St Andrews General Store
Published on 15 June 2016
When is a post office more than just a post office? When it’s the St Andrews General Store, that’s when! Just ask Deb Oakes, owner of the General Store and adjacent Folk Alley Café since 2013.
“It’s been a huge learning experience,” says Deb, who comes from a welfare and community development background. “But the best part of it has been meeting the variety of people who come to St Andrews.”
Lively as the post office is, it’s the café where true community lives. “There was actually a Thai restaurant there when we took over,” Deb continues. “It was for that space that I bought the building. I was chasing hospitality and the feeling of community. I wanted to create a space that locals could come to knowing that someone would be there at any given time.”
An added bonus of operating a community-minded café in The Artisan Hills was the chance to network with local artists, among them 18-year old Mollie Schilhabel and well-known illustrator Pat Reynolds, who’ve showcased and sold their works at hugely popular two and three month exhibitions.
And let’s not forget the food.
“We do a great burger for lunch and an all-day breakfast,” says Deb, whose favourite is the avocado smash on toast with eggs and dukkah. “You can’t go past the combination of dukkah and eggs,” she says.
Since undertaking a revamp of the cafe, Deb is hoping to stock more local producers; something economic realities hindered upon opening. “We’ve just had a local egg producer come on board who is only now ready to operate commercially, which is fantastic. We’re speaking to a meat producer in Seville, which is pretty much local, who does home grown stuff as well.”
The combination of local staff, local art and – where practical – local produce is what makes St Andrews General Store, and Folk Alley Café, such vibrant and homely places to spend a Saturday morning, or bring visiting friends and family.
“We have a really quaint local place with local characters and we use as much locally-sourced and sustainable produce as possible.”
St Andrews General Store, 10 Caledonia Street, St Andrews
9710 1200 | facebook.com/folkalleycafe