With great cafes seemingly popping up all over the area, Cocoa Rush Chocolate Shop & Cafe is a welcome addition to the emerging Parramatta district local cafe scene.
The Fit Out
The space is what I’d describe as “warehouse eclectic” – vast, open and airy with large industrial windows, hanging pendant lighting, and a mix of tables, counters and bench seating. There’s a cool “New York loft” vibe in their choice of wall paper and funky cushions. With soft grooves playing in the background, you’ll feel your hipster cred move up a notch just hanging out.
Crystal Armbruster and her mum Sonja Cohen spent 5 months transforming the place from far less salubrious origins. The building began as a navy storage facility. Then it was an office space. More recently, it was an establishment that was far from the monotony of the nine to five office grind! Ask Crystal for the gossip about it’s former use and items found during the renovation (but cover any little ears that might be listening!)
Besides the ample seating inside, out front you’ll find plenty of room on the wide pavement under the market umbrellas. If you have little ones in tow, the more secluded courtyard around the corner would be ideal to sip your coffee on a sunny winter’s morning and keep an eye on any “runners”. The cafe is well suited to larger gatherings (hello mothers groups!). But still manages to incorporate some cosy nooks to enjoy a warming Belgian mocha with a friend. I’ve been told there’s also a separate private space for corporate meetings but I didn’t get a chance to see this.
Food and Drink
The menu is small while they find their feet, and there’s currently no dedicated kid’s menu. However, the display cabinets are filled with a variety of cronuts, friands, muffins, sandwiches, wraps, and salads all of which looked fresh and delicious. The homemade nutella cake and carrot cake are both on my list to try next visit. I’ve been told to watch this space as they plan to introduce a waffle and crepe menu very soon.
But all of the above seem somewhat like a distraction from the undoubted star of the show…….CHOCOLATE!
Sold by the weight ($9.00/100g), you can tell this is their one true love and the focus of their business. There are so many to choose from! Like hazelnut frogs, strawberry or lemon “cupcakes” and nutella stars for the kids. And for the grown-ups, brandy diamonds, salted caramel gold-dusted leaves, and perfectly dark liqueur chocolate to name just a sample of the huge selection.
Cocoa Rush bills itself as a breakfast/brunch/dessert bar, but in my opinion, you’ll enjoy the best they have to offer if you time your visit for a mid morning cuppa and chocolate treat.
Our Experience at Cocoa Rush Chocolate Shop & Cafe
You won’t receive a warmer welcome than when you enter Cocoa Rush. The staff are happy to explain the different menu options, and talk you through the chocolate choices. They are friendly and approachable and kudos to Sonja who responded to Mr 3’s repeated “Hello, I’m Batman” with a wave and a smile at least half a dozen times!
While there’s nothing specifically set up to entertain the kids, the space allows little people some room to move. Up the back of the cafe we discovered a window that looks directly into the kitchen, so your kids might get lucky and be able to watch chocolates being made right before their eyes.
On our visit, I tried the bacon and egg roll with BBQ sauce on a toasted brioche bun, accompanied by a wonderfully smooth cappuccino (they use Adore coffee). If you’re there before 10am, this combo is $10. Mr 3 had a thick, creamy strawberry milkshake and together we enjoyed a selection of chocolates as our “brunch dessert”. A quick drive for a play in nearby Eric Primrose Reserve on John Street, Rydalmere, helped burn off any potential sugar rush!
As one of the first cafes in the Parramatta district to embrace the “responsible cafes” movement, Cocoa Rush Chocolate Shop & Cafe offers customers a 50c discount on takeaway beverages if you bring your own cup. They also plan to sell reusable cups in their soon-to-be-opened retail space inside the shop.
Their goal is to have as little carbon footprint as possible, with almost no wastage in their food production. During the fit out, old industrial materials were reused and recycled to become lighting, decorative wall pieces, shelving and doors. According Crystal, “we decided the upcycled way of life was so much more exciting!”
Cocoa Rush offer chocolate making lessons for adults and children. They have their first lot of classes taking place this school holidays – a 2hr class for 5-9yrs and a 2.5hr class for 10-16yrs. Follow them on Facebook to find out about other upcoming classes.
- Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: 6am – 3pm
- Closed Tuesday
- Saturday and Sunday: 8am – 3pm
Places of Interest Nearby
Finding Cocoa Rush Chocolate Shop & Cafe
Cocoa Rush is located on the corner of Clyde Street and Victoria Road, almost opposite from Bunnings Rydalmere. It is a 500m walk from Rydalmere station and there are a number of buses that travel along Victoria Road.