Donato Cafe – Mt Martha

From a little town in Calabria to an Italian inspired cafe in Mt Martha; this is our story.



Our story begins when Nicola Donato, a young and hardworking Italian boy, decided that his little village Pizzo Calabo in Calabria was not big enough to contain all his ideas, dreams and aspirations. In 1949 at age 19, Nicola decided to sail onto new adventures to a land far away from Italy:  Australia!

Melbourne soon became his new home – a place so different from his little town in Calabria – and yet so similar to what he’d dreamt!  His dreams were soon fulfilled, and he was ready for yet another new chapter in life.

And it’s for this reason that in 1954, five years later, the newly wedded Donato’s were ready to begin their wonderful journey of life together.  Nicola and Lillianna worked hard for years to provide for their four boys, giving them the life, they wanted them to have.

With their tribe of boys growing up, the Donato’s moved to Mt Martha on the Mornington Peninsula in 1980, when Nicola bought the farm – at this very site!

The family ran an egg farm and this soon expanded to include a little convenience store, providing the local community with eggs, bread and milk.  Many still fondly remembering this now. As the years passed by, his eldest son, Frank diversified into hydroponic produce.  Cultivating strawberries, tomatoes, lettuce and herbs, all being sold on site and to Coles and IGA supermarkets.

The Donato family and their store became somewhat of an iconic name on the Peninsula.  Locals would say “I’m going to the corner shop” and people new exactly what that meant! Now with the third generation growing up, Nicholas Donato would often be found helping around the farm and in his Grandfather’s store.   His fresh ideas transformed what once was a simple shop into a Farm Style Café:  The Mornington Peninsula Hydroponic Café.

History repeats and once again, in 2018, this young Donato dreamed of something bigger: an Italian style Café and Restaurant, a place where everyone was welcomed and would feel at home, in a way that only an Italian family can show.

Benvenuti da Donato, est 1980.

Italian Inspired Cafe in Mt Martha, Mornington Peninsula.

Find us

88 Craigie Rd, Mount Martha VIC 3934

Contact us

Phone: (03) 5916 1374

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Unfortunately, we are unable to split bills for tables with 8 or more guests. We thank you for your understanding. 10% Weekend Surcharge and 15% Public Holiday Surcharge.