With a sunny corner spot on Dava Drive, Dreamer is a coastal cafe where community reigns supreme. On any given day, you'll find locals milling with their dogs under the terracotta striped awning, dropping by for an acai bowl and spiced cacao, or grabbing a chicken toastie and takeaway coffee before heading to one of Mornington's famous bay beaches.
The cafe is a family-run operation by husband-and-wife Ben and Melisa Rosenberg, who made the sea change to Mount Martha post covid. From the slick set-up, you can tell these two are no strangers to the industry. Pre-Dreamer, Ben was opening venues in New York for the team at Bluestone Lane, before going on to open a cafe in St Kilda and a restaurant in Prahran. Meanwhile, Melisa was back home building an organic cereal brand that ended up on shelves – and in bowls – at some of Melbourne's best cafes.
The pair were on vacation in Barcelona when the concept came to them. They often holidayed with Ben's family on the Mornington Peninsula, and envisioned a venue that felt like a summer vacay all year round. A little bit Barcelona, a little bit Bali, a little bit Byron Bay – Dreamer is a nod to their favourite beachside destinations.
Inside, there's a chic fit-out by interior designer Nicole Rosenberg, featuring an earthy colour palette, huge wooden bi-folds, a fluted timber bar, and lush greenery snaking around the retail area. Locally-made Drifter Coastal Hangings adorn the walls, with seagrass pendants and a 70's-inspired playlist completing the laidback scene. You can slide into a window seat or park yourself at the concrete communal table to be amongst the action.
A wholesome all-day breaky menu includes local paleo granola, nourishing porridge, and classic avocado and mushroom toasts piled with whipped goat's cheese and microgreens. A smoked salmon bowl with capers and pickled cucumber is seriously satisfying, or you can opt for the chopped salad for an extra dose of goodness. Ben's Mum is also known to drop in and make the soup, drawing from a secret stash of family recipes.
Here, dietaries are considered and well-catered for, with a stack of gluten-free and vegan options available. Kids can tuck into dippy eggs and soldiers or take a Dreamer packed lunch box to the park directly opposite. There are even free doggy treats at the counter for four-legged friends.
A custom terracotta La Marzocco espresso machine brews locally-roasted beans by Commonfolk, with a single-origin batch brew on daily rotation. Sweets and pastries are by Penny for Pound and Little Bertha, with cold-pressed juices and smoothies available all year round.
Round the corner, and you’ll find the freshly minted (and aptly named) Dreamer Next Door. As the latest addition to the Dreamer family, the space serves as a general store come gift shop. Timber shelves are stocked with locally-made homewares and elevated pantry staples, including Loco Love Chocolates from Byron Bay, Leif botanical products, and Tuck Shop sauces from Melbourne. There are even old-school milkshakes and grab-n-go snacks to fill hungry bellies as you browse.
Whilst the café's vibe feels equal parts nostalgic and transportive, Ben and Melisa are present and community-minded. Each month, 1% of coffee sales are donated to Living Culture, a not-for-profit organisation providing educational programs on the indigenous heritage of the Boon Wurrung / Bunurong land on which the café stands.
You can cruise on into Dreamer any day of the week, with the doors open from 6:30am Monday-Friday and 7:30am on weekends.