I met a mate at a very popular Melbourne restaurant over a year ago and made the mistake of ordering a soy flat white. This wasn't long after I gave up drinking, so I had only ever ordered wine and food at this place. The waiter who I had chatted with many times before, laid his hand reassuringly on my shoulder, put on his most insincere fake apologetic facial expression and said, "sorry sweetheart, we don't do soy". I'm not being paranoid. I really deserved it as I should have known better.
Thankfully, in only the last year, things really have changed! I can't drink milk. It makes me sick. So many people I know have realised that the constant sniffles, congestion, bloating etc for many people can be linked to the over consumption of dairy. Milk from mother cows is meant for baby cows. Not all humans can physically deal with it.
Up until recently, if I was anywhere but the CBD, Fitzroy or St Kilda I was forced to opt for a long black for fear of disappointment. Slowly but surely however, cafes and restaurants across Melbourne are catching on. Soy is a legitimate option. It's not just hippies and hyper allergenic freaks who prefer soy. I'd hazard to guess that the number of people who prefer soy constitute a number big enough to affect the income of an average cafe. If the cafe doesn't offer soy, soy drinkers don't stay, or they don't come back. If they are in a group, you lose the group too.
So thank you Cafe Vue on St Kilda Road, Marios on Brunswick Street, Toby's Estate on Exhibition Street, League of Honest Coffee on Exploration Lane, 65 Degrees on Exhibition Street, Tre Bicchieri on Rathdowne Street, Bell Jar on Smith Street and the many others who now treat soy drinkers like human beings, even though some of us are smelly hippies.