I met recently with Nigel Seberry and Kate Patrikeos owners of Two Mountains Merchants ✅ and asked Nigel some questions about their Cafe established just over 2 years in Thirroul.
Nigel's background? I grew up in Thirroul in my early years playing for the Butchers Rugby League Juniors before my mum and dad built a house in Woonona. After high school, I started my chef's apprenticeship in a fine dining restaurant in the Sydney CBD. Once qualified I rode my motorcycle across Australia to Perth for work around America's Cup Yacht race. I went on to travel, and work in many parts of Australia and overseas in London and the Greek Islands. I was also head chef for a boutique hotel in Perth moving onto owning a gourmet pizzeria.
For a life change, I moved to the Tall Ships spending 12 months circumnavigating on the HMB Endeavour as the Catering Officer, which eventually brought me back to my home town with whom I was joined by my partner Kate.
What inspired you to start this Business? As I'm not as young as used to be and work in the sailing world was drying up I found working as a chef still meant long hours nights and weekends. I felt if I were to work hard, it would have to be for my own business and what better place than the Northern Illawarra.
Business name & how did it come about? We originally spent five months trying to get a shop in Bulli for a gourmet Grocer/cafe. After a long battle, we were approved but on strict opening hours which did not make the site viable. During our research we Googled Bulli and it states in the local Dharawal language it means Two Mountains hence the name Two Mountains Merchants.
Best describe your Business? I'd like to think I'm not just one of 20 cafes/coffee shops in Thirroul. I focus on my food which I aim to continually evolve which is the great thing about being a chef. I really enjoy working on our vegan options which are very popular. We also make great loose leaf tea and a strong coffee.
Summary of services: We have a great space which appeals to a wide range of people. Lots of alfresco dining and backyard area.
We are looking at utilising our venue for special events and night workshops in the future, when we find the right mix to make it viable.
Summary of products sold: We have an extensive range of freshly home-made cakes tarts and slices. Vegan muffins, Free-range pork, vegan sausage rolls, spanakopita, toasties, and we only use free-range eggs.
Do you live locally to your Business? We currently rent in Woonona and hoping to buy in the area.
If you would like to add anything else?
We are dog-friendly, and Boston terriers are awesome!
Shop Insight No: 8
More info: Two Mountains Merchants Cafe