There's a new happy place in town. Right on the border of Kingsville and Yarraville, say hello to happymaree!
This den of cool is the baby of Delanie (aka Maree) and Mario. Happymaree was previously only seen at artists' markets around Melbourne and Victoria, but now their groovy badges, cards and other vintage-inspired goodies have a permanent home here in the west.
There's also work by other artists for sale, including Baby Guerrilla, best known for her paste-ups around Footscray and wider Melbourne.
My daughter said today that she had a "meringue sandwich" with her aunty. I thought for a minute and chuckled. Obviously it was a macaron! In these days of macarons and caneles, can the humble muffin really hope to still compete? Well, when it's this good, it beats 'em all hands down. Still toasty from the oven, these mini banana and walnut loaves had perfect fluffy middles and warm crusty tops. We kicked them into overdrive with a smear of soft butter.
Here's Mario, one half of happymaree and the secret weapon behind these amazing baked beauties. (He's a trained baker and chef). Happymaree is not officially a cafe but rather a home-based business that happens to serve coffee and snacks. As well as Anzac bikkies, they do dog biscuits too, like carrot and parsley (for pooches who want fresh breath)!
"I can't help it, I'm Italian," said Mario, as he pressed us into having this freebie, a savoury tart with chorizo and vegies. And I'm (part) English, which means I'm too polite to refuse! It was delicious, though, with a proper silky middle. (Eggy tarts often end up coarsely textured. Well, mine do.)
Coffee is by Four Rascals, a small team with a no-nonsense, small-batch coffee roasting approach. The milk wasn't lusciously foamy, but the underlying shot was well pulled, strong and tasty.
Another naughty freebie - a soothing watermelon slushy, the last sigh of summer.
As for the kiddlywinks, they can get inspired with all the crafty goodness around and get stuck into paper, stamps and more.
Plus, make your own badges! Cool!
At this stage happymaree is open every day from 8am. It is a home-based business, so their closing hours are flexible. Keep your eye on their Facebook page for last-minute updates.
And in case you needed ANY more convincing...
229 Somerville Road, Yarraville
Open daily from 8am