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Keeping Good Company: Family vibe brings boutique beans to the bayside

The Weekend Edition

With its proximity to the pristine waters of Moreton Bay, Scarborough is already one of the best-looking suburbs you’re likely to find. But while it may score top marks in terms of location, Redcliffe Peninsula’s northernmost neighbourhood has been lacking in the specialty coffee department for years.

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Well, that might no longer be the case. Good Company – a brightly beatific cafe from one of the brains behind lauded inner-city caffeine nook Anytime Coffee – opened in Scarborough earlier this year and has quickly become a local institution.

How? Thanks to a simple recipe of sensational specialty grade caffeine, a brunch menu headlined by kettle-boiled bagels and the kind of friendly vibes that are an essential at any contemporary chow spot.

Good Company’s genesis reads like a familiar pandemic-era tale. When the initial lockdowns effectively turned Brisbane City into a ghost town, Jack Wakefield’s Mary Street espresso spot Anytime Coffee (which he co-owns with Tom Cooney and Scott Neville) was forced to closed for five weeks.

During this time, Jack found himself spending more and more time at his parents’ place in Scarborough, where he grew up. Jack had always envisioned he’d end up in Scarborough again (though ideally under more auspicious circumstances), with dreams of opening the kind of cafe that the suburb had needed – even since the days of his youth.

His walks around the neighbourhood often led him past a shop he frequented many times as a kid – a burger and coffee shop on the corner of Thurecht Parade, right near Scarborough Marina. When the site came up for lease earlier this year, it seemed to Jack like the perfect time to take it on and utilise it for his own purposes.

He couldn’t have picked a better time – there’s something in the air at Scarborough. Just around the corner, Scarborough Harbour Brewing Co. (which opened over the Easter long weekend) had locals waiting with bated breath for a beer maker to call their own. With Good Company, Jack is looking to join the wave of new activity with brews of a different kind.

Compared to Jack’s diminutive decoction dispensary in The City, Good Company is a much more spacious and breezy locale. Where Anytime facilitates grab-and-go coffee injections for the ASAP crowd, Good Company is all about its namesake – coffee, chow and conversations enjoyed with pals, family or friendly strangers.

A fit-out process has pared back the cafe’s interior aesthetic to something minimal-yet-elegant. The glass front allows the sun to stream through, casting beams of light over the concrete floors and natural sheen plywood service counter and furnishings. Aside from a few seats inside and a handful of stools on the deck, much of Good Company’s seating is communal, including umbrella-shaded picnic tables on the grass and a host of tables on the patio.

A striking red La Marzocco Strada espresso machine is pouring perfectly weighed cups of coffee from Passport Specialty Coffee (including its Arrival blend and rotating single origins), which is also supplying cold-brew cans and beans for Good Company’s filter batches.

Jack is eager to roll out Good Company’s food menu slowly, building up the offering to include vanilla and apricot bircher with caramelised buckwheat, roasted rhubarb and spiced ricotta on toasted brioche, soft-boiled eggs on sourdough with brown butter and salsa verde, and a selection of four kinds of kettle-boiled bagels.

Moving forward, Jack is keen to eventually introduce deli-style sandwiches to Good Company’s offering and is also toying with the idea of Friday night set-menu dinners. Good Company is also dog friendly, so feel free to bring your furry friend along on your visit.

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