My Place

Meto Yalniz, and his dog Floki. Photo by (Damjan Janevski) 376868_08

Meto Yalniz is the owner of the iconic Big Apple Cafe at the entrance to Bacchus Marsh. Meto spoke to Star Weekly about the trials and successes of following his dreams to Australia.

Tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Meto Yalniz, I was born in a small village in Kurdistan.

Growing up in the beautiful mountains, I was surrounded by strong community and culture.

We lived a very simple life, making our own food and living with the seasons.

It was a hard, but beautiful life. When I was 19 I did my military obligations in the Turkish army. After that, I moved to a small village in Turkey where I lived a peaceful life next to the beach with my dog Pancho.

It was there I met my partner Jodie in 2010 who is Australian.

I decided to change my life and move to Australia.

When I came to Australia, the first 2 years were very hard, adapting to a very different culture. My English was not good and I didn’t know anyone, but I knew I always wanted to experience the world and follow my dreams.

Tell us about Big Apple Cafe?

I have always had one dream to own a cafe, so Jodi and I bought the Big Apple Cafe in 2020. Owning a business has had many challenges, with COVID happening three months after buying the business. Then, the cafe was broken into, and I was attacked with a hammer and spent time in hospital.

But, I have never felt lonely. The Bacchus Marsh community has always supported me and been very kind.

I have met so many people and interesting characters and have made so many friends.

I like to answer people’s questions about my history and I also like to learn about theirs.

I love to communicate and connect with different people. Everyone is welcome.

The cafe has a very relaxed atmosphere, and many customers love to enjoy the music and fire in the garden. We serve homemade Turkish food and sweets as well as soups, lasagne, borek plus many other options. I have tried to add some of my culture to the cafe, to share a bit of myself with the Bacchus Marsh community. We have an Artisan Market every third weekend of the month, where people sell art and other handmade items. It’s a beautiful day that supports local artists and brings the community together.

What do you like about where you live?

The things I like about Bacchus Marsh are that it is a small community and it is surrounded by nature. I like to spend time with my dog Floki where we go on many beautiful walks. Bacchus Marsh has everything I need.

Where is your favourite local place to spend time?

My favourite place is anywhere near water, and there are many places to enjoy in Bacchus Marsh.