“We love how sleek and compatible Billi is with our tea and coffee bar,” says Kirsty. “Billi is right at home at Alberta’s.”
Alberta’s is a cosy, intimate kitchen in the thriving heart of Busselton, Western Australia. But it wasn’t always this way. The venue is the vision of Kirsty Marchant and Ben Ing, who were on a lookout for the perfect location to bring their hospitality dream to life. “We were looking for a space in the South West that had good bones and when we were introduced to Shop 3, Queen Street by a friend, we couldn’t pass it up,” says Kirsty. “The shop was originally built over 100 years ago as a black smith, and the high ceilings and old brick walls told a story of the town.”
But before they could realise their vision, the shop needed work – and a lot of it. Kirsty and Ben had to refit the whole space with new interior fixtures, including a new coffee machine and new hot water system. And – as the process of creation often does – they started by removing everything from the existing space.
“The first thing Ben and I did was to gut the space completely,” says Kirsty. “Once we’d opened it all up and removed the clutter we were left with a beautiful open and clean slate. We knew we wanted to leave the interiors open and build a commercial kitchen that felt like home, so we designed an open kitchen that we placed in the centre of the room. We want our guests to feel like guests, not customers.
With a clear vision that positioned the kitchen at the very heart of the interior, it was important that the fit out wouldn’t crowd or obstruct this central space. “We wanted guests to be able to sit at the beverage bench and to not feel imposed on by any equipment we chose,” Kirsty explains.
“It was important for us to be able to give face to face service at all times, and to use equipment that supported this type of service.”
The dreamers turned owners wanted to create a sense of intimacy with a small, 32-seat setting – and leave plenty of space for their visitors to get creative. “We want to be able to use this space for different purposes. Coffee, food, produce, cooking classes and for all of those purposes feel natural.”
The selection of appliances and fit out elements was crucial in creating a space that would let Alberta’s kitchen be its centre point and a beating heart, while accommodating space needed to nurture imagination, expression and sense of genuine connection.
These guiding principles led the owners to opt for the Modbar coffee machine – a sleek appliance that wouldn’t put up a barrier between the staff and the guests. This, in turn, inspired them to choose another part of the fit out that followed a similar pared back aesthetic, and would work perfectly alongside Modbar’s simple silhouette: Billi’s Quadra Plus 9 with Gooseneck mixer.
The Quadra 9 Plus provides instantaneous boiling and chilled water, with an integrated hot water system and filtered drinking water to cover all the potential water uses for a busy kitchen environment. Its sleek design is space-saving, making it ideal for a position on a bar or bench where real estate is at a premium.
“We wanted a hot water system that was non-invasive and sleek,” Kirsty says. “Billi was a perfect solution for providing hot water for our coffee and tea service, as well as chilled water for drinking water for our guests at Alberta’s. The sleek matte black design blended in seamlessly with our coffee equipment and the fact that the taps are short means that we don’t lose any face time with guests.”
The resulting space – brought to life by a carefully curated fusion of different shades of green, terracotta and white – is a warm and inviting interior that celebrates its rich heritage but feels nothing like the warehouse it used to be. And Billi’s unostentatious form fits right in.
“One of the great things about our partnership with Ben and Kirsty was the chance to be really collaborative,” says Daniel Walker, Head of Marketing at Billi. “We were able to take the time to really understand their vision and aim for Alberta’s, then recommend the best Billi product for their needs – in this case, the Quadra Plus 9.
Designers: The owners, Kirsty Marchant and Ben Ing
Photographer: Josh Ball
Product Billi Quadra Plus 9 – Boiling, Chilled filtered Plus Hot & Ambient