International Michelin Star restaurateurs become owners of piece of South Perth history

New owners of the Millpoint Caffe Bookshop in South Perth L-R: Fabio Colantoni (Chef), Veronica Arancio (Manager) and Giusy Arcadu (Manager and Pastry Chef). Photo: David Baylis
New owners of the Millpoint Caffe Bookshop in South Perth L-R: Fabio Colantoni (Chef), Veronica Arancio (Manager) and Giusy Arcadu (Manager and Pastry Chef). Photo: David Baylis

A HISTORIC cafe and bookshop in South Perth, once the home of renowned WA author T.AG. Hungerford, has new owners hailing from international Michelin star restaurants.

The Millpoint Caffe Bookshop was sold earlier this year and is now owned by three Italian friends who reconnected by chance in Perth.

Chef Fabio Colantoni (Joondalup), manager Veronica Arancio (Bayswater), and manager and pastry chef Giusy Arcadu (Joondalup) took over the Millpoint Road business in July after a quick settlement.

Ms Arancio said the trio had extensive hospitality experience and knew each other from Italy before meeting in London and reconnecting in Perth five years ago.

“Over the years Fabio and Giusy worked in the best restaurants around the world and some of their amazing experience comes from working in a two star Michelin restaurant in Italy, as well as very well known restaurants in London and France,” she said.

“I am from a different background … my family owned a supermarket from the time I was seven years old and after working hard for my family business, I opened my own supermarket at the age of 24.

“I had a cafe inside the supermarket two years later and I was turning over six million euros between the two businesses.”

After they re-met in Perth, working for different restaurants, Ms Arancio saw buying the Millpoint Road venue as an opportunity to “rescue a piece of history in South Perth” and work with her friends.

“It is a unique place that has the power to let people feel at home because of its history and the perfect combination of good books and great food,” she said.

“The cafe menu offers old favourites, as well as some new dishes reflecting our Italian heritage.

“Giusy has been baking tiramisu and panna cotta, which have been very popular with our customers.

“The atmosphere in the cafe is friendly and homely.”

The cafe and bookshop has been a local fixture for at least two decades and was owned by TA.G. Hungerford’s parents who originally ran a corner store from the property.

Mr Hungerford’s experience living on Millpoint Road was so memorable it was the basis of his book Stories from Suburban Road, which Ms Arancio said was still a popular choice among local readers.