New cafe’s sweet smell of success

GEORGE Street is now waking up to the sweet smells of a new cafe after Sweet Caramel opened its doors to become the latest eatery to enter the local market.

Owners Marisa Bonucci and her sister Pom Preerapoht are no strangers to the Bathurst restaurant scene – they were the original owners of Vanilla Bean.

“I was in partnership in Vanilla Bean for four years and then went to Forbes for three years, but we love Bathurst, so here we are back again with a new cafe,” Ms Bonucci said.

On entering the establishment, which is part of the new development of the former Waratah Hotel on George Street, people will notice that it is not your run of the mill cafe.

Customers will be greeted by furry, gold headed lama statues and the front end of an Austin Mini built into a wall.

Ms Bonucci said the eclectic feel is definitely a representation of her personality. 

“I love art and quirky pieces and a mix of styles and wanted that to come through in the decor,” she said.

With a range of mixed media art on the walls and a mix of table and chair settings and cosy couches, the cafe offers varied seating options with a relaxed atmosphere.

The mixed styles are a reflection of Ms Bonucci’s Thai and Italian heritage, which is also reflected in the food that will be served up at Sweet Caramel.

“The menu will be a real fusion of Thai, French and Modern Australian, you will be able to get noodle dishes through to fillet mignon. 

“We will also have a bakery in the cafe that will serve a mix of sweet and savoury treats.”

Ms Bonucci said the decision to open the eatery, which has the capacity to seat 90 diners, had been lingering for a while. 

“In 2010 I went back to Thailand where I grew up and completed my studies in patisserie baking, which is something I have always wanted to do. I have always loved baking.”

Ms Bonucci said the cafe will open six days a week, only closing on Mondays.

 “We will open each day at 10am and from Wednesday to Saturday we will stay open until 9pm. There will be meals as well as coffee and cake available at all times,” she said.

“I really wanted to offer Bathurst something new and a friendly, casual dining place where they can relax and stay as long as they like. I hope people like what we have put together.”

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