Australian Enterprise Awards 2021

15 APAC / Australian Enterprise Awards 2021 , Just 10 minutes from Brisbane, Macondo Café serves a vast array of incredible Latin fusion dishes in a peaceful garden setting. The restaurant was created in 2017 after owners, Jaime and Mimi Gomez, decided they wished to do something different to run alongside their transport company. Wanting to share their passion for Colombia and Latin America, with its culinary extravagance and artistic culture, they set up Macondo Café. “We are committed to an authentic taste experience coupled with excellence in service,” explains Mimi. “We take our visitors on a journey from the jungles of the Amazonas, on Condor wings to the snow-topped Andes, down into the Cafetero valleys where the best coffee is grown, then snaking down the wide fertile Magdalena River into the jewelled seas of the Caribe!” The innovative name ‘Macondo’ isn’t just a fancy word, instead it is steeped in authenticity and meaning. It pays homage to Colombian literature by naming the Café after the fictional city of Macondo, as created by Colombian Nobel Laureate, Gabriel Garcia Marquez in his famous novel One Hundred Years of Solitude or (Cien anos de soledad.) This tells the story of seven generations of the Buendía Family in the fictional town of Macondo, Colombia. José Arcadio Buendía, and his wife, Úrsula Iguarán, leave their home to find a better life. During their journey, José dreams of founding Macondo as a city of mirrors which reflects the world. The novel is listed as one of the books which has most shaped world literature in the last century, and now it shapes the menu and environment at Macondo Cafe too! With more than 60 dishes on offer, delicious single-origin Colombian coffee with an 86/90 international cupping score, and mocktails + cocktails using Colombian and locally sourced fruits, it’s easy to see how Macondo differentiates itself from competitors. Diners can choose from a wide variety of meats, as well as vegetarian, vegan and gluten- free dishes, all cooked to authentic, Colombian recipes and served with love in the relaxing indoor and outdoor garden settings, which flaunt the vibrancy of the Colombian culture. Colombian chef, Jaime, and Mimi are the core of the business, handling everything between the two of them. However, this was not always the case, as Mimi explains further how the pandemic altered things. “We used to employ Latin American staff for the cooking and waiting positions but Covid-19 changed all that,” she explains. “Now, we are committed to local colleges who are always looking for part-time positions for their students to experience the world of work.” Best Exotic Dining Experience - Brisbane The authentic taste of Colombia is brought to Australia by husband and wife hosts, Jaime and Mimi Gomez. We speak to themabout their passion for the country and cuisine which has shaped their business. Feb21135 Macondo Company: Macondo Contact: Mimi & Jaime Gomez Website: Since the pandemic hit, the hospitality sector has had to innovate to survive. Mimi was quick to adapt to the ‘new normal’ and put the Café’s menu and transactions online to reduce customer contact, without diminishing the excellence in service to customers. Fortunately, the Café had expanded in September 2019 to offer an event space extending from the restaurant to provide guests with live Latin music and dance shows. For several months before the Covid-19 outbreak, the restaurant enjoyed playing host to these flamboyant, exciting events. Now, this large space has been easily converted to feature an open plan dining area and games space, so that diners can return to enjoying the atmosphere whilst dining out, without compromising their safety. Regarding the future, Mimi and Jaime are confident that business will slowly return to normal as the world opens up once again, and they are committed to continuing to provide excellent service, combined with tasty cuisine, to their patrons. “We feel passionate about our work, and proud of the responses we receive from customers,” Mimi enthuses. “Most of all, we believe our by-line represents how we feel – Taste the Passion!”