We’ve always loved the little café in Arbour Avenue for its ‘local knowledge’ location away from the main road and its proximity to Robina Town Centre without being a part of it.
In a sunny corner spot at the end of a suburban business street, The Market Place is a local favourite. Whether they pop in for coffee on a morning walk or duck away from their job at Robina Town Centre for lunch accessed through an ‘arbour walk’, there’s a steady flow of regulars who come to enjoy its quiet serenity and relaxed vibe.
Sarah Schaeffer and her partner Matt Smith established the café early in 2017, Sarah leaving a corporate job in Sydney to follow a new dream. The new café is airy and bright, two sides open to the air to dine alfresco, while inside offers a quiet space to work or chat. With little else open close by, the café attracts a mixed demographic from older clientele to millennials.
Daniel Thomson (ex-Harvest Moon, Larder and Street Corner Espresso), who’s come on board as chef, brings his New Zealand inventiveness to dishes. Bringing a handmade element to the menu, Dan makes all jams and sauces from scratch.
Sporting an all-day menu, The Market Place offers seasonal favourites with a twist. There’s Smashed avo your way through to Pulled pork burgers as well as Carrot, fennel and feta fritters, a gorgeous Coconut chia pudding with pink pataya, or the bright Pickled Watermelon and smoked trout salad.
Several weekly dishes maintain local interest, as do local café prices, ensuring that everyone can find something to please them in their price range.
Dan bakes the cafe’s muffins, biscuits and gluten-free brownies, treats to fill the in between hours displayed on the front counter along with other food to go. It’s great service to corporate customers in the area who can either take food away or have it delivered within the street.
Sarah has chosen Glee Coffee from the Central Coast of NSW as her roaster of choice, The Market Place being the only Queensland stockist. A family-run artisan business, its community-based hand-crafted quality approach fits in well with her ethos. Smooth, easy to drink with a natural sweetness, their house blend is affectionately known as ‘The Goods’.
All that aside, it’s not until we talk to Sarah at length that we realise her true intent for the café.
We look around us. In the front area of the café are several stands offering food products, gifts and homeware, candles and cards for sale from Greenwood Farm, Posy Lane and Miss Pots.
“In my corporate life, I did business contracting to help people set up the back end of businesses. I want to be a part of that in smaller business.
This is a ground level experiment, and we’ll go from here. We want to create a space separate from the business of life where people can reconnect.
Long term, we want to buy land and set up an old school community of like-minded people who want to work through cross-promotion, rather than competing with each other.”
The couple have made a start with a lifestyle change and a first step towards their dream. The Market Place. Now it all makes sense.
Shop 71, 2 Arbour Avenue, Robina Ph: 07 5609 7701
Open: Mon – Fri 7am — 2pm, Sat 7am to 1pm
NOTE: Good Food Gold Coast was a guest of The Market Place on one occasion.
Photo of salad credited to The Market Place.