A career barista's dreams of opening a cafe have come true, with the added sweetener of going into business with players from his AFL team.
Jordan Faulkner is co-owner of Whiplash in Hawthorn, along with recently retired Collingwood defender Jordan Roughead and current Pies players Nathan Murphy, Callum Brown and Brody Mihocek. Faulkner's former boss, Eamon Sheahan, is also on board.
Faulkner, a life-long Collingwood fan, says, "It's pretty bloody crazy that I'm opening a cafe with Collingwood players".
He and Roughead met when Faulkner made the footballer his daily brew at Horse to Water in Richmond.
They got talking, realised they were both passionate about hospitality and decided that pooling their resources and experience would make them a formidable team. Finding a former milk bar in an under-serviced pocket of Hawthorn made the dream feel more real.
But it's taken more than a year of negotiations, renovations and permit delays to get the doors to Whiplash open.
Now, though, the cafe is keeping locals sustained with sandwiches such as rare roast beef and bechamel on Rustica focaccia, and five bagels containing traditional fillings. Faulkner is channelling a New York-style deli where service is efficient and the menu is stripped back.
The cafe includes 20 seats at blackbutt-edged tables, with geometric lines and finishes in red and black.
Faulkner selected Veneziano for the coffee beans, having worked with them closely in the past.
Open Mon-Sat 7am-3pm, Sun 8am-3pm
226 Auburn Road, Hawthorn, no phone, whiplashcafe.com