Long before the pandemic COVID-19 broke out, we had scheduled to share with you just some of our favourite local small businesses that we love.
Now more than ever it is so important that we work together to support these businesses.
Most Melbournians would have either been to or heard of Stuart McKenzies beautifully styled and delicious cafe 'South of Johnston' in Collingwood.
I have been going to South of Johnston for many years now, on most weekends (particularly for their corn fritters and cherry pie), but it recently temporarily closed due to this pandemic.
My initial blog post was going to highlight Stuart's impeccably styled space that he curates himself, but instead I am focusing on his other business 'Oxford Larder' just down the road where he has turned his corner store cafe into a scrumptious take-away haven for people like me who don't love cooking.
Stuart really wanted to focus on an affordable menu for those who needed a break from cooking, with meals that can easily be reheated using local products as much as possible. Many of the suppliers are smaller boutique companies selling free range meats, wines, mineral waters, fruit and vegetables, bread, cakes & biscuits and more.
You can check out their instagram @oxfordlarder for their daily specials.
On the days that I have been working at the studio, I have been popping in to get a coffee from the lovely barista Nick. Nick and Stuart have been looking after me for many years now.
Bircher with pears and berries is one of my usual weekend brunch options, I just have to eat it from home now.
I have been loving the savoury tarts with a side of relish and cauliflower salad.
The infamous Cherry Pie...
The perfect takeaway lunchbox options are ethically sourced and delicious.
Stuart's 'All Day Cafe' cook book has been the perfect gift for me to give to friends over the years. I haven't used it myself because I don't cook, but I have been lucky enough to have tried a few of the dishes! This is available for purchase in store.
The raspberry bread and butter pudding and homemade passionfruit melting moments are perfect for dessert or an afternoon treat.
As much as these times have been challenging, I have loved seeing our community band together and it has been inspiring seeing how our wonderfully creative and talented friends are adapting to these unprecedented times.
Last week Stuart hand-delivered my dinner to the studio with dishes from the newly re-imagined business Oxford Larder, whilst my Et Al team were in the middle of doing a live fragrance consultation on Instagram, connecting with our clients isolating at home!
Upon entry there is a sanitising station with a few options available for purchase.
'Hand Combat' is ultra moisturing and my hand sanitiser of choice.
It is formulated, bottled and packaged right in Collingwood and you get a refill at a discounted rate.
So if you are needing to get out of the house for a brief moment, consider popping into Oxford Larder and support this incredibly kind human being and treat yourself with some moreish food.
18 Peel Street