Joost serves up new eco-cafe

When it comes to coffee and lunch, Studio Periscope is spoilt for choice with so many iconic Melbourne foodie laneways just minutes away. This week the choice became a lot greener.

Artist-eco-advocate Joost Bakker has opened Silo ‘zero-waste’ café in Hardware Street. Sitting at the recycled timber/plastic composite bench, it is clear that every process and square millimeter has been meticulously designed: containers of produce are stored below your stool; refrigeration units are custom-made to fit holding crates; the minimal food scraps are composted and then returned to growers for use; and all food storage containers and crates are returned to the producers to be re-filled.
 
“I’ve designed the café in reverse" explains Bakker. I’ve started at the end; assessing the waste production, and worked back from there. My dream has always been to build restaurants that create no waste and we are excited that Silo is achieving this,” 

But Silo is no cold utilitarian shrine to process; in typical Joost style the atmosphere is warm and just a little bit quirky. Breads and pastries made from freshly-milled grains come on terracotta glazed plates. The coffee comes in matching terracotta cups that impersonate the shape of a classic latte glass, with the white glaze playfully overflowing like over-filled froth.

Silo is an impressive commitment to process and demonstrates that embedding sustainability can produce something beautiful (and delicious).