It takes a lot of guts to be a pioneer, to venture out into the unknown, breaching new territory and providing a new service.
When Sarah and Glenn Smith opened their café in Bay Street, Tweed Heads, Sarah was already well known from her Crumbs and Stuff market stall.
The former site of the Tweed railway station, Bay Street was well known too…for its adult stores and rundown building sites. But that was about to change.
“Three years ago, the street was dead. It’s taken a while to get going, reinventing ourselves as we went along,” Sarah tells us.
We’d been given a warm greeting when we enter the bustling café, seated, given water, and asked to order at the counter.
Smiles flow from those serving to those eating. Smiles abound as dog walkers stop to talk to friends.
“We want to create somewhere where people feel at home, where everyone is treated the same and made comfortable,” says Sarah.
We get it. Warm hearts and busy hands.
“Now, almost everything is made from scratch in house,” she says.
There’s plenty of choice for us on the menu, with so much home-grown hearty fare. Not overly hungry, we forego the Nourish Bowl (one of the café’s signature dishes)
Our roasted mushrooms on sweet potato ‘toast’ with creamed greens, local jersey milk fetta, poached egg and dukkah (v, gf and n – nut-free) are simply delicious; a different take on a vego dish.
So is the soft taco, with two corn tortillas wrapped around coriander lime slaw, two fried eggs, avocado and chipotle mayo, with add your own extras.
Marvell St coffee is one of our favourites and at Food Smith it’s brewed with a fat lip of crema, perfectly sweet to accompany a weekend brekkie.
Our eyes take in the sign above the counter: ‘Love small batch taste – local, handmade, delicious’.
On the back wall, pantry goods line a bank of shelves – activated beans, nuts, granola and bïrcher muesli from local artisan makers, as well as Sarah’s own jams, chutneys, sauces and cordials.
Local and sustainable, they’re in for the long haul: “We’re also focussed on sustainability,” she adds, “with no single use plastics, coffee grounds going to a local gardener, milk bottles recycled back to Norco and no plastic wrap used in the café. We use compostable takeaway containers and only send one small domestic bin to landfill every two weeks. Everything else is reused, up-cycled or recycled. It’s really important to us.”
We’ve left no room for dessert, despite the servery and front cabinet being laden with cakes and baked goods of all colours and kinds. How good would it be to taste that lime pistachio cake, a slice of banana bread, or one of Sarah’s Portuguese tarts!
“Baking is my passion,” Sarah tells us. “All my memories are food-related.”
So, we miss out on a slice of deliciousness from the hands who made Tognini’s famous cakes and baked items; the same person whose rosella jam was purchased to be served to HRH Prince Charles at GC2018!
For another day…
14 Bay Street, Tweed Heads, Ph: 0449 039 440
Open: Mon – Fri 7.30am – 3pm; Sat 7.30am – 12noon. Closed Sunday.