My Itinerary

In good company: Ellie Mays

For over 30 years, Ellie Mays on York has been serving up quality dishes for hungry diners in a relaxed and welcoming cafe setting.

This iconic Launceston eatery is famous for its fluffy hot jacket potatoes, fresh salads and delectable cakes.

Owner Tiffany Truong takes pride in offering the classic dishes that her customers know and love, sourcing much of her produce from local suppliers.

“Our potatoes and salad bar are most popular, and we also have nice sandwiches, rolls and very nice coffee,” she says. “A few customers say it’s the best coffee in town.”

Tiffany moved to Australia from Vietnam in 2019. She came to study a Master’s of Architecture at the University of Tasmania, but soon found her true calling in the culinary industry.

"I worked at Saigon Kitchen for two years, as well as other local shops and restaurants, which gave me around three years of experience in hospitality,” Tiffany says. “I love making cakes and coffee, and cooking in the kitchen.”

Feeling more confident in her culinary skills, Tiffany started looking opportunities to run a café of her own.

“I thought that Ellie Mays was a really nice place and location, with lots of people travelling around, so I went ahead with the agent and bought the business.”

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Since taking over, Tiffany has introduced some new flavours to the menu to cater for a greater diversity of taste palates. Banh mi and Vietnamese-inspired coffee (both hot and iced) are now available to order alongside the staple spuds and salads.

Not familiar with Vietnamese coffee? The key difference is that it’s made with condensed milk. It’s also brewed with a drip tool in the authentic style – however, Tiffany explains that her team uses the coffee machine to take care of this part.

“So coffee is half-traditional,” she laughs.

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Tiffany speaks highly of her team of six, which includes Mihalis, a seasoned chef who joined Ellie Mays over a decade ago.

“He makes very nice salads and Greek lasagne, pastitsio, from his own recipe,” Tiffany says.

Pastitsio and moussaka (another lasagne-like dish made with potato) are among the best comfort food you’ll ever eat, with a vegetarian option available at Ellie Mays too. Tiffany says that one loyal customer adores Mihalis’ moussaka and orders it every visit.

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Alongside the quality food, it’s the warm atmosphere and excellent service at Ellie Mays that keep customers coming back.

“I try to build a friendly environment for customers and the staff as well,” Tiffany says. “I love serving nice food and nice coffee and making customers happy. When I get feedback like, ‘Oh your food is so nice,’ I’m happy with that.

“One couple told me they’ve been regulars from the beginning and are really nice to me. They encourage me and say, ‘Tiffany, well done.’”

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For Tiffany, there’s nowhere better than Launceston to build a life and run a business.

“I lived in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, which is a busy place with lots of people, traffic jams and chaos on the street. That’s why I moved here and continued to live here after I finished my course. I like Launceston because it’s peaceful."

“I like travelling, but I made the decision to stay here because it’s comfortable and there’s beautiful landscape around.”

Tiffany still enjoys eating at Saigon Kitchen and stays connected with friend Nancy, who owns Cake O’Clock in the Quadrant Mall.

In her free time, Tiffany loves to spend time at the Gorge. “I like to sit down there, have a coffee and walk around. It’s beautiful.”

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Ellie Mays on York offers a delightful dining experience for city workers, shoppers, families, and visitors to Launceston. Pop in between Monday and Saturday for a satisfying brekky, brunch or lunch.

📍 Find Ellie Mays on York at 99 York Street, Launceston

A note on In good company...

In good company is a series of interviews undertaken with local small business owners and their employees to help the public learn more about their favourite Launnie businesses, how they came to be and what drives them. They're usually posted to our social media first, and those posts will always be linked so that you can share them if you'd like to. So settle in and scroll on to hear tales from beyond the counter, and maybe even discover somewhere completely new... Wherever these interviews lead you, we're sure you'll find yourself In good company.

- The Launceston Central team

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