In the heart of Crystal Waters, Ikigai Café (pronounced ee-key-guy) is a warm and welcoming hub for all who seek comfort in a cup of coffee, delicious food and a sense of community.
We chatted with Faye, the new owner of Ikigai Café, formerly Flowerpot Coffee Shop, to learn more about her decision to take on this much-loved café, and her plans for the future.
“At one time my father ran the corner takeaway shop in Beerwah and delivered milk to the locals,” Faye shared, "but my childhood was quite nomadic, as my family frequently moved between Queensland and New South Wales. It wasn't until my high school years that we finally settled just outside of Ipswich.”
Since then, Faye has called Brisbane her home, until she made the life-changing move to Crystal Waters 12 months ago.
“My decision to take on this cosy café at Crystal Waters is deeply rooted in my sense of community,” said Faye. “Coming here felt like coming home, to a place where I can finally set down roots and watch them grow."
Five months after opening, Faye began the process of rebranding the café to Ikigai Café, a name inspired by the Japanese concept of "ikigai," which represents the reason for being and the driving force that gets you out of bed every morning.
“I’ve been designing a menu with my team that I hope pleases the diverse clientele we have here. I try to accommodate dietary preferences, but my primary focus is simplicity and incorporating seasonal variations to the menu.
“All cakes are gluten-free, and there is an assortment of vegan slices and loaves. We’ve added Jerk Chicken Burger and Caesar Salad to the menu, and have ready-made items in the fridge, plus meals made to order, and hot and cold drinks.”
Faye's favourite part of the day is the morning, where she relishes the opportunity to prepare the café for the day ahead. “The tranquility of an empty kitchen in the early hours offers that sense of endless possibilities,” Faye said with a smile.
“Being an entrepreneur is a leap of faith,” Faye said. “You have to trust your instincts and go for it. Self-doubt may creep in, but it's in those moments that you remember the driving force behind your decision.
"My aim is for this lovely space to be a unique café and gift shop. The products in the shop now are local, handmade and homegrown from residents within the community.
“Some of those items are tinctures and extracts, seeds, honey, chai, artwork, bee balm, handmade wooden pens, books, documentary videos of Crystal Waters, and CDs performed by locals. On my wishlist is crafting my own products, when I have time. It’s very exciting!”
Faye draws inspiration from a quote that has guided her throughout her journey: "If you find a job that you love doing, you will never work a day in your life."
Ikigai Café, 1/65 Kilcoy Lane, Conondale / Ph: 5409 5596 / ikigaicafe.com.au / Opening hours: 8am to 2pm (kitchen closes at 1.30pm) Thursday to Monday