“A day doesn’t go by without someone asking us to open in Semaphore, Unley, Sydney … New Zealand,” says Silvia Hart, owner of The Seasonal Garden Cafe in Hahndorf.
Since opening in 2012, Hart has added two smaller, cafe-style offshoots: Seasonal Hahndorf and Seasonal Stirling. But growing demand from a city crowd has her heading from the Hills.
Hart and her team have recently taken over the 143-square-metre former Howards Storage World site on The Parade in Norwood. It’s two doors down from suburban juggernaut Argo on the Parade. She admits it’s a “ballsy” move but sees a notable difference in their respective markets.
Saving cult followers a Hills drive, Seasonal Norwood will seat between 50 and 70 people, “prioritising aesthetic over a cattle-yard approach” Hart says. The retail fit-out will be gutted to make way for a kitchen and a homey set-up of vintage tables, couches and cushions “so it feels familiar.”
The frontage will be replaced with a western red cedar window, an on-street coffee pass and a breakfast bar that’ll open up during summer. Pot plants will pad out the streetside seating area.
The first port of call for produce is the cafe’s Hahndorf garden. The rest comes from farmers markets, trusted suppliers and local growers. “[It’s] the best we can get our hands on anywhere in the state,” Hart says, rattling off a list of key players: Salad Greens & Kitchen Herbs, Udder Delights cheese, Tweedvale milk and Rustico bread (made with Pangkarra flour from the Clare Valley).
“Price point isn’t the first thing on my mind,” says Hart. Rather, “If someone asks me about the food on the plate, do I feel comfortable telling them [where it’s from]?”
In line with the “Seasonal” brand, the Norwood location will serve cooked breakfasts, bruschettas, gourmet sandwiches, frittatas and soups, as well as cakes and raw treats. Juices and smoothies are a given.
Hart has also snuck a few TSGC favourites onto the menu, such as the pancakes and the quinoa and falafel burger.
Everything can be tweaked for vegetarians or vegans, and there’s a strict allergen approach: “If we don’t have a dish on the menu that fits, we’ll make one up,” says Hart.
The Seasonal Garden Café will open in Norwood on Friday September 1. It will operate from 6.30am to 5.30pm seven days a week.