I took a stroll through Collingwood recently. Flung my backpack over my shoulder, put on my hat, slapped on my sunnies, and ventured out into one of Melbourne’s oldest and most characterful areas. Down Johnston Street I went, gazing at old architecture and new graffiti. The gallery of the streets, as some call it. Walking through Collingwood can easily melt your hours away. But then I saw something. A sign, on a wall, full of colour. It read, To Be Frank.
Gorgeous ivy burst along the front of the brick-clad shop with what can only be described as an electronica abstract concoction on the adjoining wall. Tables with benches neatly placed, and people sitting, enjoying what I would soon find, was the work of passionate hands.
To be frank, I have a soft spot for bakeries. Bread and all things bready are my comfort foods. Nothing brings joy to life like the smell of freshly baked pastries wafting through the air. To be frank, I hadn’t actually heard of…To Be Frank. But seeing the line forming out the door I quickly realised everyone else had. So, I waited, and watched, as the smiles came out one by one, holding things like; Raspberry Danishs, Focaccias (one has to be lucky enough to get to before very quickly selling out), fluffy mouth-watering croissants, Babka….wait. Deep breath. Okay.
The order of a serious breadie.
When it was my turn I was tasked with the insurmountable problem of picking what to eat. For those of you out there that love all things bread like I do, you know what I mean. But, I did walk all the way to Collingwood from North Melbourne. I deserved a treat, right? Looking at the wall of deliciousness at my fingertips I decided on; Chocolate smile (because what makes soft crunchy bread more delicious than adding chocolate inside?), Focaccia with Rosemary and Sea Salt (savoury is a must in any bread order), Rasberry Danish (always on the list wherever I go), and (yes there’s an and), the Kouign-Amman.
I sat with my coffee, flat white as usual, and placed my order on the table. As I began, bite by bite, I realised I was sitting there with a smile on my face from ear to ear. The same kind that I saw on all those people walking out. It’s a funny thing, discovering something new. There’s an anticipation that rumbles within you. Butterflies in your stomach. Will it be good, will it be bad? Sometimes it’s the former, sometimes, the latter. But sometimes, just a few times, few and far between……it’s great.
I continued my walk through Collingwood, and eventually home. It was a nice day. The sun was out, the breeze was cool, and as I left the borders of Collingwood I felt a newly found connection to this place. A place to go back to. Something to always look forward to. To be frank, To Be Frank made my day.
1/4 Bedford Street, Collingwood, VIC 3066
0408 345 220
Monday – Saturday
7.30am – 3pm
8.00am – 3pm