Located in an old pie factory from the early 1900’s, The Grounds of Alexandria is the flagship venue for its specialty coffee. The site hosts a coffee research and testing facility alongside a café, opening onto a luscious garden of heirloom vegetables and fragrant herbs.
Very much a family enterprise; this inner city sanctuary was conceived by Ramzey Choker with his long-standing business partner Jack Hanna and sister; Interior Designer, Caroline Choker.
Caroline has maintained the integrity of the former warehouse by embracing its rustic and industrial aesthetic. Black and steel frames, bespoke wooden cabinetry and polished white and green subway tiles are contrasted against vintage wooden tables and refitted shipping containers.
With a holistic approach to food and design; The Grounds offers a wholesome and rustic menu. The kitchen uses sustainable practices including; picking fresh herbs every morning and working with full time horticulturalist to grow seasonal produce for the menu.
The Grounds of Alexandria was conceived by creative entrepreneur Ramzey Choker; driven by his passion for the finest quality food, produce and hospitality. Exposed to the food industry from a young age through his family’s international food distribution group, Ramzey went on to forge his own career in the same industry. Following the success of Rocket salad bar in Australia Square and Ryde, Ramzey launched Bacco in Sydney’s CBD. Designed by Michael McCann, this elegant patisserie, restaurant and wine bar won the acclaim of both national and international media. Ramzey has since continued to develop his food import business and further hone his skills through various food related projects. Ramzey’s passion for delivering the highest quality food offering is now dedicated to his new enterprise, The Grounds of Alexandria.
Jack Hanna, co-Director of The Grounds of Alexandria, was the youngest barista to have ever won a world title. Jack went on to win the ‘World Latte-Art Championships 2007’ and the 2010 ‘Golden Bean Espresso’ award. After developing his hugely successful brand Jack and The Bean, Jack is now dedicating his passion and knowledge to The Grounds of Alexandria, where he oversees the roasting operations with a perfectionist’s touch. Jack brings an uncompromising and unparalleled drive for quality and is responsible for the vision of all coffee components at The Grounds, including the rapidly expanding wholesale arm of the business.
Caroline Choker brings a highly researched and intelligent approach to each project. Art, travel and all elements of design play an integral part in her engaging and experiential designs. Caroline has brought passion and multi-faceted design skills to The Grounds of Alexandria; transforming the former industrial warehouse into a sophisticated café, restaurant and lush outdoor garden and courtyard. The inspired design for The Grounds blends rustic with contemporary in a way that is at once fresh and sympathetic to the building's heritage. Caroline's experience extends to both interiors and designing and managing bespoke events within The Grounds of Alexandria.
The Grounds of Alexandria opened its doors with Executive Chef and mum of two, Lilly Fasan, heading up the kitchen with her rustic menu. Beginning her culinary in 1999 at the Clock Hotel in Surry Hills, Lilly progressed throughout Sydney’s vibrant café scene and travelled to London to work in Provençal style eateries including The Embassy. After returning from a year of travel, Lilly spent two years working under Executive Chef Thomas Johns at Pello, a 2-hat restaurant in Sydney’s gastronomic suburb, Darlinghurst. Lilly’s passion and the importance she places on quality, seasonal produce are evident in her hearty, home style cooking. When she’s not chasing after her little girls, Lilly is passing on her knowledge to Zahlie and Lulu about ‘real’ food. Lilly is “living every chef’s dream, being able step out of the kitchen and straight into an organic garden”, creating menus inspired by the plentiful gardens at The Grounds of Alexandria.
Erin Martin :
The on-site garden at The Grounds of Alexandria has been developed and nurtured by horticulturist Erin Martin, whose company ‘A Greener Pathway’ was founded in 2011. Erin brings a decade’s experience working with timber plantations and in the nursery industry where he honed his skills with nurturing small plants. Erin brings a passion for permaculture, organics and sustainable growing practices to his role with The Grounds of Alexandria and hopes to inspire and educate home gardeners with ways to grow their own fresh produce at home.