to food,” says Maddie. “And we try to keep our footprint as minimal as possible.”
While smashed avocado holds a special place in our hearts, there’s something refreshing about a breakfast menu that breaks away from the pack. Let’s take the Dahl pot for example, Aussie red lentil dahl topped with a dollop of organic yoghurt, fresh herbs, and served with sourdough soldiers. It’s not what you’d expect, but it well and truly hits the mark.
The same goes for their blast-from-the-past breakfast Jaffles, old school toasted sandwiches that are sealed around the edges, with the fillings deliciously melted in the middle. They’re serving up one with bacon, local brie and “herby honey,” and another with sautéed mushrooms, organic Swiss cheese and spinach.
Their breakfast menu is available ‘til midday, and their lunch menu takes it from there, with fresh salads and sangas made daily, and a rotating selection of sweet treats. It’s also worth noting the guys are dabbling in the catering realm, both within The Joinery, as well as for the nine to fivers in the surrounding offices.
Your all-important caffeine fix is courtesy of the ethically sourced and locally roasted DeGroot Coffee Co, while local favourite Mischief Brew Coffee is responsible for their cold brew.
There’s a real sense of community at The Depot, with a friendly-faced team and a kickin’ menu that makes it a feel-good coffee spot. Not to mention there’s a community garden that backs onto The Joinery, giving locals an opportunity to test out their green thumbs, while helping to liven up the corporate Franklin St strip.