Café with a cause at Kangaroo Island Airport

Airline passengers touching down at one of South Australia’s most popular tourist destinations are now able to get their caffeine fix after a disability service organisation established its first social enterprise at the Kangaroo Island airport.

Not-for-profit organisation Mobo Group strengthened its presence in the state’s regions this week when it opened a café at the newly upgraded Kangaroo Island Kingscote Airport, providing employment opportunities for locals living with a disability.

The yet-to-be-named café is currently serving hot beverages and small treats to visitors flying in and out of the the island, giving Mobo employees a chance to build social and vocational skills.

CEO of Mobo Group Andrew Ramsey says he is looking forward to witnessing the many benefits the café will create for employees, patrons and Kangaroo Island’s tourism industry.

Airline passengers order coffee at the newly opened café run by the Mobo Group at the Kangaroo Island Kingscote Airport.

Not only will Mobo employees be provided with employment, they will have the chance to receive barista training, develop their social skills through engaging with customers and will also become tourist ambassadors for the region.

“This new café will enable people living with a disability to be the best that they can be, by giving them the opportunity for sustained employment within the community as well as employment-related support,” he says.

“The café is our first business enterprise on Kangaroo Island and we really look forward to being an even greater part of the community and helping to support the tourism trade and those transiting through the airport.”

Although the airport café is the organisation’s first social enterprise on the island, Mobo Group is long delivered youth services, alcohol and drug programs and run the local Centrelink agency.

The new café complements the recently upgraded Kingscote airport.

“We hope that this will be the first of a number of social enterprises which can be developed on the island, building on the support that we already provide to Kangaroo Island residents living with a disability,” Andrew says.

Kangaroo Island Council CEO Andrew Boardman says the café will be a welcome addition to the airport, which recently underwent a multi-million dollar upgrade.

The State and Federal government funded the works, with the council also developing the project.

“The opportunity to leverage council infrastructure to create opportunities for all in our community is a key thrust in the design of the new facilities, and the council is looking forward to this initiative being the start of great things to come in this area,” Mr Boardman says.

Mobo Group employee Bec Davis restocks the beverages. Bec, along with fellow employees Carmel and Julie, were instrumental in bringing the café to fruition.

Mobo Group supports more than 200 people with disabilities in finding employment and engaging in employment-related support services across metropolitan and regional SA.

The organisation was formed from the merger of two disability enterprises, Hands On SA and Finding Workable Solutions and has a presence in regional areas of Berri, Brinkley, Goolwa, Totness, Mt Barker and Victor Harbor.

Mobo runs a number of business enterprises across the state in document destruction, firewood, food packaging, garden maintenance, mailing campaigns, packaging and processing services, product assembly, print finishing, sewing services and salvage shops.

It is a registered provider of NDIS services, and supports people with disabilities in finding a job, transitioning from school to work, accessing alcohol and drug awareness, and youth services.

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Coffee lover? Where to find the best brew in SA

It seems simple; roasted beans, ground and brewed, milk frothed and poured into a mug cradled between two hands.

But it can also go so wrong. Too bitter, burnt milk, a cranky barista and you have a combination of coffee sins that is sure to (almost) ruin a morning.

But with more cafés adopting a choose local ethos by using South Australian dairy milk and locally roasted coffee beans, coming across a dud brew is almost hard to do.

Brand SA News has set out on the ultimate coffee quest – to find the best coffee shops in the land, the friendliest baristas in the burbs and the types of cafés that truly make you feel at home.

From regional coffee hotspots to trendy metro hideaways, we’ve searched the state with the help of fellow caffeine fiends and our pool of regional journalists, to find the best spots across the state for good coffee.

But this list is just scratching the surface, so if there’s a coffee shop we’ve missed, hit Brand South Australia up on social media using the #ichoosesa hashtag and spill your caffeine secrets.

Metropolitan Adelaide

The Meat & Cheese Club, King William Street.

