Trader Spotlight: The Chaplains Office
Updated: Sep 23
A hidden gem down Burwood Road, The Chaplain’s Office, has been revamped by new owner Vee Chandra. Taking over café formerly known as The Green in early July, Vee is embracing and thriving in his new environment with the same location at the back of the St. Columbs Anglican Church but new name, menu, interior décor and overall atmosphere.
Familiar with the area for some time now, Vee went to high school in Camberwell and has been involved in the St. Columbs cricket team for eight years. Being active with cricket and owner of the café, he enjoys how the different activities and things to do at the Church location “brings the community to St. Columbs.” Chaplain’s Office also offers opportunities to those who have been long-term unemployed or youth new to the workforce through barista training programs, other courses and providing all-round work experience.
Studying Commerce at Deakin University, majoring in accounting and financing, Vee has worked in the café business for eight years now. Owning and operating another café in Clifton Hill he sees a big difference between the clientele. Those around Glenferrie Hawthorn tend to be young professionals mid to late 30’s, students, teachers and local families. The demographic at his other café tends to be younger mid 20’s, local renters. The menu there includes more vegetarian, vegan or gluten free options to satisfy different dietary needs. However, here in Hawthorn there is not the same demand for specialty diets. Despite different demographics, Vee enjoys both café’s and the opportunity it gives him to “meet someone new everyday and build relationships.”
Being a member of the local community throughout the years via his school life, sport and career, Vee has noticed significant changes to the area. It “doesn’t matter what time of day, it’s always busy.” Being located right across from Swinburne University, different office buildings and apartments he’s noticed that “the growth of the area has been extraordinary.”
Having local pubs and bars like The Hawthorn, Glenferrie Hotel, Never Mind Bar, and the attraction pizza parlour Holy Moly, “you almost don’t need to go anywhere else.” Especially with the train line right there and the accessible trams around the area, Glenferrie Hawthorn seems to be a one-stop-shop for Vee. Recently married and having only just opened the doors of The Chaplain’s Office, Vee will be busy as the months get warmer, especially with the great outdoor seating The Chaplain’s Office has to offer.