Collingwood’s CIBI food and concept store have expanded both their vision and their premises. Moving into a huge warehouse space adjacent to its previous home of ten years, the new CIBI space allows owners Meg and Zenta Tanaka to further explore their founding philosophy of ‘Head, Hands, Heart’.
Meg and Zenta want this new CIBI space to be used in multiple different ways at once. While the food element will remain much the same (with the addition of several new menu items), the larger environment has allowed Meg and Zenta to expand into a specialty grocery store, offering a range of Japanese and Western pantry staples, Victorian seasonal produce and dairy products as well as sauces, pickles and condiments made by Meg in the CIBI kitchen.
In addition to the pantry and expanded design store, CIBI have also given a new home to two other local small businesses, picture framers United Measures and horticultural experts The Plant Society under their new roof.
With the growing development of Collingwood and Fitzroy galloping forward at a rapid pace, many neighbourhood favourites have been forced to shut their doors or find new locations. It’s heartening to see CIBI move from strength to strength, and firmly putting their roots down as a community hub for years to come!
Hey Meg & Zenta! Can you tell us a little about the background of CIBI and your other business, Minanoie?
Ten years ago, we had a vision to create a space for people to come together, be nourished, inspired and really just enjoy themselves. We are very proud of what we have achieved in a decade. We have made great new friendships, watched families grow, provided plenty of nourishing meals and shared our love for Japanese design through our design store. With CIBI we wanted to create a world that would inspire people to build an enjoyable lifestyle for themselves.
We based our concept on the three fundamental things we enjoy in life – space, food and design. We love to be creative and to share our taste and creativity. Over the years people have started coming from further away to visit us and we often see our CIBI canvas bags popping up all over Melbourne, interstate and even overseas!
We opened Minanoie in 2012 as our food project and it has given us more room to develop our own signature style of cooking.
What prompted you to take this bigger warehouse space, and move CIBI from its original location?
The new CIBI is housed in a warehouse roughly four times larger than the original space, and conveniently right next door! When we found out the lease was available, we saw an opportunity to take our vision for CIBI to the next level. We wanted to expand and create our world in a more versatile space and really showcase what CIBI is about. The 60-year-old warehouse used to be a textile factory and the factory workers were some of our very first customers, so the space already holds a special place in our hearts.
We always had ideas to expand CIBI and to become a community hub, so this was our opportunity.
What can people expect from this new space?
The new CIBI is an expanded version of what we have done before. Our design store has grown with a wider range of Japanese designed homewares. We are also now offering a range of Japanese and Western pantry staples, Victorian seasonal produce and dairy products as well as sauces, pickles and condiments made by Meg in the CIBI kitchen.
We are hoping that it will be a place that people can use in multiple different ways in one day. Someone could stop by for their morning coffee on their way to work, or have a leisurely lunch. On their way home, they could also pick up ingredients for dinner and maybe even buy a special dish to serve it on. With this bigger space we have much more freedom to bring our many ideas to life like offering kids’ activities, workshops, talks, exhibitions and other events that will enrich our community.
Our menu has grown and is full of dishes that articulate our food philosophy – seasonal ingredients, balanced and nourishing meals with a touch of Japanese flavours. It includes recipes that have been developed at Minanoie as well as the CIBI signature recipes. Our traditional Japanese breakfast is also on the menu every day now, not just on weekends.
What other local businesses are sharing the space with you? What is the philosophy behind having multiple creative businesses under the one roof?
Our good friends from The Plant Society and United Measures Picture Framers have also taken up residence in the new CIBI space. We love to be surrounded by creative and inspiring people, so it made sense to bring them into the space. The presence of these other businesses means that CIBI can offer customers an even more varied experience and be a place where they can spend more time enjoying all the different elements on offer.
31-39 Keele Street