Our Story – Baguette Me Not
In 2014, a sensational fare burst onto the food scene in Perth. Baguette Me Not had humble beginnings in a stall at the Subi Farmers Market. After two years, the combination of a delectable Vietnamese inspired Bánh Mì baguette and fresh fillings with a modern flare became so popular the idea of opening a café was born.
Owner Luanne Balaba followed her heart, and in 2016, Baguette Me Not was open for business on Hay Street in Subiaco. From the start, the driving force behind Baguette Me Not has been the love of and the desire to share simple, delicious, healthy, and modern Southeast Asian food.
All meals are made to order, and fresh ingredients are cooked from scratch. Whenever possible, locally sourced food is on the menu.
To say the cafe was popular is a tremendous understatement. The casual, comfortable eatery became the ideal place for the hand-crafted Bánh Mì delights. Curious first-time guests became regular patrons and friends. Excited foodies sang the café’s praises as many had never experienced the fusion of Vietnamese and French food with such an innovative spin.
Baguette Me Not chose to expand its menu in response to popular demand. Pork, chicken, and vegetarian choices with unique twists gave customers something new to try. Offerings that share the menu with the hugely popular Banh Mì baguette sandwiches include,
- Banh Mi Bowls
- Summer Rolls
- Loaded Fries
The popular café rounds out its menu with a marvellous assortment of hot and cold beverages, including lattes, smoothies, and soft drinks.
In time, Baguette Me Not opened another location in Perth at the Underground at Allendale Square. Introducing Perth’s business district to Baguette Me Not’s incomparable cuisine was an idea whose time had come. The location in the Underground receives rave reviews and is a popular spot for a casual, fresh, and delicious meal. The Underground calls Baguette Me Not’s selection of French-Vietnamese cuisine fantastic and crave-able. Scores of the eatery’s fans agree.
Big Changes for a Small Café
Baguette Me Not shared delicious and unique food with satisfied patrons for six happy and profitable years. The business survived the lockdowns caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the economic upheaval which followed.
Seeing the same friendly customers’ faces year after year and experiencing so much loyalty and trust helped Balaba and her staff maintain the motivation to strive to be better consistently. The synergy between the team made the café a relaxing (and popular) spot to enjoy delicious food among friends.
Unfortunately, change is a consistent force in life. Even though Baguette Me Not was a popular local eatery, upheaval in early 2021 led Balaba to the painful decision to close the café doors on Hay Street.
Victims of Circumstance
In February, a standoff between the City of Subiaco and commercial developer Sanur began. At the centre of the fray, a series of dilapidated buildings on Hay Street.
The City of Subiaco and the developer have been at odds over a small section of stores on Hay Street. Reports suggest that the buildings are in terrible shape, and there is a risk to public safety should the façades begin to crumble onto the street. An engineering firm confirmed the reports adding that although there were cracks in walls and the facades were leaning outward; the buildings were
salvageable. The city further claims that these buildings have significance as heritage sites and should remain.
Sanur, the owner of the buildings, wants the structures demolished and has plans to build a $250 million retail precinct. The Subiaco counsel denied Sanur’s application to demolish the buildings in late May.
As the disagreement intensified, the city closed Hay Street in both directions to protect the public from the potential danger of building collapses. One lane of traffic opened after placing barriers to protect the public.
While the city and the developer exchanged arguments, the retail shops in the impacted area began to feel the pinch. With no access to Hay Street, customer traffic dropped substantially.
After months with no resolution to the standoff, several retailers made the difficult decision to close their shops. Ms Balaba followed suit ahead of her upcoming lease. It was not feasible to try and maintain the Subiaco location. She felt her options were gone because of the lack of progress towards a solution.
While the Subiaco Baguette Me Not story does not end well, the eatery has a new location in Karrinyup. The café will serve the same French-Vietnamese cuisine that made the Subiaco and Allendale locations famous.
In light of the unpleasant circumstances that pushed Baguette Me Not to close its doors in Subiaco, the owners sincerely hope that regular customers and new friends will visit their locations in Allendale Square Underground and Karrinyup Shopping Centre.