The Journey So Far

annie1In 1989 two intrepid young girls, Katrina and Annie decided to expand their small and successful business of The Naturally Good Café. Leaving the security of The Good Earth Health & Surf Shop where the Café had flourished for 5 years, they opened a second café in the newly built Centrepoint Shopping Centre in Bunbury. This Café was The Natural Temptation Café. Following is the story of what shaped Annie Malone to wish to continue with the journey of The Natural Temptation Cafe.

I grew up on a dairy farm at Capel in the South Western corner of West Australia. Cooking, baking and meal times were always a fairly important thing in our household. There was always fresh milk, fresh eggs, plenty of fruit and we had a fantastic wood combustion stove that we all learnt to cook on.
Winter time was for mushroom picking and summer time was for picking mulberries. End of summer was fruit bottling time which we enjoyed eating throughout the rest of the year.

By the time I turned 18, I was slightly obsessed by everything alternate. Self sufficiency and non commercialism were trendy things to be into in the 70’s. At this time I travelled to India to study Yoga for 6 weeks at the Iyengar Yoga Institute in Poona just south of what was then Bombay.

Journeying through India and Kashmir 1977

As southern India is populated predominately by Hindus their religious beliefs stipulate a vegetarian diet. This experience broadened my exposure to different cultural vegetarian cuisines.
On returning to Australia after 2 months travelling India I was happy to be home, although I yearning to travel further. In October 1977 at 19 I brought a kombi van with a friend to travel around Australia. Sounds like a very hippy thing to do I know. I was still trying to discover what I should do with my life. We worked our way across the top of Australia via Darwin and Cairns until six months later stopped at the Gold Coast. During this time I worked mostly in the hospitality industry gaining valuable experience and enjoying it immensely. By 1978 I had travelled to Tasmania where I stayed for 6 months. It was while I was in Tasmania that I began collecting recipes from all sorts of weird earthy books. I delved into Macrobiotic cooking, learnt all about the whole yin yang philosophy, went on juice fasts and did strange things such as cutting out certain foods from my diet to see how I felt. I spent a lot of time in the Burnie Library handwriting recipes, many of which I still have.

Travelling around Australia + Queensland 1978

At 21 and feeling like I had travelled the world, well a small part of it, I returned to Western Australia to settle down as one does. I worked and studied art and textiles and somewhere along the way got married to Michael Malone. Mick was the friend I had travelled to India with and he was great to cook for as he had travelled extensively and loved unusual foods.

Marrying Michael Malone 1982

When I was 28 I met Katrina, partner to Gerry Bogdanoff who owned Bunbury’s first health and surf shop. Going to Gerry’s shop, The Good Earth, was an institution to any serious alternate lifestyler in our town. Katrina and I became friends and started in business together running the small café in Gerry’s Good Earth Health Food & Surf shop. We called our café The Naturally Good Café and sold vegetarian hot bakes, Lebanese rolls, fresh juices and smoothies. Even though I have always enjoyed cooking, I owe most of what I learnt about commercial food preparation to Katrina. In those early days I followed her lead and learnt how to present foods that enticed customers to come back. Our customers then were very much health food buffs so it was a wonderful opportunity to test all our skills in using unusual products.

Annie, Katrina and Cheryl 1989 / Early days at Natural Temptation Cafe 1996 /Annie, Kim, Cliff Young (Ultra distance runner), Phuong /Annie 1997

In 1989 the opportunity presented itself to open another café in the newly built shopping centre in the centre of Bunbury. Although shopping centres were never our preferred places, we decided to take the plunge and go with the idea and maybe sell the business after 2 years. We were much busier than we thought we would ever be and after 12 months we split the two businesses with myself buying Natural Temptation and Katrina remaining at The Naturally Good Café in Good Earth.

Since that time Natural Temptation has grown from a 30 seat café to an 80 seat café. We have had many fantastic staff come and go and leave their flavour on the recipes. They too have shaped the character of Natural Temptation each in their own way.

The café has produced two cookbooks sharing their popular recipes. In 1997 Donna Mazza combind her talents and enthusiasm with mine to create “First Temptation” Donna was an employee at the café at the time as well as completing an English degree. Her writing skills and creativity were invaluable. In 2007 I completed a second cookbook “More Temtpations” due to the many customers requests. Both of these cookbooks are on sale at the café.

Annie 1998 & Donna 1998 Co-autor of “First Temptation”

I sincerely thank all our loyal customers who have always supported and made running Natural Temptation so enjoyable. Customer enthusiasm for our philosophy on food continues to inspire me and drives me to continue The Natural Temptation Journey.