Duck, Duck, Goose and Larder

Located in the Australian town of Kyneton, Victoria, just over 50 miles (86 kilometres) NW of Melbourne on the M79, the Calder freeway, there is a business called Duck, Duck, Goose and Larder, a café, grocery store and homewares shop.

Duck, Duck, Goose and Larder

Duck, Duck, Goose and Larder is a quaint establishment located on a rejuvenated Piper Street, one of the oldest streets in the town. It’s a relatively young business started by Andrew and Jeanette Collinson and their daughter Hannah, in 2013. Starting as just a café, it has grown in the last couple of years to include food and nifty gadgets and such. The building, dating back to 1878, started as a market. In 1995, an accidental fire destroyed part of the building. With the help of the Collinson’s the building has transformed into a market, a thriving market, once again.

Inside the supermarket at Duck, Duck, Goose and Larder

I was introduced to the café by my friend Victoria’s exuberant mother Bev, who had recently bought a home in the small town. Bev had a cappuccino, and I had a muffin which was delicious. The leaf design the server made with milk on the top of the coffee was made with tender loving care. It’s the sort of detail you see throughout the store. At the counter, there is an assortment of muffins and other treats to choose from.

The Cappuccino
The baking in the cafe at Duck, Duck, Goose and Larder

We sat at picnic tables under an umbrella on the grass at the front of the building. The temperature was already close to 80 degrees. (about 25 degrees Celcius) There is some indoor seating too, which I’m sure is useful at some time during the year.

It’s a relaxing atmosphere where you can get yourself a beverage, soak up a bit of the sunshine and get organized before you start the day.

A glass wall of windows separates the café and the supermarket area. On the glass, they have written the menu and their specials.

The writing is on the glass Duck, Duck, Goose and Larder

The supermarket area is a large, open area with an assortment of fresh fruit and vegetables (something that Australians are very, very keen on), gourmet hampers (one of the specialities of the shop), meat and, what I thought was cool, a ton of kitchen and household gadgets. Some of the things I had never seen before. It’s a great place to just wander around and see what’s on offer. There’s quite an array of unique items.

Some of the gourmet products inside Duck, Duck, Goose and Larder

I bought a small white tin laundry soap box which I then had to lug around the country in my backpack.

Some of the gourmet products inside the supermarket

Although Bev and I didn’t stay long, it is certainly a place you could spend more than a little bit of time.

Duck, Duck, Goose and Larder is open for breakfast, lunch and snacks. It’s open Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5:30pm and Sunday’s 10:00am to 5:00pm.

The menu - Duck, Duck, Goose and Larder

As for Kyneton itself, it’s a thriving country town in the Macedon ranges. In the last few years, it’s become a culinary hotspot of sorts in rural Victoria. Restaurants and cafes are scattered throughout the town. Many of the buildings along Piper Street have been renovated to their former selves or they have been turned into trendy shops, bars and restaurants.

Bev at the cafe in Kyneton

Kyneton became a major hub during the gold rush era in the 1850’s and has been growing little by very little ever since. Its population is about 6600. While Kyneton is a sleepy town during the week, it’s all hustle and bustle on the weekends and holidays as people make the drive up from Melbourne. Spending the day in Kyneton was delightful. And getting to spend it with my friend’s mum was even more delightful.

James Cowling
James Cowling

James Cowling is a freelance journalist. He was brought up in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and has lived in London, UK, for 20 years. He worked for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation during the election that brought Nelson Mandela to power in 1994. James came to London shortly after that and has worked for the CBC, NBC and CNBC. He also worked for NBC Radio where he covered the Hong Kong Handover in 1997, the Death of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997 and the Bosnian elections in 1998. James worked for press operations for the last two Olympic Winter Games covering figure skating and short track speed skating and at the last Olympic Games in London, he covered gymnastics. Since 2013, he has been freelancing for BBC World Service radio where he previously worked full time for seven years.

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