Who are you?
My name is Gloria Ruvinov, owner of my baby of 15 years, Zanders cafe.
What is your business?
A local cafe that specialises in coffee, grab-and-go food, all-day breakfast and lunch.
Why did you open a cafe?
My dream was always to open a cafe and build a wonderful customer base in my community. Fifteen years ago, the opportunity popped up in Keiraville just when the coffee market started. The perfect corner space in a growing village where I knew the suburb would only grow.
What’s a dish that you make that best sums up your venue and why?
There are too many favourites to list, but my amazing chef Jasna has weekly yummy dishes she makes. Some of these are our house-made baklava and quiches, and handmade burek and gozleme. Our most popular menu items are our smashed avo, brekkie stack and big breakfast. For our sweet tooth, the brioche French toast with salted caramel sauce is a winner.
I would have to say Italian. (Pasta is my weakness.)
An ingredient you can’t live without?
Chilli flakes and pepper.
Where do you dine out in the Illawarra for comfort food?
There are so many fabulous venues in Wollongong. One of my favourites would have to be K.malu Kitchen and Bar – the staff and food represent comfort. Kneading Ruby is another favourite. And, of course, the childhood favourite, Pizza Napoli.
Where do you dine out for special occasions?
K.Malu Kitchen and Bar and Debutante.
What’s your go-to for coffee?
Zanders, of course. Vittoria coffee is my absolute favourite.
Where would you take out-of-town visitors to show off the best of the Illawarra region?
Our beautiful beaches and dine in the Harbourfront restaurant.
Where are you excited to eat next?
K.Malu, of course.
What do you wish people understood about your job?
The sweat that goes on behind closed doors, the ordering, the social media, keeping staff happy, keeping customers happy, constantly looking for new ideas and forward-thinking. If I’m not always smiling, my mind is thinking of my next job.
Zanders cafe is open Monday to Friday, 6:30 am to 2:30 pm, closes 2 pm on school holidays, Saturday and Sunday 7 am to 2 pm at Shop 1, 215-217 Gipps Road, Keiraville. Visit Zanders on Facebook and Instagram for more information.