Exactly what a hole in the wall should be, this coffee and sandwich shop is a new kid on the block.

Owner Damian Vasilevski is a solid I Choose SA supporter, frothing Paris Creek Milk for the coffees (which are always hot) and using Udder Delights Cheese and Barossa Fine Foods smallgoods for menu items.

Meat and Cheese Club owner Damian Vasilevski and Adelaide Lord Mayor Martin Haese, who visited the coffee spot earlier this year. Photo: Facebook.

La Moka, Peel Street.

A solid CBD favourite, La Moka is not only a perfect spot to soak up laneway vibes, but more importantly, this yellow-doored café makes good coffee. Every time. After dark on weekends those lattes can turn into espresso martinis!

Bond & Lane Canteen, Colonel Light Gardens.

They grind from 7am weekdays. Having a cuppa or a meal here is homely and comfy, and the owners are big I Choose SA supporters, so you know you’re supporting local.

The cake cabinet will leave you drooling.

Two Sparrows Coffee & Kitchen, Forestville.

A must-visit for the latte art itself.

Barista Brian’s creation’s will leave you highly impressed and almost unwilling to touch your coffee in fear of ruining the masterpiece.

Mind blown. Photo: Instagram, @his.names.sparky

Adelaide Hills

The Organic Market and Café, Stirling.

An old Hills favourite that’s been around for decades.

Makes consistently good coffee, which can be enjoyed in a quiet corner or outside among the trees and many four-legged friends.

The menu is healthy, homely and nutritious, with chock-a-bloc salads for summer and hearty soups for winter.

The Good Pantry, Gumeracha.

This café uses locally roasted coffee and serves all day brekkie, soups, dips platters, and local juices. It also doubles as a little art and crafts gallery.

Limestone Coast

Metro Bakery & Café, Mt Gambier.

One of Mt Gambier’s most popular spots, the Metro Bakery not only knows how to bake a good pie and pastie, but their coffee is on the mark too.

Presto Eatery, Mt Gambier.

Located in a refreshed heritage building in Mt Gambier town’s centre, this café is exactly what a good coffee lover needs in a rural town.

Coffee is roasted by local roaster Bricks and Mortar Coffee. Relax with a cuppa inside or chill out the front and watch Mt Gambier life go by.

Presto Eatery Mt Gambier. Photo: Instagram @prestoeatery.

Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island

Cactus, Kingscote – KI

A fairly new addition to Kangaroo Island, this cosy café is popular with tourists and locals, so be sure to rock up early.

Pair a coffee made from custom roasted beans by Rio Coffee Adelaide with a sneaky sweet treat and soak up the sun on the blue and white deck.

3 Monkeys Fine Foods, Willunga.

These guys are taking a break and returning in September, but they’re worth the short wait.

The coffee is just how you’ll want it to be and you can sip your fix while browsing through gifts, homewares and gourmet goodies.

McLaren Vale

Mullygrub, McLaren Vale.

This café which also exists in food truck form is known for its simple dishes made from scratch.

Their coffee is also on the mark, with milk by the Fleurieu Milk Company.

Dal Mare Coffee, McLaren Vale.

Too early to sip on a red? This wine region is also well known for its boutique coffee shops scattered around the place.

A corrugated iron shed that is the Dal Mare Coffee headquarters is an unsuspecting caffeine haven, but these guys know their stuff.

Roasting their own beans, the main focus of the business is wholesales, but you can also spot them roadside through the travelling Short Black Caravan.

The Short Black Caravan on the side of the road is a welcome sight when you’re craving coffee on the go! Photo: Facebook.

Barossa Valley

Barossa Farmers Market

Grab a coffee and take a wander through the fresh produce stalls offering goodies from one of the state’s most renowned  food and wine regions.

Coffee wise, local roaster artisan Bean Addiction will take care of you. Their actual shopfront in Nuriootpa is closed for renovations, reopening this month.

