New cafe steps back in time with an old dairy farm setting

WHEN former nurse and landscaper Kim and Tony Kratz bought the old Alstonville Garden Centre they had an ambitious vision to create a rustic-style restaurant complete with a historic farmhouse sightseeing experience.

That vision has taken about seven years to realise but the wait was worth it for the husband and wife team who opened the Edible Garden Cafe, set within Down Converys Lane,in March.

The cafe restaurant, located on Converys Lane off the Bruxner Hwy, is open three days a week for breakfast and lunch.

Head chef, Jade Connors, said the menu uses mostly local products and produce including herbs grown in the property's garden.

Guests are invited to wander around the five acre property before or after their meal.

"We wanted this to be a real experience," Mrs Kratz said.

"I can go anywhere to have a cup of coffee but I want to have a story told to me while I'm there.

"There's a big lawn area for kids to kick the footy around.

"All the buildings you see are the original buildings from a 300 acre dairy farm, like the creamery building, and the cafe kitchen was the original dairy building where they milked the cows.

"There's the old stable building we use for functions ... It's all here for people to enjoy."

Mr Kratz said they've been hosting events for a few years but the focus now was on the cafe restaurant.

"It's going to be done up so it will be quite nice in winter, there will be nice windows in there," he said.

Mrs Kratz said they were awaiting approval for renovations but she hopes to see works complete within a couple of months.

"We'll add a wool shed style section, with rustic corrugated iron, to the cafe" she said.

"It will have big windows that look out over the macadamia farm, big doors, and we're hoping that will be within the next month so it's ready for winter."

Mrs Kratz said they would start serving dinners and expanding operating days around the same time.

Mr Connors won't reveal the new dinner menu just yet.



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