Cake Walk

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Cake Walk

By Vidi Chandra

Iconic Acland St cake shop Monarch can celebrate an amazing 80 years in business with another very special event.

The unnamed art filled lane that runs beside and behind the cake shop is in the final stages of public consultation before it gets its official title ‘Monarch Lane’.

The owner of Monarch Cakes Nikki Laski says “Monarch is a destination for tourists, it’s a part of the community here”. So much so that when Nikki put a petition for the name change on the counter of her shop she garnered nearly 400 signatures in one weekend.

Famous for its chocolate kooglhoupf, Monarch is one of the few remaining businesses that represent the original Acland St shopping strip and bayside culture that has made St Kilda a destination for so many years.

The shop itself is charming and well preserved. Once you step inside you are surrounded by an authentic European cake shop experience with all cakes made using fine ingredients and traditional recipes. No wonder it has stood the test of time.

The New York Times featured Monarch Cakes as a ‘must visit’ destination when in Melbourne, where it was noted as one of the four best food experiences in its 13 highlights of the city.

The renaming of the lane way is a recognition of the integral part the cake shop plays in the fabric of local culture and its significance to the ongoing local economy.

It also recognises that the lane way with its beautiful street art is part of the growing trend in Melbourne to embrace the graffiti filled lanes and celebrate this expressive and ever changing art form.

The lane way has been referred to by local council as ‘Monarch Lane’ unofficially for some time and the battle to rename it has required exemption from the rule against naming streets after commercial enterprises.

Nikki is very pleased that the council have been so supportive in pushing for the name change and that they recognise the importance of the shop to the local community. She commends them for seeing that Monarch is more than a “commercial enterprise” in this case.

Council see the name change as fitting in with its objectives as outlined in the Council Plan 2013 – 2017 which is “to encourage viable, vibrant villages by maintaining and improving local village feel and streetscapes as vibrant places for all. They also recognise and support tourism as an integral component of the local economy.”

Deputy Mayor and Catani ward councillor Serge Thomann agreed, saying the cake shop “must be the most iconic business in Acland St”.

“I think it will be quite fitting that the lane is given a proper name, especially in the year of Monarch’s 80th birthday,” Cr Thomann said.



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