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. “I’m not trying to be anything other than a quality, really accessible community cafe. I want people to come in, chill out and have some great coffee,” says Terrey.

When he noticed the “for lease” sign, he knew he had found a spot for his own place. Bench seating lines one wall and a large communal table takes up most of the space. The shop is peppered 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. “I wanted to build as much of the space myself with really simple materials. It shows you don't need to drop heaps of coin on maple and brass and what not,” he says. Terrey calls the cafe “no frills” but the result is warm and inviting.

Coffee is by Reuben Hills and arrives in peppered black-and-white ceramic cups from Ghost Wares in Melbourne. Every day Terrey makes a different pastry and focaccia. A recent day’s offering involved pecan-mocha scrolls with puff pastry, and an artichoke and tomato focaccia. The daily specials favour Italian ingredients and will be vegetarian for the most part.

Small Talk Coffee and Snacks
Shop 2/355 New Canterbury Road, Dulwich Hill

Tue to Fri 7am–2pm
Sat & Sun 8am–2pm