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Wilfred Smith

What happens when a retired Italian butcher from Essendon meets the grandson of an English butcher? They build a café of course!

Sure, not the most obvious answer, but that’s how Wilfred Smith was created.

The site of the café is a renovated butcher shop on a hill, a solitary store amongst suburban houses. The owner has leased the premises to Matt, a long-standing member of the restaurant world in his first venture into café-dom.

It seems fit then to name a previous butcher shop after another butcher; Matt’s grandfather Wilfred Smith. Fate sealed the deal.

There were many long years Matt spent developing his culinary art, working various restaurant and catering companies, taking him from the docklands to his latest stop here in Essendon. Ending these stressful days as a head chef, Matt, with the assistance of his partner Meagan, set out to create a place the couple can finally take lead.

The re-design is mostly the work of the owner, and his many handy mates, but it’s a friend’s photograph that hangs in the main room that was the inspiration behind the colour scheme. The space is a functional fit-out leading with a small courtyard, through to the take-out floor showcasing in-house baked donuts and banana and fig bread, and then finally seating overlooking the courtyard and Albion Street.

In the four short months since Wilfred Smith moved in, he has already impressed the locals with his menu offerings, adding a new style to an established ‘hood.

Where: 23 Albion St Essendon
When to go: Monday to Friday 7:30am-4pm, Saturday and Sunday 9am – 4pm.
What to order: Lime glazed donuts – get in early!
Coffee highlight: AllPress Espresso Supremo

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