Rafter & Rose co-owners Elle Morar and Candy Gazdagh.
Rafter & Rose co-owners Elle Morar and Candy Gazdagh.

REVEALED: Stunning cafe crowned Ipswich’s best

A UNIQUE interior and welcoming atmosphere have helped cement Rafter & Rose as Ipswich’s Best Cafe.

The popular eatery was this week voted the city’s very best by Queensland Times readers.

Both humbled and honoured, co-owner Elle Morar said the shock win came off the back of a challenging year following COVID-19.

“It was a shock. We’ve always been a very busy place. Weekends were nuts and weekdays were great with our usual rush periods,” she said.

In the space of a week, however, foot traffic became non-existent and staff were on the verge of being stood down.

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Rafter & Rose is known for its stunning interior.
Rafter & Rose is known for its stunning interior.

It also signalled the end of weekend trading for the foreseeable future.

“It was a shock to the system, though we were very fortunate that as owners we were already very much a part of the daily running of the business,” Ms Morar said.

The cafe now appears to be on the rebound as it celebrates its sixth year of operation.

“Things are building back up, as of this week we’ve decided to start looking at plans to open for weekends again,” Ms Morar said.

“We’re really keen to establish our weekend trading and give people what they want, which is us for to be open on Saturday and Sunday.”

She said she hoped this would take place mid February.

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Elle Morar with mum Lisa Winkels.
Elle Morar with mum Lisa Winkels.

While the venue’s stunning interior proved an obvious drawcard, its baked goods – and famed cheesecakes – also proved crowd favourites.

“Everyone loves them; Candy Gazdagh makes all our baked goods from scratch,” she said.

“Our hollandaise, our relishes are all made here, and we use speciality coffee and milks.”

Their offerings further complemented a dedication to sourcing homegrown produce.

“Our team prides ourselves on supporting local businesses, everything we serve here has a background,” she said.

“We want to provide customers wholesome, good-quality food, in that we know where it’s come from.”

Ms Morar said the business had come along way since it first opened.

“We literally started with enough money to paint the walls,” she said.

Rafter & Rose has been crowned Ipswich’s Best Cafe.
Rafter & Rose has been crowned Ipswich’s Best Cafe.

“We only had the laneway and one main area; it was so sparse. We created this business literally from the ground up.

“When you don’t have money to put into a full fit-out, you have to make people want to come for a different reason, for us that was the atmosphere.”

Its evolution is also in part due to her mother Lisa Winkels’ interior design efforts.

“This is her creative outlet,” she said.

“It changes all the time; customers love it because they always notice something new whenever they come in next.”

Ms Morar thanked readers for supporting the business.

“We really do strive for people to want to come back. We certainly don’t take it for granted that people want to be in the space that we’ve created.”

“We have beautiful customers and it makes our jobs that much easier.”