Whether you are a local to the West Footscray community or simply looking to branch out of our usual brunch bubble, Migrant Coffee should be on your radar.

While known for their unique bagel offerings and delicious coffee from Coffee Supreme, Migrant Coffee’s lesser-known story about their approach to café culture and ability to create an inclusive and supportive space makes the venue one of a kind in Australia’s bustling café capital.

Founded by friends Melo and Stacey, the café pays homage to Melo’s Filipino migrant mother and Stacey’s Thai migrant mother, and the lessons they instilled at an early age.

Prior to being co-owner of Migrant Coffee, Melo held juggled various job titles such as a DJ, Retail Manager and creative brains behind the clothing line Home Pacifico. Ready for a career change, Melo noticed that there wasn’t a spot for people like her to hang out and have coffee in West Footscray. Joining forces with her friend, Stacey – a hospo pro with international experience – the two decided to dedicate their time to creating a space to welcome people of all cultural and gender identities.

It was at this point that Migrant Coffee was born. A space where Stacey and Melo could pay homage to their migrant mothers and the lessons they learned, while creating a communal, welcoming, and safe space in West Footscray.

“I wanted to create a space where people who look like us or who share the same experience as us feel comfortable taking up space.”

The combination Stacey’s passion for hospitality and Melo’s creative background makes the pair a force to be reckoned with. Whether it be the layout of their café or curation of their menu, there is always a reference to their cultural upbringing. One which they take pride in and enjoy sharing with the wider community.

Humble in its design and layout, Migrant Coffee is built around the concept of community. Aside from smaller tables in the courtyard, you won’t find tables for two inside the cafe’s indoor area.  Instead, you will find communal tables designed in such a way where you can’t sit opposite someone without acknowledging their presence, while also enjoying the privacy of your own conversation. When walking into the café, it doesn’t take long to realise what has brought everyone together is a love for enjoying food and sharing stories, a cultural value which Melo identifies strongly with.

In no attempt to pass off their menu as traditional bagel offerings, Migrant Coffee have instilled a strong cultural twist to their bagels to link back to their Filipino and Thai heritage and their affiliations with home.

When ordering the Pastrami Mami, you can expect atsara (a Filipino pickled green papaya) as a substitute for the traditional sauerkraut. Similarly with the Sunlight Delight, a traditional sliced avocado is replaced with a crumbed coconut avocado to pay homage to the flavours of the Philippines. Introducing new flavours to many of their customers, Melo sees this as a unique form of educating others about their personal story and rich heritage.

When opening the cafe, Melo admits she was quite naïve to the nuances and endless possibilities of coffee. Now pouring coffee exclusively from Coffee Supreme on their workhorse Linea Classic, Melo shares that the choice to partner with Coffee Supreme came from a similarity of values and an appreciation of Coffee Supreme’s rich and community-focused backstory.

With the constant support and guidance from the Coffee Supreme team, Melo and her team are now confident and take pride in their coffee offering, which many would argue is the best in West Footscray.


“[Our success in coffee] is a testament to number of things; our passionate team, our incredible coffee roasters at Coffee Supreme and the reliability of the Linea Classic.”

When creating their inclusive space, it was Melo and Stacey’s intention to create an inclusive and welcoming team. Prioritising women of colour as their staff, Melo and Stacey wanted to give women of colour, especially those who have shared experiences, a space to pursue their interests in a supportive environment and feel energised each day.

In the coming months you can expect to see many events at Migrant Coffee alongside possible additions to their menu and the reliable service of delicious coffee.

To learn more about Migrant Coffee or their upcoming Merkado events, visit their website or follow them on Instagram.