Last week a new cafe opened on Brunswick St in between Magic Lantern Studio and Alice and Co (near My Beautiful Laundrette). It’s called Pollen Industries and it has an interesting story. Opened by two former pastry chefs with experience working in London, Pollen Industries serves fine coffee and a variety of home baked treats, including meat or vegetable pasties (similar to Spanish empañadas or English pasties but with a Caribbean twist) and cakes, all created from bio-dynamic hand ground flour. There’s also homemade pickles with more new things to come.

pollen4 coffee at Pollen Industries on Brunswick St

For coffee and cake or a light lunch Pollen Industries offers something new and different on Brunswick St. They don’t do is standard breakfast, so if you want avocado on toast go across the road to Newtown SC or elsewhere for eggs or more complicated things.

pollen1 coffee at Pollen Industries on Brunswick St

Pollen Industries are also working with their neighbours Magic Lantern Studio and Alice and Co to improve the appearance of their trio of terraces, with plans to install a replica awning on the facade to restore the terrace’s original Victorian appearance.

pollen2 coffee at Pollen Industries on Brunswick St

pollen3 coffee at Pollen Industries on Brunswick St

pollen6 coffee at Pollen Industries on Brunswick St

pollen5 coffee at Pollen Industries on Brunswick St

coffee at Pollen Industries on Brunswick St

22 thoughts on “coffee at Pollen Industries on Brunswick St

  • 19 October 2009 at 3:22 pm
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    near my place so will check out – looks nicely done in a lo-fi way.

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  • 19 October 2009 at 4:11 pm
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    I ducked in for a coffee today on my way back to work – good coffee, friendly guys and great brownies. This end of Brunswick Street is getting hipper by the month.

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  • 22 October 2009 at 2:05 pm
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    I’ve tried Pollen twice now – I think their food is great but their coffee sucks. I went in to give them some feedback about their coffee and they were very dismissive and rude to me – they said they were VERY CONFIDENT about their coffee and had only had positive feedback. When I got back to the office I checked out two people who I knew had tried the coffe and both said (unprompted) that the coffee was awful. That’s 3/3 saying bad coffee. Because they were so rude to me (I was really only trying to help them) I won’t be back. They should remember two sayings, firstly that people giving feedback are really giving you a second chance and the second being the customer is always right. I’d add a third one to that and that’s never be dismissive or rude to customer!

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    • 22 October 2009 at 2:38 pm
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      I did have an interesting experience when I was there. One of the owners was very chatty and friendly, and the other was very abrupt and not friendly at all. When I introduced myself, explained about Fitzroyalty and asked to take photos, the former warmed to the idea and the latter was unhappy about it and had to be talked around by his partner.

      Other feedback I have recieved from another customer is that the reception she experienced when she went in there looking for a normal cafe breakfast, eg eggs on toast, was that the man she spoke to was abrupt and indifferent and she left.

      It sounds like they need to work on their public relations, but my coffee was good. As a general comment drawing from this, the current celebrity chef media frenzy has demonstrated that good chefs are not necessarily good at media, marketing or public relations. The problem is that they dismiss these things and expect that their genius will suffice to sell them to the public.

      When moving from the kitchen to front of house, I think that food business proprieters have to adjust their attitudes, and some don’t manage that very well.

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  • 22 October 2009 at 9:52 pm
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    hmm interesting. i have been peeking in their windows for awhile now and today i went for a visit and had a great experience. i like their roast – it’s a kick in the pants, that’s for sure, and i wouldn’t have it every day – but more than that i liked the man i spoke with (i do not retain names the first time so i’m not sure of his but it seems that we’ve developed two characters here and i’m pretty sure i know which one i’ve spoken to). anyway, i’ve had one experience and it’s been good so i can’t weigh in on whether or not they need to brush up their commnity relations, but they do seem to have some great foundations and what information i did get about them really resonated with me. they seem fascinated by the ingredients they use which could be why they got cranky when they got negative feedback about the roast – they probably put a lot of time and love into choosing it and, really, if it’s the roast you didn’t like, john, that’s just a matter of personal preference, not the execution of their craft. was there something else about it that you didn’t like?

