Meet The Locals: Niki Moran From Ours Cafe

December 7, 2023

Ours Café & Goods owner Niki Moran is on a mission not only to serve delicious vegetarian and vegan food to Moffat Beach locals but to build a genuine sense of community in the process.

And it’s working! A business that started small and intimate at the end of 2019 is now a bustling local favourite that regularly packs out its 250 seats.

Sitting in the expansive outdoor dining area, Niki tells us about the journey so far and unveils some big things in store for the café this summer.

Niki, our Café & Goods has come a long way in four years since you opened in December 2019. Tell us how you started out.

After managing Ours for a year and a half and having put my heart and soul into the business, it was both an easy and challenging decision to take over ownership in June 2021. I saw great potential for the growth of the business and was ready to put in the work to see my vision come to life. It hasn’t been an easy road, but I always knew Ours was special, and I wasn’t ready to let its foundations go.

And now you’ve renovated, you’ve put in a full commercial kitchen, and you’ve got seating for 250 people. What’s been the secret to your growth?

Our growth comes down to many factors. We couldn’t have made it to this place we’re in without the support of our incredible local community and the dedication of our team.

Maintaining a good reputation with our local and wider community is a big part of our growth also. Being the only exclusively vegetarian café on this side of the coast, word spreads quickly among our vego and vegan friends. We also cater to most allergens and lifestyle choices, so people know they can eat comfortably at Ours.

We have really high standards on our food service. We make everything from scratch, all our sauces, our marinades, etc. For example, our homemade Nutella starts with us roasting and peeling the hazelnuts ourselves. Everything is full of flavour and nutritional goodness. Our head chef is passionate about food and is amazing.

I hear you spent a lot of time hunting down the best coffee too.

We were caffeinated up to our eyeballs for months before we found our love for Padre! We pride ourselves on making exceptional coffee, so a lot of work went into finding what was right for us and our customers.

Ours Café had its first two years during the COVID-19 pandemic. How did you survive that challenge?

On my first day as the new owner, an announcement came over the radio about us going into lockdown. It was not a fun start to my journey! My small team, family and I had to do the best we could under the circumstances. When the pandemic first hit, we stocked fruit and veg and other retail products just to be considered ‘essential’ enough to stay open. We did home deliveries of food and shopping for our locals and operated as a takeaway-only cafe.

After lockdown, we maintained our takeaway-only rule, as we didn’t want to divide our customers based on their vaccination status. We wanted to keep the community as one. We didn’t like the idea of turning people away. Once word spread about what we were doing, we became even more popular, as it set us apart from other businesses.

That sense of community has become a signature part of the business, hasn’t it?

It really has! A lot of our customers have supported us the whole way through. We’ve formed beautiful friendships and connections with our regulars. We are always looking for ways to bring our community together and one of my favourite parts of the café is the share table inside the cafe. We bought it second-hand when we were able to reintroduce dine-ins, and it’s been lovely to see the way it connects people.

We are about to introduce an evening menu on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, where people can share tapas and grazing boards in a social and community setting.

That sounds wonderful. For people who are new to Ours Café, what would you recommend?

Our ‘Jack Johnson’ banana pancakes are very popular for those with a morning sweet tooth! They’re vegan and gluten-free and are served with our homemade vegan Nutella, topped with cacao mousse and seasonal fruit.

People also love our ‘Freakin’ Fritters’, made from corn and zucchini and served with our homemade spicy ginger and chilli sauce and kaffir lime aioli.

The ‘Dirty Burg’ is one of the crowd favourites for our vego friends! It’s our take on a classic brekky burger, made with fresh greens and avocado, a fried egg, halloumi and our tomato relish on a toasted bun, with a gluten-free alternative available.

Thanks for the chat, Niki, sounds delicious!

Ours Café is open seven days a week from 6am to 2pm at 3 Roderick St, Moffat Beach. Stay tuned for the evening tapas menu starting very soon. Check out their Facebook page here.

Caloundra City Realty

Article by Caloundra City Realty

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