As the perfect flat white slides onto the table, just ahead of a plate of smashed avocado with feta so smooth you’d swear it had been cloudsourced, it suddenly becomes clear why the Little Swallow Café has queues out the door each weekend.
This café in the heart of Kyneton’s third main street (yes, there are three, in a gold-era streetscape that zig zags through town) the café is making a history of its own, helping the town to rely not on 1850s caricatures, but by delivering a Melbourne-style café experience better than most of Melbourne.
Daniel Richards and Ed Pursey bought the café back in 2014 and have made it a landmark destination in the popular town, an hour northwest of Melbourne.
“Whilst a cafe is not the easiest business to run, it is very satisfying when you stand in the dining room or in the court yard and it is full of happy chatting customers enjoying what you are providing,” Daniel says.
“You can find comfort in knowing you have provided a positive experience in their day.”
The pair lived in Richmond, with Daniel high up the corporate ladder working for a large consumer electronics firm and Ed running his own landscape gardening business, and they would stop by the café most weekends as they travelled to their 120-acre weekender farm at Redesdale.
“When Little Swallow came on the market, we were both over living in Melbourne,” Daniel says.
“Our careers, whilst very successful, were also very stressful and tended to leave us wanting more from life.
“We were living in Richmond at the time and the congestion and density of living were getting worse each year – so we sold in Richmond and bought the cafe.”
The café blossomed in popularity, built around a focus on friendly and welcoming service providing locally sourced food where possible. Daniel and Ed set up a large vegetable patch on their farm to help supply the café and focused the kitchen on maximising freshness and taste for customers.
They moved into their current, larger café in 2018 – going from a 32-seat venue to 92 seats, but still pack out the café on busy weekends, with customers clamouring for space in the garden court yard.
“We enjoy what we do and have a wonderful team helping us execute our vision,” Daniel says.
We are glad that we have left behind the pressures of inner city living and live and work in a beautiful area where space is of abundance, people are friendly and the air is clean.”