Snapshot: Madam Tojo's cafe, Labrador

Snapshot: Madam Tojo's cafe, Labrador
By Sophie Baker

'Daily whims', singing dishwashers, vintage travel cases, velvet curtains, gilded mirrors, stacks of books, Albert Einstein's musings on mystery inscribed in chalk... 

Welcome to Madam Tojo's, a cafe that could have been where Hemingway hung out in Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris, where nothing is quite as it seems. "A dishwasher isn't always just a dishwasher, talent is everywhere," says the cafe's creator and owner Antoinette Edmunds, referring to her newest employee. 

Sophie Canning
A girl of 16 with a talent for singing and guitar playing, Sophie Canning frequented the cafe with her mother before joining the team. A firm believer in looking beyond someone's occupation and herself a sculptor and painter, Edmunds is encouraging of Sophie's beautiful musical gifts.

In fact, she says all her team are "talented and wonderful people", and she'd rather they receive the attention and accolades than herself (she declines to be photographed). Her cafe is like a ship for nurturing talent and Edmunds is its captain. 

To further this endeavour, in December Edmunds started the Madam Sparrow's Market, just two blocks from the cafe. Described as "a market of oddities, retro, handmade art and craft, furniture, vintage and entertainment", the next markets are due to occur on Feb 4th, as they do on the first Saturday of each month.
Located in Labrador on the corner of Musgrave Avenue and Clayton Street, Madam Tojo's opened five years ago and just as the community has embraced its offerings of home-baked goods (a must-try for first-time visitors) and coffee, Edmunds showcases local businesses and events on Madam Tojo's walls.

You will also find photographs of loyal customers sporting Madam Tojo's t-shirts in all corners of the globe (a travelling roadshow, of sorts) and Edmund's exhortations to live well on blackboards and tables. "Let's paint ourselves in Tojo beans, melodic coates of coffee dreams, and whatever tomorrow brings, we'll embrace with open arms, open heart, open mind, to save us from mediocrity." 

Madam Tojo's is open Tuesday to Friday 8am 'til 5pm, and Saturday to Sunday 8.30am 'til 5pm, and you can enjoy Tapas on Friday nights til "late". Phone (07) 5532 2874 for inquiries.

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is
the mysterious. It is the source of all true art
and science. He to whom this emotion is
a stranger, who can no longer pause to
wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good
as dead: his eyes are closed." - Albert Einstein

Sophie @ Girl With a Satchel


Violet LeBeaux said...

Oh that looks like such a cute little cafe!

Debbie said...

My husband and I went to Madam Tojo's for the first time about 2 weeks ago after it was mentioned in the Sunday Mail's U Magazine recently. We loved it. It was a rainy day - not unlike today - and the ambience was warm and cosy. We sat at the table and chairs in the first pic...however, I did find the headless statuette there rather disturbing. The quirky, time-worn opulence was wonderful! Thanks for the reminder of a lovely experience.