CHILDHOOD TREAT: Sonya Lane, co-owner of Wonderlane Emporium in the Star Court Arcade in Lismore, enjoys a lime spider.
CHILDHOOD TREAT: Sonya Lane, co-owner of Wonderlane Emporium in the Star Court Arcade in Lismore, enjoys a lime spider. Cathy Adams

Stop and shop for a new frock at vintage tearoom

REGULARS of Wonderlane Emporium describe the Star Court Arcade treasure as "nana chic".

Co-founded by friends Sonya Lane and Nadine Whitney in October, the tearoom-meets-frock-shop has gained a reputation as much for nostalgia-infused lime spiders as it has vintage clothes and accessories.

The tearoom concept started off as an adjunct to the store's fashion offering, with the aim to create a cosy experience from which to differentiate it from online competitors.

However, Sonya says increasingly her customers are coming in for a skirt and leaving with scones. Many just make a beeline to their famous iced chocolates.

The homemade cakes are just like grandma made. "They don't always look perfect. They are made with natural ingredients and fresh, local ingredients like eggs and honey."

The fairy bread scones and melt-in-the-mouth sponges hark back to simpler times. It's no wonder that the shop has become a savoured stop-off for mums and their young charges, both intent on a sugar-coated hit of childhood whimsy.

With a background in the legal industry, this is Sonia's first gig after being a stay-at-home mum.

Sonia says she is looking forward to her first winter in Lismore's treasured arcade, when customers head indoors for the cosy lounge room feel.

While other cafe start-ups in Lismore emphasise speed and consistency, Wonderlane rambles the other way, with a welcoming, wonky appeal.

And just like grandma, Sonya and Nadine don't begrudge customers lingering over a Devonshire tea for ages on a rainy afternoon.

Wonderlane Emporium offers board games, magazines and books of short stories for you to enjoy with your order.

The coffee shop's vintage style and generosity of spirit is apparent in every facet of the store, with the owners going to great lengths to source and commission larger sized clothing.

"We offer size 6 to 26, because everybody should be able to look funky," Sonya says.

Wonderlane Emporium stocks a mix of new and vintage clothing for men and women as well as a variety of dapper accessories.

It stocks designs from many Northern Rivers designers and welcomes more local creations.



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