The Wayward Henrys take over the pans at Peppertown Cafe and amp up the venue's live music offering

NATALIE and Brock Henry’s alt country band The Wayward Henrys started casually enough, beginning with busking to their now fan-driven, regular tours.

The couple’s decision to become the owners of veteran Mayfield East business Peppertown Cafe was similarly ad hoc. 

Regular customers of the cafe as Mayfield residents, the pair happened to be there in November last year when then the owner mentioned he was keen to sell. 

“He said he had someone coming to look at it, we said we might be interested, and then it happened quickly,” says Mrs Brock.

The 35-year-old learnt her baking and cooking skills from her late grandmother Beryl but says the first five weeks in business were a massive learning curve.

Change of tune: Natalie and Brock Henry are the new owners of Peppertown Cafe, which hosts live music sessions. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers.

Change of tune: Natalie and Brock Henry are the new owners of Peppertown Cafe, which hosts live music sessions. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers.

“Prior I’d worked in restaurants but until now I’d never absorbed the stress of hospitality,” she admits.

Juggling the Wayward Henrys’ schedule with that as a mum to three young girls, Mrs Henry is enjoying the new life phase.

“It’s hard but I love to do something new, I like learning and to improve,” she says. 

Serving locally roasted Remedy coffee, she and her husband have made subtle changes to the menu, introducing “less manly”, healthier options that align with her vegetarian palate. 

Beyond food, the couple’s favourite part of trade is Peppertown Jam, an open mike night that runs at the cafe on the first and third Wednesday of the month with the likes of Catherine Britt and William Crighton among those taking part. 

“The response to it has been crazy great, so far we’ve had a choir, a poet, a rapper and a lot of country, of course,” she says. 

On Saturday and Sunday, the cafe also has lives acts between 11am-1pm.

A keen music lover, Mrs Brock’s interest in music was nurtured when she worked in hair and make-up in the music industry. 

Grizzly at being saddled with home duties as Brock was strumming his guitar, she learnt to play and then, she laughs, returned fire: “I’d say ‘hey, can you do this, I’ve got to learn this song!”  

Peppertown Cafe is on Facebook and Instagram. 

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