It’s been a big year at The Seasonal Garden Café.
In the time since InDaily last spoke with owner Silvia Hart, the café’s backyard has flourished, and so has the business.
“We’ve definitely tripled, we’ve almost quadrupled trade,” Hart says, as we tour through the reconstructed garden of the purpose-built property on Hahndorf’s Main Road.
New additions include planter boxes and a wood-fire oven – the oven’s not for pizza, but for cooking meat and vegetable dishes.
“We have [something] from the garden, we choose a meat that we’re going to do, some salads, some veg…”
The other side of the creek that runs through the property is earmarked for The Seasonal Garden Café’s new production kitchen.
“We’re actually going to build a barn that has lots of glass – because it’s a really beautiful space – with a production kitchen to take weight off this kitchen, because the rate that we’re growing, it’s actually too small,” Hart says.
The popularity of its food has already led to one offshoot Seasonal business in Hahndorf selling ready-made items such as wraps, salads, sandwiches and cakes, with a second opening tomorrow in Stirling.
“What we had missing here [in Hahndorf ] was a grab-and-go wholefood,” Hart says.
“If I’m out and I want to grab a sandwich or I want to get a drink or a smoothie, there wasn’t anywhere to go for that, and so what I noticed is that people were still coming for that here, but as we were getting busier, it was hard for our kitchen to do it.
“And it was hard for customers to wait, so that meant we then had to go, ‘How do we address this niche, and how do we then provide that for customers?’
“So I opened a grab-and-go wholefoods at the other end [of Main Road]. It’s under the brand Seasonal, and I’m opening one of those in Stirling.”
Despite the expansion, Hart is determined to stay true to the philosophy that started The Seasonal Garden Café.
“I think that people want provenance; they want to know where their food has come from,” she says.
“People want to dine out because it’s hard work living, do you know what I mean? It’s busy and it’s long and they want to be able to dine out and be relaxed and easy and not have to worry about dishes and cooking.
“They want real food … they don’t want sands and foams and dust. They want to be nourished and be in a nourishing environment, and we’ve got that.”
Around us at the café, children explore the vegetation, dogs lay comfortably in the grass, and customers sit and enjoy their coffees, looking out at the garden that will eventually make its way onto their plate.
It’s an environment entirely of Silvia Hart’s creation, and it’s easy to see why people like it.