    anyway, i’m excited about them and have said a little piece about them on my blog as well. i’ll definitely be back for more, and i hope i can offer them something of my own at some point. i reckon they’re alright. also you didn’t mention it brian, but they do have a website: http://www.pollen-industries.com/

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    • 22 October 2009 at 10:53 pm
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      Thanks Bee Ess for adding their website and your thoughtful piece – I have added a link in for readers. I’ll definitely be back to have coffee at Pollen Industries as I like it strong, and to try their food. I suppose the coffee is mostly a matter of personal preference.

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  • 3 November 2009 at 4:29 pm
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    I don’t believe that the customer is always right. People tend to forget that a shop is not really a public place, it is private property where as a customer you are a guest.

    I like shops that do not reward churlish behaviour. That do not proffer a gift voucher or freebie the moment some irate baby boomer works themselves into a lather.

    It’s unlikely that one complaint will see staff clamouring for a new coffee-making technique. I guess you could pop over the road to Newtown Social Club, instead, for delightful coffee and treats.

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  • 3 November 2009 at 5:02 pm
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    I’ve been back to Pollen and tried the coffee again and in my opinion it is very very good!

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  • 9 November 2009 at 1:32 pm
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    Very interesting John, you are obviously not a true coffee lover!! My sister has just returned from a week in Melb and raved about a little place called Pollen Industries. She said the coffee was great and the treats were scrumptious. She also said the owners were really friendly and loved a chat. I will certainly be checking Pollen Industries out the next time I am in Melb. :-)

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  • 12 November 2009 at 12:22 am
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    I’ve tried Pollen’s coffee twice now and have been disappointed both times so I won’t be going back again! The young girl behind the machine is more interested in a good ol’ chat than making your coffee.anyways they certainly need to improve their coffee making technique. It’s an interesting comment Rae you made re: a shop not being a public space…Actually it is a public space during business hours.

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    • 12 November 2009 at 12:24 am
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      Both times I have been there I have been served by the two owners, who make an excellent coffee, so maybe this is more about staffing than the coffee itself?

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  • 30 January 2010 at 4:13 pm
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    Loved the food – hated the coffee. I’d been warned it wasn’t good but was still disppointed that is was so poor. I was served by one of the owners…

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    • 31 January 2010 at 1:37 am
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      I’m really surprised by the coffee comments, as I love their coffee, but I think it is a subjective thing. I like it strong and rich as Pollen do it, other people don’t.

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  • 15 July 2010 at 2:30 pm
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    Rae,

    I wasn’t chulish, I’m not a baby boomer and I didn’t work myself into a lather (like you) – I was trying to do them a favor – you could do with some manners as well! Interesting – I’ve never seen more than two people in the shop and it’s mostly empty – I’m not surprised really with an attitude like they have.

    And Tumbler – you’re wrong – I love my coffee and I very much understand the difference between good and bad coffee – Pollen = bad coffee and rude owners – not the recipie for success in these competitive days

    John

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  • 25 March 2011 at 9:35 am
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    I hate to say (well…) I told you so – awful coffee, rude and ignorant owners and taking a few days off every week – what did they expect?

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    • 25 March 2011 at 9:52 am
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      We’ll have to agree to disagree on this. I liked the coffee, and I think the owners were more shy and reserved, not rude. They were chefs and were not used to dealing with customers, and didn’t seem to have the confidence and people skills to make it work.

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  • 25 March 2011 at 2:57 pm
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    interesting how they’ve left their website up to flutter about the webnetherworld for eternity.

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    • 25 March 2011 at 8:17 pm
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      I always find that amusing – how a website get forgotten and is often the only reminder of something long gone!

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  • 26 March 2011 at 5:43 pm
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    I wonder how many people try to ring the phone number or send an email?

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  • 28 March 2011 at 10:46 am
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    Closed????? or SOLD??? To my knowledge Pollen Industries has been sold
    Kind Regards
    Brenda Atobe

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