Ikigai (生き甲斐) is a Japanese concept which roughly means "a reason for being". It can be thought of as a formula for happiness and meaning.


The idea to open a cafe' came about in 2017. We had just returned home from our fourth snow season in the beautiful village of Hakuba, Japan. Having just signed documents to buy a ski lodge, we were excited to go into business for ourselves with some very close friends. After a series of events, the sale fell through (Don’t worry, we’ll still buy a small place just out of Hakuba).

We still had the drive to start our own business and being employed in the hospitality industry for quite some time, we began investigating the process of buying an established coffee business. By talking to the right people at the right time, we were offered tenancy in a development site at Lightsview. We accepted and our plans for the cafe have been developing ever since.

We have grown a lot over the last few years, we became aware of and really started to embrace a healthier lifestyle. It was in 2018 that we really started opening our minds to the problems arising from over-consumption. When you throw something away, think. There is no ‘away’! Burying our waste in the earth, our home, just doesn't seem right. We began to be more mindful of what we were consuming and how we were disposing of it. We were putting our partly-filled rubbish bin out every 4 or 5 weeks. We built a compost pile with recycled pallets, got some poultry and grew some veggies. It started feeling pretty good! 

Working in a small cafe, we see how much "waste" goes to landfill each year and it kills us! There are businesses out there who have processes in place to minimize their impact. We appreciate their effort, keep it up. But the industry has to change. So, we made a commitment to be Adelaide's first zero-waste cafe. Zero-waste meaning that we will not contribute in any way to items going to landfill.

We believe in and want to support a circular economy. We only work with suppliers who share this vision. We encourage customers to bring their own reusable cups, mugs and containers. Everything used at Ikigai is, at the very least, fully recyclable. We separate scraps into Chook feed, home Compost and commercial Compost. If you want some, get in contact!

We believe health is more than what you eat. We value a healthy, balanced life full of joy and love. We value a healthy, sustainable planet for all to enjoy. We want to share our values and create a happy, healthy space to do this in. We believe Ikigai Coffee Shop and Conscious Eatery is our Ikigai and we want to share it with you.