by Janet Stayte September 29, 2021 2 min read
It's always an exciting day when a new cafe opens it's doors, and especially so, when it's not just a cafe, but a bookshop as well. We couldn't be happier to announce the newest member of the Rumble family; The Chestnut Tree.
Located in West Footscray, The Chestnut Tree is a bookshop and cafe, dedicated to being a cozy and welcoming community hub, with a proud focus on sustainability. For every book they sell, they plant a native tree in partnership with One Tree Planted.
We had a chat with owner Reem, to hear about how the idea to open a cafe came about.
What led you to start the Chestnut Tree?
"I was inspired to start the bookshop cafe by seeing the difference other women-led business owners were making on Barkly street. Assembly Yoga, Post Industrial Design, Migrant, The Swedish Baker and Hand Makers Factory are all led by amazing women.
I thought to myself 'What would I do if I was going to start a business? What does the community need?' And the idea of a bookshop with a cafe that could host book clubs and local authors and a space for afternoon meetings came to mind. And I had sorely wanted one in the local community during Lockdown 2.0 - so I thought: 'Why not!?' Once the seed was planted the ball just started to roll and it happened. With a lot of hard work, but also as if by magic - the way things that are always meant to happen, just happen."
What makes your space unique?
"The aim was to create a space that felt like an extension of a living room so that people would feel welcome to come and stay and linger and browse (when lockdown allows!). I also wanted to create a space for community groups.
The name 'The Chestnut Tree' is a reference to George Orwells 1984 novel. The Chestnut Tree Cafe is where Winston goes after he has been released by the Ministry - but it’s also where all the rebels meet earlier in the novel. I think this subtle reference points to what I hope will be a little different about The Chestnut Tree Bookshop. I would love the space to be used by our community to gather and discuss and organise for important issues like indigenous rights and climate change, just as the tea rooms once were during the French Revolution."
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