Daisy’s Milkbar, a cafe in Sydney’s inner west with a cult social media following and a menu featuring the popular ‘low tea’, is on the market.
But owner Jessica de Varine-Bohan and her husband, Jake, aren’t looking to sell to just anyone.
They want a new owner who will continue building the brand and energising the tiny pocket of Petersham that has played host to the cafe for the past five years.
“It’s just been such an incredible experience building and creating this concept and brand with my husband,” Ms de Varine-Bohan said.
“We’ve put so much effort into it, if someone bought it and continued it as Daisy’s that would be great. We’re looking for someone who loves it and fosters the brand and sees it to its full potential.”
The couple have decided to sell the business to make more time to focus on their soon-to-be-born baby.
“It’s been a really hard decision to sell. It’s been a part of my identity and it’s just been a part of me for so many years,” Ms de Varine-Bohan said.
With a background in hospitality, with a stint in marketing and time spent studying graphic design, she had always wanted a cafe of her own.
“We just always dreamed of having our own space like that and we loved the milk-bar concept. Because milk bars are rapidly declining we wanted to do our own modern take.”
Having grown up in Leichhardt, and with many friends living in the inner west, Petersham was high on their list when it came to selecting a location.
“When we first opened up, so many of our friends and family were able to come in and give us to support,” she said.
But it’s been social media that’s really helped Daisy’s build a strong, and diverse, customer base – with the milk bar’s bright interior decor lending itself to countless posts on the popular photo sharing site.
“It’s been an absolutely invaluable tool for us because Daisy’s has been such a visual business. Our interior, our food presentation, it’s all visual.”
She said many international visitors saw the milk bar on the app’s ‘Explore’ feed and made the trip out to Petersham especially to see Daisy’s, and that Instagram had also been the nexus of several collaborations with other businesses.
The Low Tea is a popular menu item. Photo: @porgeyg
The Daisy’s menu features a variety of Aussie milk bar classics, like spiders and chiko rolls, as well as American staples, including mac n’ cheese and a breakfast burrito.
The cafe is, however, best known for its ‘low tea’ – Ms de Varine-Bohan’s value-for-money take on the classic high tea – piled high with items such as sausage rolls, Iced Vovos, fairy bread and lamingtons.
“I started it a while back because I really like the look of a high tea with the cake stands, but I wanted to do a milk bar version of that. I like to think of it as a more filling high tea,” she said.
Her advice for anyone starting their own business? Start slowly.
“I tried to do so many big things when we started out. If I had my time to start again I’d tackle one thing at a time. I just get too excited and try to do it all at once,” she said.
But the efforts were worth it.
“It’s been so rewarding for so many different reasons. I’ve met so many other business owners and creatives who I would never have crossed paths with without having the business. We’ve done so many collaborations with other businesses.”
Daisy’s Milk Bar is being sold for $150,000, including all stock and a full commercial kitchen. The business, at 340 Stanmore Road, has a lease until 2029, with options to extend.