Sandwiched between an empty shop front and a real estate office on a quiet stretch of New Canterbury Road, you could almost miss Small Talk’s simple signage. “Coffee” it says in bold, black lettering. But that’s how owner and former Mecca barista Samuel Terrey likes it – he’s out to create nothing more (or less) than a quality, accessible community cafe.
Bench seating lines the footpath outside, but inside is splashed with bright greenery and industrial elements. Terrey has built everything from scratch – even tiled the kitchen and painted the brickwork himself (he studied landscape architecture and has always done some carpentry on the side, so doing the cafe on his own made sense).
Coffee is by Reuben Hills and arrives in peppered black-and-white ceramic cups from Ghost Wares in Melbourne. The chewy, house-baked bagels have gained a local following – staples include lox and cream cheese, to a brekky option stuffed with an omelette, fresh tomato and pickled jalapeno.
Every day, there’s a different pastry and focaccia. It be involve pecan-mocha scrolls with puff pastry, or a hefty square of well-oiled focaccia studded with potato and olives.