Tennyson puts a pan-African spin on cafe staples


 Elwood’s most interesting opening of the year is Tennyson, a small cafe likely to transform an under-performing strip. It’s not just the menu (pan-African with a sprinkle of Indigenous Australian) or the creative cold brew coffee (a collaboration and barista exchange with Graph, a cafe in Chiang Mai, Thailand). It’s the way co-owner Nesbert Kagonda has deliberately conceived of his first cafe as a “third place” for customers, a haven between home and work.

Zimbabwean-born, trained in psychology and currently working on a masters in analytics, Kagonda sees Tennyson’s friendly welcome as human outreach that could have profound effects. “I find the people side very interesting,” he says. “In a 30-seat shop you can have a relationship with every customer, really connect. We can have an…

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