Hummingbird Bakery – Breaking The Rules

The Hummingbird Bakery and Cafe

At the eleventh hour we were commissioned to design the brand new Hummingbird Bakery and Cafe at Capri On Via Roma on the Isle of Capri on the Gold Coast. The central area building of Capri On Via Roma is a cavernous high space and the brief was to create a kiosk that sold freshly baked bread and wholesome fresh cafe meals.

Hummingbird Bakery & Cafe Capri On Via Roma

Break Neck Speed

The goal was to have the project up and running and open before Christmas. With so little time and with the Client’s having never opened up a retail food business before we had to get the Client up to speed and also ensure that we met lead times including equipment, furniture and Council approvals.

Breaking The Rules

Additionally, because the market hall was a huge open space we felt that a traditional kiosk style offering would be lost and not have much ‘presence’. Understanding the Centre’s strict guidelines, the Client’s were guided by our recommendations, and we proceeded to provide a design concept that broke all the rules regarding to shopping centre kiosk heights. Surprisingly the gamble paid off. The shopping centre loved what we had come up with as did the Client and understood the reasons for what we had done.

Hummingbird Bakery & Cafe Capri On Via Roma
Artist impression of the Hummingbird Bakery Cafe that is soon to open at Capri On Via Roma on the Isle of Capri on the sunny God Coast

Creating Presence

Shopping centre guidelines are all about creating harmony within the shopping centre’s spaces. Harmony in ensuring that everything that is placed in their spaces work well together. Additionally, sight lines are very important, especially for tenancies which are kiosks that can potentially block sight lines to in line stores.

Being Sympathetic

It is important to strike a balance in everything that you do. Designing a new business in a shopping centre is no different. Striking a balance where the shopping centre, client and adjacent tenancies are all satisfied can be a balancing act! Not to mention ensuring that all Council, health, building and disabled access codes are also complied with.

Hummingbird Bakery & Cafe Capri On Via Roma

Striking The Balance

It is a great feeling when everything aligns, where you can go out on a limb with an idea and still manage to find that middle ground where everyone is happy. With Hummingbird, it was imperative that the business had ‘presence’ and character and not upset the apple cart at the same time. To create ‘presence’ we utilised the vertical space but in a way that allowed sight lines to be maintained as much as possible. Full height wall were minimised. Timber structures, awnings and shelves create a monolithic transparent presence that defined the area.

Creating Intimacy

Another challenge was how to create intimate spaces where diners could sit and not feel like they were sitting in a massive ‘mess hall’. We did this through cleverly defining areas with ‘fences’ that didn’t visually ‘block’ the area. By creating visual boundaries that nonetheless didn’t block sight lines we were able to create a sense of intimacy. This was further defined by a timber pergola system that created the sense of outdoors with hanging plants and planters.

Hummingbird Bakery & Cafe Capri On Via Roma

Things Are Humming Along

Things are at a stage now that fitout will soon start. It will be touch and go if it will open just before Christmas. However, we feel good in the knowledge that we had gone that extra mile both in service, putting in some much more time in the project in a very short period of time, working so much overtime and thinking more about it rather than ‘rushing’ the project just to get it done.


We were very pleased to receive a testimonial from our Clients who will be opening Hummingbird.

Below is the testimonial.

Thank you David for your assistance in translating words and ideas into reality.

We are happy to share with others considering working with David Cuschieri what out experience with David has been like.

Good design gets function correct and then builds an attractive or appropriate form around it. All sorts of problems occur when you put form before function, where it looks good but doesn’t function well. David has the knowledge’ skill and attitude to deliver a complete project.

There are always limitations to what can be done. David was able to not just meet the requirements but push beyond the limits and get approval for innovations that would best serve the end customer but had not been accepted by previous tenants. The result of this we have ended up with a design that is unique, soft and inviting in a space that could be anything but that.

A significant factor of working with David is what didn’t happen. Normally there are all sorts of headaches and communication challenges that were not present in working with David. His attention to detail is very focused. It reminds us of the quote “if you think working with true professionals is expensive wait till you pay the price of working with amateurs” and “the bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of a low price is forgotten”. That being said we didn’t have an unlimited budget and David was able to leverage maximum impact and presence with a set budget. He went over and beyond to deliver a great result.

David would also push back to protect the integrity of the project. So he is able to see both the big picture as well as how all the detail fits into that context. His logic and rational to justify choices made us very comfortable to trust his judgement. At the same time through the project we were able to bring some solid suggestions which were welcomed and included.

Integrity to us is simply being able to say something and then follow it through and do it. David has a high level of integrity. He has done the hard yards over the years to develop the skills to deliver great resulted.

Thank you David for everything.

Kind Regards
Bianca and David
Hummingbird Bakery Cafe
Capri on Via Roma,
Isle of Capri, Gold Coast

Working With Professionals

If you are looking to open up your next shop or food business, make sure you speak with us first. As the testimonial above from our Client says, “if you think working with true professionals is expensive wait till you pay the price of working with amateurs”. We pride ourselves on giving the best quality service and design that is out of the box. Feel free to contact us with your next project.

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