CAFE owners in the small township of Gordon are rising above fierce French resistance in a battle to define what truly is in a name.
Prestigious international culinary and hospitality school Le Cordon Bleu started initiating legal action against the popular country foodie spot six months ago for its name Gordon Bleu, a play on the popular dish.
The global giant, founded in Paris in 1895, had indicated brand confusion and while cafe owners Saleh Alshamsi and Scott Graham led their own resistance to Le Cordon Bleu demands, they chose to change.
Mr Graham said their legal advice and research showed Le Cordon Bleu owned their name globally and were tenacious in defending this in all forms worldwide.
This included knocking back a bid to re-name the cafe by the town's affectionate nickname, The Bleu.
Mr Graham said as cafe owners, they decided to take the mature approach and re-name the popular cafe by drawing on its historic value.
"In the 1880s, the original town name was Gordons so we went with Gordons at Gordon," Mr Graham said. "In the white, colonial era, Gordons was a boom town with eight pubs, banks and several stores.
"This is one of the remaining buildings from the colonial era standing...We really wanted people to say, 'we're just going down to Gordons' and try using that instead of 'heading down to The Bleu'."
The building was a pub until 1969 and became a refuge for alcoholics run by Mother Teresa's order of nuns in the 1970s. The now-Catholic saint was said to also stay in the building during a visit to the region.
Mr Graham said the new name Gordons, was also a chance to make a complete break from the French past.
But they chose to keep their iconic chickens in the cafe logo.
Mr Graham said there had been some initial confusion online, mostly from out-of-towners, thinking the place was under new ownership. He reassured it was just new branding.
What has changed in this space though is the Gordon Farm Gate shop moving on site.
The community-run project showcases fresh produce from the area and has increasingly been drawing interest from residents in neighbouring towns and Ballan.
Mr Graham said people from Ballarat had also been making the most of the click-and-collect approach to pick up on Saturdays on their way to visit friends and family in Melbourne.
The Farm Gate store, while only click-and-collect on Saturdays, is working to extend hours and potentially open the store to walk-ins.
Mr Graham said the cafe's name change corresponded well with the farm gate's growing appeal.
While disappointed losing their original cafe identity, Mr Graham hoped this shift would continue help promote the town.
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