Not for profit endeavours are often shrouded by a double standard — our expectations of what might be offered are lowered by the fact that it’s all for a good cause. This does not hold true for a cafe collective called Crave, however, whose community-driven project has grown into a rollicking success. Starting out in a very modest space in Morningside seven years ago, the cult cafe quickly garnered a reputation for good food, great coffee, and proprietors who really care about the people living nearby.
A charitable cafe is changing our expectations of food and coffee for a good cause.
Now they’ve moved across the road into a prominent position on Morningside Drive. The space — formerly a forklift tyre factory — is lofty and light-filled, with a capacity of up to 230 people when you count the upstairs boardroom, the library area and the (soon-to-be) numerous outdoor tables. We predict they’ll be utilising every corner of it given the fact that during our mid-afternoon Monday visit, the place was absolutely heaving. As it turns out, Crave moved premises in one fell overnight swoop only a week prior, so their dedicated clientele didn’t miss a beat.
Although only serving off a brunch menu for the moment, next week they will roll out separate breakfast and lunch variety, and in about a month’s time, a dinner service too. The food is epic and is littered with trademarks of an elevated kitchen. The quintessential poached eggs make a stellar appearance on house-baked karengo and potato sourdough with a side of truffle labneh, red quinoa, dukkah and homemade tomato sauce. While the bircher muesli is a gorgeous concoction that involves activated seeds and a green-tea drizzle and you’ll likely find it difficult to go past the Benediction — a envy-inspiring creation of Manuka bacon, South Island salmon, crispy dauphinoise potato and hickory smoked hollandaise.
Although excellent food and Coffee Supreme awaits, the most inspiring thing about Crave is the fact that 100% of the profits are either invested into the community if not sent to serve a charitable overseas cause — you can read more about what they do on their website here. Fair to say, their unique approach is certainly working favourably so far, so if you’re in the Kingsland/Morningside hood we suggest you stop by to absorb the community vibes at play.
Open from Monday to Sunday, 7am till 5pm.
This article by MADELINE SAXTON-BEER originally appeared in Denizen.