Alberta’s is an intimate, 32-seat kitchen shop tucked down an alley on Queen Street.

Originally a Blacksmith built over 100 years ago, it has high ceilings and old brick walls. Renovations have resulted in a light and bright space, with crisp white paint, white beamed ceilings, natural wood features around the counter and messmate tables and chairs.

Upon walking in there is an immediate sense of warmth and calm.

Ben Ing and Kirsty Marchant own and run Alberta's Busselton. Credit Josh Ball Images.

“We funded, designed and sourced everything together. We did as much as we could ourselves but called in help from professionals when it came to anything that was structural or health and safety related,” says Ben Ing, who together with his partner Kirsty Marchant own and run Alberta’s.

Ing was previously head chef and Perth-born Marchant was head gardener at Noma, the three-Michelin starred Nordic restaurant which has won best restaurant in the world in the ‘World’s Top 50’, a staggering five times.

Kirsty Marchant runs the front of house at Alberta's Busselton. Credit Josh Ball Images.

Their vision for Alberta’s is to grow sustainably, and execute each part of the business to the best of their abilities before taking another step, their time at Noma obviously imprinting a work ethic that strives towards perfectionism.

Currently open for breakfast Thursday to Sunday, the blackboard menu features a tight edit of thoughtful offerings.

Each dish is produce-driven and Canadian-born Ing says he’s impressed with the farmers in the region. “The soil, the cold weather, and care that goes into the ground produces unbelievable produce coming out. And that goes for animals as well, if they eat well, we eat well,” he says.

Sweet dish at Alberta's Busselton. Credit Josh Ball Images.

Don’t expect a typical breakfast menu at Alberta’s, but the plates reflect how the couple like to start their day.

“Delicious single origin coffees, vibrant thoughtful teas, cups of broth and good quality cheese, butter and bread are things we hang out for in the mornings,” says Marchant.

They use WA’s Five Senses single origin coffee, Ripple Effect Tea from Cowaramup, Cambray Cheese from Nannup, and source fresh produce from a number of local growers. “We then have sweeter dishes that are based around produce too and are all full of flavour,” Marchant says.

On any given visit, there could be whisky baba, classic tarte tatin, Streusel cake, lime bars or cookies to satisfy the sweet tooth.

“The dishes are smaller so we can highlight the produce well – if people are hungry, they can then eat everything and if not, then they can have a snack. We don’t leave space for any dishes that aren’t amazing,” says Marchant. “We have some staples that we keep on the menu like the morning bun which Ben bakes in house each morning and our cups of broths which our guests have really embraced.

“The morning bun and the broths are on the menu each day, but we do make changes to ingredients, so they also could be different each visit,” says Marchant. “Everything else comes and goes and we tend to sell out quite regularly, so I think our guests understand that what we have each day or the changes that we make are around the season we are in and what is good now.”

Ben Ing & Kirsty Marchant at Alberta's Busselton. Credit Josh Ball Images

So why Busselton and why Alberta’s?

“Alberta’s is a name that we both loved and also a province in Canada – we wanted to keep the space human so we gave it a human name that we love,” says Marchant.

The couple moved to Yallingup in late 2020 and have taken their time to get to know farmers and local producers before deciding on their next move. When they found the shop in Busselton, it was the proximity to the producers in the region that led them to signing the lease.

Marchant says that they are going to play around with services and opening hours throughout the year. “The current plan is to add a lunch or two into our week as well as use the space for special or private events.”

For now they are content to grow at a pace that works for them and their guests, changing with the seasons, with their lifestyle, and maintaining a work-life balance for everyone in the small team of five.

It sounds like the perfect recipe for success.

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