For a Saturday morning shopping experience with a difference, follow the trail blazed by Bike Marrickville’s annual Chocolate and Fine Food Ride. Described as an ‘easy’ ride –10 minutes riding, then 10 minutes eating – this food discovery tour of the inner west has two aims: to promote local businesses and to encourage local shopping by bike.
Head first to the food co-operative Alfalfa House (113 Enmore Road, Enmore), where an enticing display of fresh fruit and vegetables is matched by a range of interesting dry goods. You will also find fair-trade chocolate. Alfalfa House does discounts for those with a membership.
Wind your way through the back streets of Enmore and across Enmore Park to arrive at TIM Products (407 Enmore Road). Here the Theotoridis family sells a wide range of Greek biscuits and cakes, such as mini baklava, kourambiedes (almond shortbreads), and honey and orange biscuits.
Italian sweet treats are next at Casa Del Gelato (8/102 Edinburgh Street, Marrickville) where you will find gelato (of course), cannoli, biscuits and decorative cakes. A detour through the surrounding industrial back lanes leads on to more savoury stuff at specialist butchers Feather and Bone (unit 8, 10–14 Lillian Fowler Place, Marrickville). Feather and Bone sources whole animals from farmers who practice sustainable farming. It then cuts and packs the meat for sale to high-end restaurants and retail customers. Feather and Bone also produces specialties such as dry-aged prime cuts, sausages and salami. As part of its commitment to transparency, the shop has opened a window to the carcasses waiting to be butchered. For vegetarians, honey, sourdough breads and pickled vegetables are also available.
Next stop: the latest enterprise by the Paesanella Cheese Company, a new deli-cafe complex – the Paesanella Food Emporium (150 Marrickville Road, Marrickville), around the corner from its Gerald Street factory (the factory shop has now closed). Here Paesanella’s range of fresh bocconcini, ricotta and other cheeses is augmented by a huge range of specialty foodstuffs and already prepared meals.
From there, follow the newly built bike path along Carrington Road to meet up with the Cooks River Cycleway on your way to busy Adora Handmade Chocolates, (10 Homer Street, Earlwood). A cup of coffee here comes with your choice of chocolate, however, this Adora outlet will close for redevelopment mid-year. A larger cafe, with a broader selection and more bike parking, will reopen next year as part of an apartment complex.
Fuelled by caffeine and chocolate, you’ll find it easy to continue along the cycleway, and then tackle the climb up to Dulwich Hill, where you’ll discover another traditional chocolatier, Candlelight Confectionary (476 New Canterbury Road, Dulwich Hill). The shop’s quirky chocolates (some resembling golf balls), classic truffles, and factory seconds, are all great value.
Willy Wonka would feel at home at the last destination, Georgiou’s Confectionery (147 New Canterbury Road, Petersham), “The largest confectionery warehouse in Australia”. Here there are more types of sweets than you ever imagined – such as 4.5 kilogram blocks of chocolate, coloured chocolate ‘sparkles’, flavoured sugar leathers and massive Easter eggs. These keep company with unusual American treats, such as salsa sauces and refried black beans. It is a fittingly spectacular end to a fine-food tour where indulgence can be trumped by exercise.