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Bean In The Woods: A family café with a whole lot of heart

Located in the heart of Ringwood, Bean In The Woods is a popular brunch place among the locals – serving breakfast, coffee and an extensive range of menu items. We recently caught up with the owner, Billy Halvagis, to find out more about Bean In The Woods and how his business has utilised Abacus since they’ve opened a few years ago.

Tell us about the backstory of Bean In The Woods and how you got started.

We are a family-run business, with over 50 years’ experience in the hospitality industry. My siblings and I first learned the compassion and understanding of respecting and treating customers like family through our parents, and now we are so proud to be doing it ourselves every day.

After spending all our lives watching our parents immerse in and excel in Melbourne’s café/restaurant scene, it was always our dream to open up a café/restaurant. Twenty-three years ago, my sister was tragically murdered while visiting our grandmother’s grave at Fawkner Cemetery. To honour Mersina’s memory and shine her light, Bean In The Woods was born in 2016.

Throughout the last twenty-three years, my family and I have been fighting for justice and rights for victims of crime. We have spoken up through various media outlets, and have lobbied to change laws and assist other victims as an organisation and as individuals. We represent several organisations in ambassadorial roles and are an inaugural part of setting up the Victims of Crime Association. Our family continues to keep Mersina’s spirit alive in our hearts, through our daily actions, by being a voice for victims and making a difference in Victoria.

What can customers expect from Bean In The Woods?

Everyone’s welcome at Bean In The Woods. We create an environment where everyone can come in and feel like they are part of the family. We like to call it the ‘Mersina’ vibe – where customers can step in and have a meal or a coffee, while feeling as comfortable, chill and relaxed as they would at a friend’s house or at their home.

In addition to offering fantastic customer service, we endeavor to provide wholesome, hearty dishes, such as a variety of great breakfast meals, souvlaki’s, gourmet sandwiches/subs, Mediterranean pastries, wood fired pizza including the popular Greek Lamb Pizza, Mediterranean Veggie Pizza and the absolute crowd-favorite Reuben Sandwich “The Jersey”.  We’ve had customers drive from all over Melbourne to try our special sandwich, as well as Americans who have fondly told us that it tastes just as good as home.

As a family-owned establishment, we understand that there’s nothing quite like home-cooked food. And just like family, we make sure that everyone is looked after, no matter their dietary needs. Anyone who enters Bean In The Woods is more than welcome to enjoy our menu (and great coffee!). Every item on our menu can be made gluten-free, while all of our vegetarian items can be made vegan. People can come here to relax and unwind, open up and tell us about their day, have something delicious to eat and be part of the Bean In The Woods Family.

How has Abacus helped your business?

We first came across Abacus at a trade expo, a few years ago and have used it ever since. From the integration and reporting, to the backend access and iPad, it has been so easy to use, for all of the staff. The reporting functionality with cloud integration is especially useful for me as I am able to check the daily sales through my laptop and phone.

The Abacus client support has been nothing less than exceptional and have been very quick to respond and easy to deal with. Abacus has done well for both the reporting and usability – the two elements I find particularly important in a POS system.

Bean In The Woods is currently open for takeaway, 7 days a week.


No matter the stage of restrictions you may be currently facing, you are welcome to find more about the features and benefits of Abacus POS and how you can integrate it into your business.

If you’re interested in our online food ordering system or takeaway and functionality, speak to our friendly and experienced team here at Abacus. We are currently providing our Online Ordering platform with NO upfront cost and $0 ongoing monthly fees on top of your regular Abacus POS subscription. The only additional cost to you is a small transaction fee.

Submit your interest here or email us at and our product specialists will reach out to you to discuss how we can help your business in these tough times. Alternatively, give us a call on (03) 9017 2792.

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