INTERIOR DESIGN - FIT OUT - BRANDING
THE BACK STORY.
I started working with Naomi Mckinnon one of the owners and head marketer at BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort around 10 years ago. The multi award-winning 'frog park' was one of my favourite design clients.... I remember her telling me years ago; one day Jo all I want is to have a little cafe, I'm calling it the Fat Frog, I said to her immediately YAY! That means one day I'll get to create toadstool seats for children to eat at. Naomi always had this habit of keeping ideas in her tray, accepting that it wasn't the right time. But one day they would always happen!
9 years passed and we were in a marketing meeting. When it closed she looked at me and said I have something to tell you... I knew at that moment it was time, all she said was 'fat frog' and all I said was 'toadstool seats'!
We embarked on a journey together, my job to get inside Naomi's mind, have a true sense of her vision for the new beachfront cafe on Cannonvale foreshore on the Whitsunday Coast.
She wanted it to look like it had been there for 50 years, but have a modern and funky appeal... Excellence in atmosphere, service, food and of course coffee was paramount. Naomi takes coffee seriously. Her baristas make Campos coffees daily with the help of Delores the custom colour-matched coffee machine that everyone loves!
My closest friends know I was born in the wrong era, so working with a vintage theme was a dream project for me to embark on! Naomi, her husband Greg and even his retired parents, Rod and Jan, were hands on hunting for the treasures we'd repurpose.
DESIGN + HUNT.
I specifically wanted old soft drink timber crates to clad the main service counter... No stencils or repro's allowed. We really did hit pay dirt when Rod & Jan heard there was an amazing antique store in Bangalow Forest FULL of old crates!
All of the tables in the cafe are repurposed VJ doors from Queenslander homes around Brisbane, shipped up the coast and brought back to life by amazing antique restorers. Their brief was to reveal the original timbers, leave a splash of old paint for colour and history, honour the patina of the timbers, but make sure everything you do meets food grade standards! It took 3 men weeks to breathe life into those preloved doors and make them tables... Fitted with new adjustable cafe legs they were ready to live a new purpose.
The shelving to display all the vintage treasures was custom designed, the treasures were sourced from my private collection, eBay and a buying trip to Brisbane.
The children's area features an antique cedar dividing wall, on the kids side it's a pigeon hole storage system, which lived for years in the shed at Villa Botanica, then years in my shed... Though its original origin was an old stores building on Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour. Perfect for kids toys and dress ups!
The play area features the toadstool chairs, custom made steel extrusions powder coated white with digitally illustrated and printed red and white mushroom tops.
The lily pond cabinetry started in Adobe Illustrator with the drawing of the lillies and the DWG shape file handed over to the cabinet makers, the structural braces doubling as a storage shelf for endless crayons.
The graphical Fat Frog brand itself is whimsical, with a muted retro colour palette and enchanting illustrations of toadstools, leaves, butterflies, tea pots and of course thongs!
Fat Frog has recently turned 1 and it amazes me every time I visit, the broad demographic that the cafe attracts.... The travelling grey nomads enjoy the nostalgia of yesteryear and recount stories based on the memorabilia. The local parents bring their children because they feel special with their own dedicated enchanted space. The dog lovers that frequent the beach tie up their best friends and order from the doggie menu... And the cool people love this place for no other reason except it's damn awesome and has the best coffee!
CONTACT FAT FROG.
44 Coral Esplanade, Cannonvale Qld 4802
Ph: 0417 979 960
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