Thai Take on Providore


Amy Chanta came to Australia with $300 in her pocket and the dream of a  better life for her 2 small children. Fast forward around 30 years and her story is the epitome of 'migrant makes good' achieved through hard work, persistence and serving up damn good Thai food.

I first stumbled across Amy's food in her Haymarket Chat Thai cafe which, at the time, caught my eye for a variety of reasons whilst wandering through Sydney's Chinatown  ... a queue on the street waiting for a table, a modern yellow logo on the shop front, an open kitchen with well presented staff cooking fresh food to order.  It was a stand out from the tired, traditional, slightly jaded and faded outlets in the neighbourhood.

Boon Cafe is her most recent venture albeit around 12 months old.  It combines Asian grocery with a cafe that offers a Thai twist on 'all day cafe' fare. For readers who know Sourced Grocer in Brisbane, Boon Cafe is pretty much the Thai/Asian version when it comes to the format.

I've visited plenty of Asian grocery shops around the country but have not seen anything like Boon with its 'now' design and cafe inclusion.  There is a cool room abundant with fresh Asian herbs, fruits and vegetables ... dragonfruit, banana blossom, tiny Thai eggplant, fresh ginger and tumeric, pre-packed fresh ingredients to make your own Tom Yum soup etc.  If you're not with me, it's sort of the equivalent of a cheese room in a European style deli if you like.

Open 7am to midnight, my experience was an early evening casual bite after a working day but I'm curious to find out more, so Boon is on my list for breakfast or lunch next time I'm in Sydney as there is plenty on the Thai inspired "modern cafe" hybrid menu that seems worthy of a tasting trip.

#PODfinds   @boon_cafe #booncafe #jarernthaigrocer

Jarern Thai Asian Grocer and Boon Cafe, 425 Pitt Street, Sydney 

Colouring Craze Happening Here?

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I couldn't help but think this rather striking hoarding for a Sumo Salad Green Label store, currently under construction in The Galeries, is tapping into the Colouring Books for Adults craze that took off like a rocket last year. I have no idea if this is Sumo's inspiration or not, either way I like it!

@SumoSalad @thegaleries 500 George Street Sydney #GreenLabel #tasteofsumo  #PODfinds

Hoarding Sumo Salad VM

Gift Wrapped


Love the simplicity of Kate Spade's latest window for Valentines Day.  The over scaled silver bows headpiece caught my eye as I walked by yesterday.

@katespade as seen @westfieldsyd #katespade #WestfieldSydney #PODfinds

Kate Spade VM Fashion

Welcome Statement


This entry statement is so cute and inviting I just want to knock on the door and and see what's inside. How about you?

You can find this craft studio in the increasingly cool Austin, Texas, USA.  #PODfinds  Image via their Instagram @thepapercraftpantry 


26 January – Australia Day


A couple of big hearted Brisbane lads have just been named Young Australian's of the Year for their free mobile laundry service for the homeless.

Freshly laundered clothes and linen delivered with true Aussie spirit made me think of another pair of Brisbane friends, Susie Everingham + Liz Watson.

Whilst Orange Sky Laundry is a charity, and a completely different kettle of fish to these young home wares designers, I thought they deserved a shout out on our National Day for their patriotic product range. Beautiful, simple screen printed tea towels and stationery featuring prawns, pineapples and Aussie paddock icons sit along side bush scented soaps and blackboards that make you smile. Made in Brisbane, Everingham + Watson's pared-back lifestyle products should make us want to advance their Australia fare.

Australians all let us rejoice for the selflessness of Orange Sky Laundry and the style of Everingham + Watson. Images with thanks via E+W web site.




POD_Everingham & Watson

Thin Blue Lines

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Regular readers will know I have a hankering for ceramic drawings (or hand drawn ceramics) having featured the work of UK ceramicist, Katharine Morling, in a previous post. The domestic simplicity of Swedish artist Marianne Hallberg's object topic has a charm all of its own. I would love a brief that allowed me to use her work in a cafe design (oh for a budget that includes an artist!). The tea towel is my favourite piece.


Images via &

Log in


The new look Flawless Flowers makes coming up with a design concept look as easy as falling off a log.

Located in what is fundamentally a very basic tin shed, the fit out is rustic, raw and relevant. Rough hewn logs of all sizes and a back drop of black cool room is about it.  The product does 99% of the work.

You can find this visual floral feast at Melbourne's Prahran Market ... you can't miss it!


@flawlessflowersprahranmarket #flawlessflowers

What’s your story?


POD works with retailers to help them define and tell their story through store design, display and communications.  Does anyone know the original source to this favourite quote of mine?  #PODfinds

VM Other

Chase the Sun


As we kick off a new working year I thought I would share a couple of favourite VM projects from 2015. Indulge in a moment of reflection before heading full speed into 2016!

Our challenge for this rather stunning summer fashion campaign was to find an elegant way to showcase a series of wide landscape shots whilst at the same time keeping sight lines to shopfronts 'top of mind' and ensuring the scale was in keeping with the mall.

A pared back palette of marine rope, custom designed 2.4m high white washed ply frames, fisherman's baskets and sea grasses, relaxed chairs and magazine tables came together beautifully for Indooroopilly Shopping Centre's summer magazine promotion.

Thanks again to our client Natalie Kussrow for the opportunity to work with these rather striking images and to POD peeps, Sarah Bowe and Melissa James for their beautiful attention to detail as always (and digging deep to recall their 'Scouting Knots' learn't at 'Brownies').

Concept creative, design, procurement and installation by POD.  #PODfinds

When is a Deli not a Deli?


When is a Deli not a Deli?  When it's a fake Deli!  I must admit to being just a tad inspired by Karl Largerfeld for my other favourite POD VM project reflection for the year that has just gone.

Located within a new fresh food market at Hyperdome Shopping Centre, POD was engaged to turn a vacant tenancy into a temporary space that had to endure for up to 6 months. The brief was that it needed to reflect the contemporary industrial mall architecture and be relevant to market environment; be approachable yet impressive; durable and safe (you know the drill); a dwell space for customers to enjoy ... to sit and read a magazine or make a shopping list, have a coffee or let the kids play.

Located in a high traffic area, just inside a new entry door to The Market Room, and opposite a large Fruit & Vegetable kiosk that oozed colour and character, POD created a 'Deli' space that was "colourful enough" to compete with the fruit and vegetable displays so that it too got noticed; that was interesting and inviting; and promoted The Market Room brand at every touch point.

From a logistics perspective, three very large pallets of tins took three very dedicated POD peeps just on three days to transform them into The Market Room olives, tomatoes, coffee beans, pasta, gourmet sea salt, preserved lemons and more. The final effect was worth the miles and miles of double sided tape (and somewhat monotonous process) to stock the pop up 'shop' space!

Three mini 'counters' for small children to "play shop", whilst 'big people' enjoyed a coffee at the communal tables, were themed as Hipsta Florista, Bambini Bakery and Market Cafe.  These super cute carts gave kids the chance to make their own 'babycinos' and whip up all sorts of goodies in the bakery or water the flower pots.  As a connecting message to the long established existing centre, POD peeps designed and delivered 6 contemporary carts merchandised with various food or floral themes to showcase the new retailers and their produce,  a 'story of taste temptations' if you like, as the lead in from the old mall to the new.

Creative concept, design, graphics, procurement and installation all by POD with special thanks to my Brisbane based VM, the talented Sarah Bowe, and our super client, Hayley Coote.


The Market Room VM