100% Locally Owned, Independent and Free

100% Locally Owned, Independent and Free

Fig and Sparrow cafe brings a taste of central Europe to seaside town

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The flavours of central Europe come alive at this “hole in the wall” café that offers a taste experience you won’t find anywhere else.

Think Croatian, Hungarian, German and Serbian savoury foods, plus homemade cakes and café favourites all made on site.

As a wholesale baker by trade, Tanya Kapetanic, who claims she makes the best carrot cake in town, always wanted a space she could create her own foods with a European flair.

Originally setting out to start a bakery, her business vision has now morphed to become Fig and Sparrow – a popular place for breakfast and lunch in Caloundra.

The Fig and Sparrow café. Picture: Patrick Woods.

Ms Kapetanic opened her shop one month prior to the COVID lockdown in March 2020, which forced her to think on her feet to adapt to the ever-changing pandemic environment.

“The timing wasn’t the best and our business plan didn’t go to plan,” she said.

“Originally, we were called Bakies and we were supposed to be a wholesale outlet.

“The shop was meant to be somewhere with just tea, coffee and cake to showcase what we were baking and distributing.

“We lost a lot of wholesale clientele over COVID, so we decided to change our business model and be more like a café.”

Tanya Kapetanic and her son Mathew at the Fig and Sparrow Café. Picture: Patrick Woods.

With a Croatian surname and her son Mathew as head barista, Ms Kapetanic said Fig and Sparrow was a place she could create her own dishes and pay homage to traditional foods from across Europe.

She said she wanted to be different to other cafes in the area and create a homely atmosphere where visitors could enjoy “good old-fashioned” food.

Menu items include Croatian burek, Hungarian goulash, German sausage and quiches and there was also a range of vegetarian and vegan options.

“What I make here at the shop is unique to us, and there are things I have created from scratch,” Ms Kapetanic said.

Some of the delicious options at the café. Picture: Patrick Woods.

“We do a bit of German, Hungarian, Croatian, Serbian – all different styles – and then my own flair as well, which comes into the vegan creations and vegetarian foods.

“We have burek, which is a handmade flaky pastry. The Croatian version is a savoury mince and the Turkish version is spinach and feta. They are both traditionally served with sour cream.

“Hands down I have the best carrot cake around too.

“Everything we make has no preservatives and is full of good ingredients – just good old-fashioned handmade.

“The best part of what I do is seeing people enjoy their food.”

Some of the stylish interior of the café. Picture: Patrick Woods.

Fig and Sparrow recently expanded into the space next door and Ms Kapetanic said the handmade ethos extended outside the kitchen with the tables and benches also made by them.

“We wanted to create a great atmosphere, which we have done.

“We were the small shop no one could find and now we have more street presence and atmosphere as well.”

Fig and Sparrow is open at 17 Bulcock Street, Caloundra from 8am Friday to Tuesday each week, with Ms Kapetanic closing on Wednesday and Thursday to bake.

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