Boma is a South African word for an open, usually circular, fenced space in the rest camp of a game reserve or safari lodge that’s used for meals and social gatherings.
“My sister and I are from Zimbabwe and we liked the idea of naming our business after a place for coming together,” explains Natasha Strachan, one of the three owners of Boma Coffee in Yarraville. “That’s also why our logo is a circle – you can see it on our front facade.”
Boma Coffee is not the only hospitality venture for Natasha, her sister Chloe and partner Cody Nesbitt. They opened their first cafe Kodama Coffee in Williamstown in 2017, launched Boma Coffee in 2019 and acquired Pango Coffee in Newport in 2020.
“Cody and I live in the Footscray and we have such a strong community following in Williamstown that it just made sense for our other cafes to be based in Melbourne’s west too,” says Natasha. “With Boma, we’ve created a small, cosy neighbourhood space that’s away from the bustle of Yarraville Village. We love the community vibe here and our friendly staff really get to know customers well.”
Boma’s site used to be a fish and chip shop but is now completely unrecognisable, with brushed gold tabletops, flourishing greenery, a sunny rattan-topped awning and a small kitchen behind wooden panelling.
The brunch menu features simple cafe classics done well, including the best selling chilli scrambled eggs made with house fermented chilli oil. Coffee is sourced from Fitzroy’s Industry Beans, bread and pastries are by Candied Bakery in Spotswood and sweet treats are courtesy of Butterbing Cookies and Little Bertha.
The next plans for Boma include applying for a liquor licence and branching out into nighttime trade.
“During the lockdown, we started offering takeaway burgers, and they were such a hit with local residents that we think we’d like to keep going with it,” smiles Natasha. “Look out for Boma Burgers and Beers soon!”