Neighbourhood Coffee Roasters
Neighbourhood Coffee Roasters is a gorgeous and quaint Bardon cafe whose interior speaks of its former life. Once known as the Rainworth General, the old store has been respectfully restored and is now home to this cute little cafe that is a virtual time capsule of days gone by.
Step through the well-loved front door and into a warm and welcoming interior where the cafe's history is proudly on display. Original "General Store" signage sits above the door, where the store's original set of scales are also on display. The original timber floorboards gleam in the light that streams in through the bifold window, opening onto the footpath.
The interior has been cleverly designed, providing several different seating areas - all inviting customers to sit and enjoy the ambience of this little gem. Owners, Alex and Steph Ridgway have restored, recycled and re-used as much of the store's original fit out as possible. The shelving and boards around the counter top are original, an old milk bar sign takes pride of place and advertising signs for Peter's ice-cream, Wrigley's chewing gum and Tristrams soft drinks can be found dotted around the cafe.
The property has been sitting empty for the past 40 years and when the Ridgways became the new owners, the interior of the store was just as it had been all those years ago. In fact, even the kettle still sat on the stove top and signage for cigarettes at .67c a packet was still in place.
Now making great coffee which comes from Alex's Neighbourhood Coffee Roastery at Sumner Park, the house blend here is aptly named the Store Keeper's blend. Alex and his family have many years of experience in the hospitality industry and Alex has been roasting beans since 2009. Hot chocolate and iced chocolate are made using chocolate powders (with a choice of five flavours). Or how about trying a Japanese iced coffee? Both lactose free and soy milk are available.
The menu here aims to be simple yet tasty and has some interesting offerings - Korean pancakes and Japanese cheese on toast (the secret ingredient being mayo cut with mirin and miso) amongst them. Basic sandwiches, sweets, overnight oats, muesli, tacos and seasonal salads will also be included. Local fresh produce is a high priority and the cafe boasts its own veggie and herb garden in the backyard, which is a work in progress but will supply the kitchen once established.
Neighbourhood Coffee beans are on sale at the cafe, along with a selection of home and brewing equipment. The aim here is to "keep it local and about the neighbourhood and community. But it's not just about the local neighbourhood - customers enjoying their daily brew are also helping their extended neighbourhood, in communities where the ethically sourced beans are produced."
Call in and soak up the history at this Bardon cafe where the walls really do speak of a bygone era.
By Sandy Ludinski
*Open times correct at time of writing in Oct 2015
Neighbourhood Coffee Roasters
58 Rainworth Rd