Purple is defined ‘as a colour intermediate between red and blue’ but there’s nothing middle of the road about bubbly and slightly purple obsessed former Australian Army Corporal and current Café Purple Owner and Chef Danie Ross!

Danie is the daughter of a career soldier who was a Vietnam Veteran and she joined the Australian Army in 1985 as a 17 year old. She was part of the fourth female platoon to go through Kapooka – The Army Recruit Training Centre. Maintaining integrity she learned how to be highly organised and disciplined in an extremely male dominated profession with a huge amount of sexism and bias against women. Danie was in the first wave of women who forged the way forward in the forces. After 11 years full time service she discharged in 1996.


For about 20 years while having various roles running cafes and restaurants, Danie had barely any contact within the veteran community until she moved to the Gold Coast after a relationship breakdown. It was in her newly discovered veteran community on the Gold Coast where she discovered amazing support despite being out of contact with other veterans for such a long time. Danie was also able to give support to others.

Her independent nature and passion to provide wholesome food, home cooked with love, was reignited and Danie decided to jump into Café ownership on her own. Café Purple at West Burleigh was born. Danie explains, “I’ve always had a love of food. My mum and both grandmothers were good cooks and loved to experiment with anything new. Everything at Café Purple is made from scratch. There’s hot soup every day, homemade pies (pictured left) and sausage rolls, BLT’s, bacon and egg rolls with aioli BBQ sauce and cheese and also a delicious range of toasted sandwiches. I make all of my own sauces and relishes.”

Danie also bakes her own brownies (pictured above), scones, tarts and biscuits from scratch and just to tempt me even more adds “I have an amazing gluten free bread for toasties and usually have a gluten free cookie happening. I’m playing with a dairy free cookie/slice at the moment and I serve delicious organic coffee.”

Recognising the support of her family and veteran community and giving back wherever possible Danie makes hearty ‘take home’ meals for veterans. They’re available to all customers but she specifically makes them for her veteran brothers primarily. Danie adds “I also have a safe space for veterans with a dog friendly area out the front in case they have service dogs. It’s also not on the main drag and not a really busy, noisy place… unless there is a bunch of veterans having coffee… or lunch, which happens on a regular basis!”

The colour purple is often associated with nobility, luxury and ambition. Purple also represents creativity, wisdom, dignity, devotion, peace, pride, mystery, independence and magic. And that’s exactly what you’ll find at Café Purple.

Café Purple is located at 76 Township Dr, Burleigh Heads and open weekdays from 8am until 2:30pm. Follow Café Purple on Facebook to see what’s fresh out of the oven!

Story by Carmen Mudie