Yorke and Mid North

Red Hot Shot, Clare.

Jodi Weckert is the lady in the little red van, pulling up at businesses and giving locals their caffeine fix.

Passersby have also been known to give a wave or a toot as they see her on the road, signalling the need for a coffee fix!

Watervale General Store, Watervale.

This quirky store is run by well known local foodies, Louise and Neil Haines and is renowned for its quality coffee.

The store has a big focus on local produce and is a good spot to pick up a few traditional or gourmet groceries.

Coffee Barn Gelateria, Moonta.

We may be luring you here just for the ice cream… but the coffee is good too!

In summer, move fast though because lines will creep out the door.

Finding this Yorke Peninsula gem is half the fun. Turn off the highway and head off the beaten track.

Far North

Bluebush Café, Port Augusta.

Good coffee is possible in the outback.

Located within the stunning Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden, the Bluebush Café’s setting alone is worth the visit.

It’s peaceful and serene dining before a stunning backdrop of the Flinders Ranges.

The Bluebush Café overlooks stunning views of the Flinders Ranges and outback flora. Photo courtesy of AALBG.

Murray and Mallee

Arrosto, Renmark.

This multi-award winning boutique coffee roaster will put a spring in your step. They service many cafés in the region.

Renmark-based Arrosto Coffee has recently collaborated with Glossop winery’s 919 Wines to create a coffee liqueur, The Firewater.

Made from Scratch, Waikerie.

Described as “Waikerie’s little health oasis”, this Riverland gem is hugely popular with locals.

Coffee is by the above Renmark boutique roaster, Arrosto. The café’s interior pays close attention to small, homely details such as locally grown flowers on the table, put together by Riverland business Daisy and Ginger.

Eyre Peninsula

Boston Bean Coffee Co, Port Lincoln.

EP locals Brian and Sue Scott run this award-winning speciality coffee roasting business that recently opened a coffee bar and roastery on Mortlock Terrace.

Born from a desire to lift coffee standards in regional areas, Boston Bean is all about the local game and are also supporters of environmentally friendly coffee cups.

Hitting Port Lincoln in summer? Try the cold brew over ice with a splash of milk.

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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Lattes and pastries in Tailem Bend? You betcha

Quality coffee, freshly-baked lemon meringue tarts and almond croissants are not usually associated with a truck stop town like Tailem Bend.

The rural service town – 100km southeast of Adelaide and often referred to as the gateway to Melbourne – is more known for its service stations and semi-trailers.

But recently Tailem Bend has been growing into its new identity, largely due to the opening of the $110m Bend Motorsport Park, set to revive the local economy by boosting employment and visitation to the town.

Small business owners Amy and Neil Chinsami are also contributing to the changing face of the sleepy railway town, thanks to the popularity of their popular main street coffee shop, The Little Local Co.

It’s almost impossible to walk out of Little Local Co without a baked treat.

“We have customers who say they had never been to the main street before now, and others who say they didn’t even know there was a main street,” says Amy, who grew up in the small Aboriginal community of Raukkan.

“People are now turning off the highway to have a coffee and locals say they have been waiting for somewhere you can just sit with a good coffee and cake.

“It’s made an impact on the community.”

The Little Local Co opened in late 2017, but has already built a strong following and sound reputation for quality coffee and delectable sweet treats.

The coffee shop’s popularity has prompted Amy and Neil to prepare for the opening of their second Little Local Co establishment, The Kitchen, along Princes Highway.

Amy cooks many of the baked goods herself, and sources other treats from local bakeries.

The pair are expecting to open The Kitchen’s doors in August and say the café will specialise in fresh and local meals, inspired by their Aboriginal and Fijian backgrounds.

“The Kitchen will be the only café on the highway,” says Amy, who draws inspiration from her community, Raukkan, considered to be the heart of Ngarrindjeri land.

