Nestled amongst the old buildings that line Cadell street in Goolwa, South Australia, Motherduck café is part of the growth of eateries around the state embracing wholesome foods and a chic, welcoming atmosphere.
The renovated interior boasts a wooden-walled shelf and stripped back walls to reveal brick and mortar. Combined with chalkboard paint and Edison lights which hang above; it creates an atmosphere that is desperately needed in cafés in rural towns. Buddha radio strums quietly in the background and the hushed sounds of passing school-holiday tourists make it a perfect location for relaxing and eating.
You don’t have to be paleo to enjoy the foods this café has to offer either; it may be a little but it has a big bite of delicious, wholesome food to choose from. We delighted ourselves on the sturdy Eggs Benedict for breakfast which is served with two poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, sweet potato roti (optional), bacon (optional), spinach and sourdough bread. The eggs – creamy and cooked perfectly, tasted fresh and almost sweet. The sourdough bread, egg, spinach and sweet potato roti combined on the fork tasted warm, wholesome and felt like it was made with the love.
“…it may be a little but it has a big bite of delicious, wholesome food to choose from.”
The table settings are adequately placed and amply caters for enough people for breakfast and lunch. Serving sizes are relatively small but wholesome, though we did not experience dinner on our visit. The service was quick, bright and bubbly which added to the welcoming atmosphere of the little café on Cadell.
Smoothies, cold pressed juices and a range of desserts appear on the menu throughout the day, with wine and afternoon drinks appearing at night. I tried the banana, yoghurt, coconut, dates and cinnamon concoction as well as the pineapple, spinach and apple juice smoothie the next day and both were equally as tasty as the other. With delicious coffee and T2 tea available, Motherduck café is a more than ample location to visit on your trip to Victor Harbor, Goolwa and their surrounding areas.
A note on cafés
What I find with cafés available to both residents and tourists in rural towns is that food options are limited in both scope and atmosphere. Traditional whitewash-walled cafés with a set, replicable menu and basic interior have been around for so long that people have become used the idea of them and are often afraid to change where they eat. When a restaurant or cafe such as the Motherduck café in Goolwa or the Rogue and Rascal in Port Lincoln appears, it creates a choice for not only the “under 40’s” market but the tourists as well.
It adds variety, scope and options for people to choose where they spend their money. Competition is often healthy for businesses because each business can see where it needs to improve. Evaluating what works and what doesn’t work is healthy for the business as cafés often become tired and outdated.
As rural and semi-country towns have a smaller population compared to the cities, opportunities for businesses are often far and few between. Therefore support needs to be encouraged for small businesses that are locally owned and operated. Furthermore, residents who have ideas for small cafés and eateries need to be encouraged to try their ideas without the pitfalls of long leases and huge upfront costs to create growth and variety for healthy, thriving country towns. This could be one area for local governments to focus on in the future in the form of small business grants and community rental opportunities.
Emphasis should also be placed on the food options available; whether that be vegetarian, vegan or other. “Healthy” food on a menu should not be seen as an oddity, it should be embraced and easily accessible for people. Vegetarian and vegan options should not be seen as a speciality, it should be embraced with just as much energy and enthusiasm as a local pub’s “steak night”.