If you’re a fan of the wonderful work of Youeni in Surry Hills and Darlinghurst, but you don’t happen to live around the inner suburbs, perhaps this is the solution you’ve been waiting for. Chris Starke and the team have taken their wholesome food venture to the west, opening the third Youeni branch in Castle Hill just one week ago.

“It’s been really busy,” says director Starke of the soft launch. “People didn’t know it was coming, but the response has been great. I grew up here and so it’s very close to home for me. But I kept it pretty quiet. I don’t like to make a big hoo-ha about these things. It’s been in the works for a little while though.”

Touted as the flagship store for the whole operation – with a focus on internally crafted retail products and education – it’s been a quick turnaround since opening the second store in Surry Hills in May 2012. But as Starke explains, it was always part of the plan.

“It’s an incredible location – it’s not a typical shopping centre,” he says. “Thousands of cars go past a day, which means plenty of people can see what we’re doing.” Starke has shifted the focus with the new venue from a cafe to a food retail store, which is built around both dine-in and take-home options, including a complete bakery section, turning out fresh breads and pastries daily. They’ll also kick it up a notch on the take-home food front.

Youeni Foodstore Castle Hill
2/250–254 Old Northern Road, Castle Hill
(02) 9680 885

Daily 6.30am–5pm (Thurs to Sat 6.30pm–midnight)