Emma and Paddy McCarthy love being surrounded by beautiful things. And for the past 18 years that has been a huge incentive for them turning up to work every day at Table Culture where the couple have welcomed a legion of repeat customers while inspiring many a classy dinner party.
Surrounded by exquisite objects that are as functional as they are beautiful, the couple put style, elegance and pure class into entertaining.
Many a local friendship has been forged over their Marimekko serving dishes, Avanti coffee plungers, picnic baskets and Alessi fruit bowls.
And, during their time together on Rokeby Road, they have seen a constant – and colourful – passing parade of neighbours while making friends with their customers. Here they share their love of Subiaco.
Interviewed by Gail Williams.
How did you come to open up a store in Subiaco?
He says: We moved to Perth from Ireland and we wanted do something together. I grew up in retail as this was the family business, and Em had a marketing and business degree. Even then, she had great taste and an amazing sense of style, so we wanted to combine our qualities.
She says: We came across The Dinner Warehouse for sale. I am an interiors tragic, and we both love good design; the location was great, so we decided to buy it and make it our own. We re-branded a year later to Table Culture and completely changed the offering.
How did you meet?
He says: I was travelling around Oz on a tourist visa, and when I came to Perth for a visit, I met and fell in love with Em. Together ever since!
She says: I got dragged out by a friend to the Moon and Sixpence to have drinks with her new Irish boyfriend, who happened to have a friend who was on a working holiday with him. The rest is history.
What is one of the best things about working together as a couple?
He says: We seem to complement each other’ strengths and weaknesses and have identical values.
She says: It has been really rewarding building something together and making it work for our family. After all this time working together, we are so in sync and still manage to have fun at work despite the challenges of running a small business.
What do you love about Subiaco?
He says: We fell in love with Subi from the moment we opened our store. It’s a beautiful, classy but still retains a relaxed and easy going vibe and charm.
She says: Its leafy streets, walkability, beautiful buildings and the community.
Where would we find you winding down in Subiaco on a Friday night?
He says: Bar Amelie, our new neighbour and Cherbino’s is class. Love Juanitas too.
She says: Juanita’s for vino and some parfait, Cherubunio’s because… hello? great interior and wine, Bar Amelie next door for a quick bite and I am a huge Mex fan so I enjoy La Condesa and Lums Wine Bar is also perfect for a cosy wine.
Favourite place in Subiaco?
He says: At the moment, the boys at Community Coffee have built something wonderful.
She says: Table Culture, of course, it’s our second home.