We’re dedicated to delivering good coffee to good people both locally and globally. This week we sat down with Sophie & Ross, owners of The Fruit Shop Walcha. This gem is located at the south-eastern edge of the northern tablelands of New South Wales. If you're ever passing through or love a road trip, The Fruit Shop is one to add to your list.
Firstly, what’s your go-to coffee?
Tell us a little bit about yourself and how the cafe came to be?
Ross is a fourth-generation farmer on his family property in Walcha turned fruiterer and is now referred to Con in town (con the fruiterer). I moved to Walcha in January 2018 after meeting ross in 2017. I opened and operated Wholefoods cafes in Sydney for 4 years (Henley’s Wholefoods) so it runs in my blood. By March 2018 we had purchased The Fruit Shop off the previous owners as it was set to close and our little community would lose its only source of quality fresh produce. The Fruit Shop had been an operating fresh fruit and veg shop for well over 30 years, we couldn’t see town loose that and we saw great potential!
Why did you choose Blackboard Coffee?
Because it’s the best haha I have worked with a few specialty brands and knew I wanted to use something different; a brand that I could communicate with easily, would understand our rural setting and support us in that. I had been a massive fan of Blackboard Varsity for years and had followed Nicks journey so when it came to choosing it was kind of a no brainer. We tried the beans with our locally produced milk and it was ON. We haven’t looked back and couldn’t be happier with the boys and beans from Blackboard.
What is the best part about owning & operating The Fruit Shop?
The endless supply of coffee... haha lately our community has endured a lot, from devastating droughts to catastrophic bushfires - our cafe component is more than selling coffee, it’s about the relationship we have formed with our customers - bringing smiles to their faces when they’ve needed it, thrown cheek when they least expected it and giving some the only form of communication they would have that day and following days until their next town run; that’s the best part!
What are your passions outside of coffee?
Sourcing fantastic produce and local products to stock in the shop, bringing something to our customers that the supermarkets can’t. The farm is the biggest passion outside of the shop obviously, this is where we live and it has been Ross’s home his whole life and will be our home for the rest of ours. We are currently planning a wedding and expecting our first baby so there is a bit going on.
If someone were to visit Walcha, what are the little hidden gems around your area?
We have amazing falls and bush walks that will take your breath away! Farm stays out at the Gorge are highly recommended and if only stopping on your way through there are great shops, open art theatre walks, fantastic art galleries and so much more around town.