Since the advent of the internet and the culture it has brought with it, the modern notion of the coffee shop has transitioned from the Hemingway-esque quiet spot where you can read a paper to a commodified locus where you can ostentatiously write your latest novel on a MacBook and filter the hell out of pictures of coffee designs for your Instagram. Architects and Heroes exemplifies this new notion of the coffee shop, priding themselves on being ‘Instaworthy’ and selling their own merchandise which is branded with their logo. The ‘heroes’ aspect of their name manifests in a very literal way in the comic book inspired murals adorning their walls. They’re also known for their strong food offering that accompanies their coffee. We caught up with Sarah McAdams to find out more about what visitors can expect from the modern brand of trendy coffee shops, and got the inside story on what makes Architects and Heroes tick.
What inspired the name Architects and Heroes?
Architects and Heroes is about the whole creative process. The architects are the ‘behind the scenes’ people who make everything work. The heroes are the ones out the front championing the visual and customer-related aspects of the brand. It really is an accurate representation of Ron and Lyly’s relationship. Lyly works tirelessly behind the scenes to create and maintain a great business, good food and quality products, whilst Ron is out the front as the face of the business, representing A + H to the public.
You sell snapbacks and other merchandise bearing your logo. How important is it to create a brand image for cafés and coffee shops these days?
Short of sounding like a cliché, branding is everything. Architects isn’t known just for its coffee or its food, it’s a Subiaco staple. When contemplating good quality coffee or breakfast options, having good food and coffee isn’t enough anymore. People want ‘Instaworthy’ breakfast spots, they want a brand that makes them feel comfortable and important. Architects values its clientele, and enjoys creating a lax but cool place for people to hang and enjoy consistently quality coffee.
Do you have any particularly interesting anecdotes from your time in the café?
That time when Manu came to visit, the entire shop became dead quiet, then everyone around started whispering, oh, that was fun!
In your opinion, what are the most important aspects of running a coffee shop?
Good quality, consistent coffee. And the same with service. People are coming for an experience, even for a take away. We use top quality beans and great machinery to provide a great experience in each cup!
What makes your coffee unique?
We use a custom roasted house blend called Agents of T.A.S.T.E, roasted in Melbourne by Code Black. It’s a great blend with a complex combination of flavours, selected in consultation with the guys at Code Black and our chiefs- Ron + Lyly.
Where would you advise our culture-loving readers to visit in Perth?
Subiaco for sure, pop in and grab some good coffee and delectable foodie goodness and try some trendy shops for nick snacks. Check out Leedy for its sweet vibes. If you love gin, head to Frisk. Small Bar. If you love tequila and Mexican food, go to el Publico in Mount Lawley.
What does the future hold for Architects and Heroes?
Coffee, I sincerely hope, coffee. And maybe another place, we’ll see how we go.
Architects and Heroes is one of the winners of The Culture Trip’s Perth Local Favorite 2016 Award. The Local Favorite badge is awarded to our favorite local towns, restaurants, artists, galleries, and everything in between. We are passionate about showcasing popular local talents on a global scale, so we have cultivated a carefully selected, but growing community.
Interview by Henry Oliver.