In 1969, when Nick and Soula Katsakis were pondering a name for their little Greek coffee and sweets shop in Collingwood, they couldn’t have picked a more perfect name than Melissa (Honeybee).
Perfect because today, almost 4 decades on Melissa continues to be swarmed by their loyal and devoted customers, making this family run business Melbourne’s iconic Queen Bee of the authentic Greek Café experience.
For more than 43 years Melissa Cakes has held a special place for the population of Collingwood. Established in the early seventies by Nick and Soula Katsakis, this Greek coffee and cake shop has been a care free haven for regulars of all ages to get together, chew the fat, drink delicious coffee and enjoy a delectable range of authentic Greek cakes, pastries and biscuits
- From Bert Newton to INXS
Melissa quickly became a ‘Hive’ of activity, as it was and still is one of the few cafes to offer Melbournians an authentic taste of Greece. You could be enjoying a syrupy, nutty ‘baclava’ or a creamy, custardy ‘galaktobouriko’ their taste and quality as authentic an any eaten in the Zaharoplasteia (cake shops) in downtown Athens, the island of Crete or cosmopolitan Salonika.
The first ten years of Melissa’s establishment saw people like Graham Kennedy, Bert Newton, Duran Duran, INXS and cast members from many of the network shows like Prisoner and Cop Shop dropping in regularly. At times Melissa was so busy Nick and Soula’s sons Angelo and George would pitch in after school or during the school holidays.
43 YEARS YOUNG & MELISSA CONTINUES TO SHINE.
Although Nick and Soula have a less active role in the business today, they are never really too far away. They often pop in for a chat with many of the familiar friendly faces over an aromatic Greek coffee. This warm and welcoming atmosphere is and always has been a much beloved part of Melissa. Many drop in for a smile and chat, to catch up on the news, for an animated discussion, to philosophize about world events, to read in that special sunny spot or to watch the rest of the busy world go by and daydream a little. Nick and Soula always wanted for their customers to feel like very welcome guests in their little Greek café and this is what they've achieved.
Today the business is run by Nick and Soula’s sons George and Angelo. Both brothers have continued the family tradition, cooking all their food frrm natural ingredients and from Greek recipes passed down the generations in traditional Greek style. Additionally, they have retained the friendly, family run atmosphere that customers have come to love and which keeps them coming back.
Today there are several Melissa cafes around Melbourne and each has its own special ambience and style for you to enjoy.
THE SECRET IS OUT......
Rich, aromatic coffee, mouth watering, freshly baked cakes and pastries were the words on peoples lips.
Melissa’s fame however extended beyond its warmth and hospitality and before long the secret was out. Through word of mouth the news spread and it was no longer only the locals or the wide Greek community who were swarming to Melissa.
The rich, aromatic coffee and mouth watering, high quality range of freshly baked cakes and pastries, were enough to have the regulars coming back but something else was creating a real ‘buzz’ .