Story and photo by Vivienne Pearson
‘The Shop’ at South Golden Beach has been transformed into Mrs Birdy, an almost-always-open cafe/corner store/restaurant/takehome meal caterer.
Saying that Mrs Birdy has arisen phoenix-style from the ashes of The Shop might be pushing the bird metaphor a tad but locals are certainly rejoicing. The previously dark interior has been completely brightened and the whitewashed external walls and re-established gardens have revitalised the outside seating areas.
Taking flight mid-year, Mrs Birdy’s owners and staff have recovered from being slammed early on, as every local and his bird came to check them out. As locals themselves, it is very genuine when owners Kate and Scott Foster speak of community. ‘We are excited about creating a community hub and for us to be such a part of our own community,’ says Kate. ‘Nothing makes me happier when I’m serving a customer and someone else walks in and says to that customer: “I haven’t seen you for so long!” and they stay and chat,’ says Kate. ‘
Scott flew into Mrs Birdy from catering for celebrities as head chef at The Sanctuary. Kate alighted gracefully (after a double somersault and full twist) from running marketing and events at Circus Arts in Byron Bay. Her plumage will also be familiar to those involved in the Bangalow Theatre Company, as she directed their hit show Little Shop of Horrors.
Flocking to join Scott in the kitchen are other locals – Kate Hoskins, formerly of Top Shop and Citrus and Scott’s catering business partner, Victoria Cosford, a cooking teacher and previous food-writer for The Echo, and Tess Kilgariff, a well-known local caterer.
The food offering is far from bird-seed: it’s wholesome, rustic, generous and flavoursome. A selection of ‘fast and fresh’ offerings include chef-prepped salads (such as brown rice, roast veg and white bean), arancini, fish cakes and fritters, along with sweet treats (like a berry choc cake or an almond sour cherry and frangipani tart). Freshly prepared meals include burgers, pizzas and brekky staples such as smashed avo.
For anyone not feeling inspired by their feeding their own brood, takehome meals are also available.
Locals won’t suffer from empty-nest syndrome as the revamped shop floor continues to sell locally made produce, including fruit and veg, sauces, dips, soaps, bread and spices. The good old lolly shop element of the general store role is still there but parents will appreciate the subtle placement, away from pester-power-sized hands.
South Golden Beach’s community has benefited recently from a new skatepark and playground and now has a cafe hub that everyone is chirping about.
Mrs Birdy, 19 Beach Ave, South Golden Beach. 7 days (M–Th 7–7, Fri 7–8, Sat 8–8, Sun 8–7) Ph: 6680 2843, @mrsbirdysgb