More than a cafe

 

 

The former Cube Cafe, which closed during the pandemic, will become a providore, picklery and cafe next year.

Husband and wife Reuben Brand and Anita Martins signed the lease to the council-owned building at a handover during the week.

“We have big plans for this business,” Mr Brand said.

“We looked at many locations and saw this one and thought it was brilliant.”

Among the deciding factors was the closeness to Wodonga’s newest cultural hub – Hyphen.

“Since we moved here I noticed the work that council have been doing like a lot of infrastructure and the street art with Kasper,” Mr Brand said.

“Council is doing tonnes of work to elevate the image of Wodonga and activate these spaces.

“The Hyphen building looks amazing and to have somewhere directly across from it is fantastic.”

Mr Brand is looking forward to working with council to activate the area with events like meet the makers.

He envisions people enjoying a chat with the farmers and producers while enjoying food and drinks on picnic rugs on The Cube courtyard’s green grass.

“To me, a cafe is nothing if you are not building a community,” Mr Brand said.

“It’s all about bringing people into these spaces and activating these spaces.”

Mr Brand said he felt incredibly supported by local community members and Wodonga Council.

“It’s been a wonderful experience working with the council and they have been really supportive of our vision,” he said.

“They have been accepting of the roadblocks and the hiccups with the constant lockdowns and it’s been a struggle to try and find tradies but we hope to open in autumn 2022.”

The business will supply local produce from around the region.

“I really wanted to work with local producers and do that farm to plate experience,” Mr Brand said.

“The idea is to pickle everything, ferment everything and get in other things that people have made, which is the providore side of the business.”

The couple, who were living in Sydney for the past 15 years, moved to the Border a year ago.

They have two children, a three-year-old boy, and the newest member of the family an 8-month-old girl, who was born at the Wodonga Hospital.

Mr Brand, who has worked on and off as a chef and barista for over 20 years, also has a fine arts degree.

“I am a political cartoonist which morphed into journalism when I did my masters in media and communications,” he said.

“I spent a great deal of time working in Pakistan and Syria and the last seven years I have been working in community development.”

Mr Brand will bring his knowledge and passion of food and coffee to the business.

The couple want to keep an element of surprise, keeping the business name up their sleeve to announce at a later stage.

“We wanted to bring some excitement to the area and will be putting up window signs as teasers in the lead up to opening,” Mr Brand said.

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