“We infuse wattle seed from the Coorong and Raukkan area in our cold brew,” she says.

“It’s something that is part of my community and my land and I want to expose others to these new flavours.”

Neil is Fijian/Indian with the handcrafted chocolates on offer incorporating Fijian brown sugar and cacao.

The Little Local Co’s coffee shop is well known for its baked goods and coffee, from local premium roaster Cirelli.

The lemon meringue bombs are a hit with customers.

Amy’s own lemon meringue bombs just about fly off the counter, as do a range of other sweet treats such as orange almond cakes and chocolate brownies.

Amy and Neil began their Little Local Co journey as a small catering company and pop-up coffee cart, making appearances at events and local footy matches.

“We had both loved food and coffee and had always dreamed of having our own café one day,” Amy says.

“It took a few years of planning and researching and having a look at potential places in Murray Bridge, but nothing suited us.

“Then we were driving through Tailem Bend’s main street one day and saw a tiny shopfront. We just knew it would be an amazing space for a coffee shop.”

Amy says there is more to Tailem Bend than meets the eye.

“I think people do just see it as a place that you pass by when you’re wanting to get to somewhere else. But if you come into the heart of the community … there are no empty shops in the main street and I think that’s really great.

“There is so much happening in Tailem Bend.”

Header photo courtesy of Glenn Power.

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Country coffee lovers lifting the game

By Melissa Keogh

Two years ago Port Lincoln’s Richard Scott borrowed the kids’ popcorn maker in a DIY attempt to roast coffee beans.

Now the Eyre Peninsula local, along with his wife Sue, has adopted a much more sophisticated roasting technique, honing his craft under the auspices of some of Australia’s most decorated coffee creators.

The couple is behind Boston Bean Coffee Co which has been delighting speciality coffee appreciators across their region in the hope of lifting its coffee game.

Richard and Sue Scott are dedicated to serving good quality coffee in Port Lincoln.

Richard and Sue Scott are dedicated to serving good quality coffee in Port Lincoln.

Specialty coffee is recognised as being made from high quality coffee beans which can be easily traced back to their origin.

The awards have also been rolling in for Boston Bean Coffee Co recently, with the business winning a bronze medal at the 2017 Australian International Coffee Awards for their Symmetry – Specialty coffee blend.

The coffee company also took two silver medals and three bronze, and was awarded Reserve Champion at the 2017 Royal Hobart Fine Food Awards.

The Scotts say specialty coffee is hard to find in country towns, but holds the potential to luring more tourists.

“We thought, why don’t we start educating people in our regional area so that when people come to visit from all over the place they can go, ‘wow’, we went to the Eyre Peninsula … and we got a great coffee,” Sue says.

The Boston Bean Coffee Co’s blends and single origins are sold to individuals, cafés and businesses, while the company also often hosts pop up cafés at events across the region.

The couple research and experiment with beans sourced from premium coffee growing regions including El Salvador, Brazil and Ethiopia.

Boston  Bean Coffee Co has won a

Boston Bean Coffee Co has won a swag of medals at the Australian International Coffee Awards and the Royal Hobart Fine Food Awards.

“I think our coffee journey started to a large degree in Melbourne, the epicentre of coffee in Australia,” Richard says.

“I know a lot of people in Adelaide don’t like that but it definitely is, and we really loved what they (Melbournians) were doing over there with specialty coffee.

“We just wanted to bring that quality of coffee into the Eyre Peninsula.”

Boston Bean Coffee Co uses a Loring coffee roaster – a “clean, green machine” which retains the flavour of the beans while having a lower impact on the environment than traditional roasters.

The Scotts also use compostable ‘Vegware’ cups, which break down within 12 weeks and wreak less havoc on the environment than typical takeaway coffee cups.

Australians are estimated to churn through one billion disposable coffee cups each year.

Boston Bean coffee can be found online, and at events and cafés across the Eyre Peninsula.

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