Ten years into their development journey, Cowch Dessert and Cocktail Bar has opened their Dream Factory in Brisbane.
“We had a vision for a cocktail bar where family and friends could meet and feel comfortable and safe,” says Arif Memis, Cowch Managing Director, who co-founded the company with his wife Havva. “It would be a place for extended family dining, for late night desserts and cocktails,” Arif told media at the opening.
Though at times it has been a challenging journey, the couple have stayed true to their goals, taking the company to new heights.
The Dream Factory opening marks a new era for the brand as they move to hand crafting their sweet treats in house rather than sourcing elements from external suppliers. This not only gives more control over food quality but also lets them steer the menu in new directions to cater for changes in the dining demographic, such as raising produce quality, dealing with dietary specifics and lowering the sugar content of some dishes.
Consolidating that vision, Arif also introduced Head Chef Rhian Shellshear, ex-Executive Pastry Chef of Howard Street Wharves, who has front lined the menu changes with Chef Nicole Bashinsky.
Displaying both transparency and vulnerability in process, the Cowch team showed off their ‘before’ and ‘after’ products, outlining how and why changes have been made, the improvement obvious for all to see.
“It’s all part of the goal to engage with people,” Arif says. “Our concern is the end-user experience,” he says, describing their new menu as ‘a love letter to our customers’.
Divided into sections by food and drink type, Cowch’s extensive menu covers crêpes, pancakes, waffles, dessert pizza, churros, sundae bowls, gelato, naked pops, gourmet cakes and brownies, as well as shakes and frappés, beer, wine, cocktails and more! Dietary options such as gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free and egg free are clearly marked with symbols on the menu.
Visiting the Cowch Bar in Oracle Boulevard, Broadbeach, it’s immediately apparent what a fun place it is. Beneath a ceiling light installation of huge white cow udders, we sit on pink banquettes and await our order.
Not just a work of art, the udders are relevant to the product, of course, with milk, chocolate and cream all elements essential to many desserts.
“We are a Queensland brand using Queensland products,” Arif tells us. “However, we try to get the best Australian produce we can source. An example is our milk, traceable down to the very cow it comes from, sourced from the family-owned Little Big Dairy Co. in Rawsonville, Dubbo,” Arif says. “You don’t get milk with a more specific provenance than that and it shows in the taste.”
Soft crêpes are topped with white chocolate sauce and real vanilla gelato with freshly cut strawberries, mango and passionfruit providing a ‘fruit tingle’ experience. A perfectly textured Cookies and Cream Cheesecake wears a cloak of white chocolate, three hats of ganache the crowning touch of luxury. Churros, now baked rather than fried, are dipped in decadent sauces, the salted caramel sauce the nearest thing to heaven we’ve tasted.
“We want to impact everyone with our food, providing memorable moments of happiness. We want them to leave their Cowch experience with smiles on their faces.”
It works for us, seeing extended families around us, mother-daughter dates over cocktail and desserts, fathers sharing with children, baby showers and birthday parties.
Joy. It’s not only the stuff of dreams, it’s about memories of time spent with family and friends, eating, sharing, celebrating the moment. As Arif says, “Life is better together and happiness is best shared.”
Cowch Dessert & Cocktail Bar, 1 Oracle Boulevard, Broadbeach QLD 4218
Ph: 07 5561 0242 Open: Sun – Thurs 10am to 11pm, Fri – Sat 10am to 12am
NOTE: Good Food Gold Coast dined as a guest of Cowch. Some photos supplied.