With such fantastic venues at hand, we’re often spoiled for choice and it seems that what people really want now is a welcoming local hangout – a place where the staff are friendly, the food is consistently good and you feel comfortable whizzing in for a takeaway cuppa in your trackies, or whiling away a sunny afternoon with your friends and family. In Port Melbourne, newly established cafe, Station Street Trading Co. fits that bill perfectly.
Founded by Steve Rowley and Matt Vero (the old owners of Coin Laundry) along with Cam Reid (the man behind Sydney bar Chingalings) and Hugh Hindle (who you might recognise from MoVida bakery), you’d be hard pressed to find a more welcoming place. The guys themselves are the kind of blokes you’d want to be mates with and their energy and passion for the project is palpable throughout.
The team has been carefully renovating the space over the last three months and having a great time while they were at it. From sanding tables, painting walls and sourcing chairs (they drew the line at building things above eye level, lest it end in disaster), the entire operation has been a passion project and one they are proud to have worked on from the ground up. Locals walking past couldn’t help but peer in to check out the progress, excited to see what the one-time lolly shop and one-time boot makers had now become.
“Every neighbourhood needs a quintessential neighbourhood cafe, and that’s what Station Street Trading Co. is…just a little bit on steroids,” says Rowley.
As with Coin Laundry, the cafe is approachable and created to fit the needs of local residents, workers and commuters. The menu is seasonal and created using high-quality, locally sourced products. There’s a focus on old classics with a modern twist, such as the egg and bacon roll created with house-made barbecue and tomato sauce and there’s also modern staples like zucchini and goats cheese fritters.
The lunch menu is intentionally small to allow the cabinets – bursting with freshly made sandwiches – to become the focus. However, if you are after something a bit heartier, the Trading Co. Burger should hit the spot.
The key difference with Station Street Trading Co. will be a newfound emphasis on takeaway goods, to satisfy the hunger and thirst of the bustling nearby workers crowd. From cups of Allpress coffee (made on the new La Marzocco strada machine) to daily special eats, there will be plenty on hand for those on the run, without having to compromise on quality.
The venue itself is the ultimate for sun-dappled days as it’s positioning opposite Port Melbourne’s Smith Reserve ensures the light is forever in its favour. Customers are invited to dine inside or alfresco, with cosy interior seating and a plethora of seats wrapped around its exterior on offer. Alternatively, if the park across the street is calling your name, the boys have a range of made-to-order picnic baskets complete with coffee, OJ, main and sweet treat of your choice.
With no rest for the wicked, there are already plans to start construction on another venture. But the benefit of having four directors is that there will always be someone on hand to make sure all is running smoothly at Station Street, so you can rest assured the food and service will be up to scratch.