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Published October 22nd 2018
Stop here and rest a while when touring the Barossa
Connections is a coffee shop located in the small hamlet of Greenock in the Barossa Valley. It is only open on Wednesdays and Fridays or by special group bookings.
Drinks service on a silver tray. Image by Kay May.
Connections is located in the former Uniting Church building in the middle of town right next to the town square. The coffee shop has now been running for 10 years and has been very successful. When the church closed years ago, there was still a number of people who wanted to keep their connections with the community and to share the fellowship that had made within the church. And they did not want the building to sit there idle. So some members came up with the idea to start a coffee shop one day a week. The pews were removed and with some kitchen updates, the new coffee shop begun operating. They now open on two days a week.
A charming location for a coffee shop is this old church in greenock. Image by Kat May.
Some 40 volunteers now work at the coffee shop. They are a registered Centrelink workplace volunteer venue and help many people gain valuable skills and workplace experience serving customers and working in a cafe environment. Manager Rose Hegarty is the only paid worker who oversees the food ordering and staff rosters.
Volunteer Penny with Co-ordinator Rose on the left. Image by Kat May.
Rose told me they are not a cafe. They do not have a big cafe menu. The purpose is a coffee shop with the impetus on meeting others or meeting friends for a coffee. It is a gathering place and is open to the public. Here you will find a relaxing and friendly community spot to rest a while travelling about the Barossa. The small church has tables and chairs inside and outside, a comfy sofa, magazines to read and there are jams, pickles and crafts to buy. And the best thing - no loud blaring music.
A place for locals to connect and have a catch up. Image by Kay May.
There is only one hot meal served for lunch on Wednesday and on Friday, there is a different gourmet sandwich each week. Available all the time is a regional produce plate, which is like the old style ploughman's lunch. The produce plate is full of local Barossa selections such as Steiny's mettwurst, local bread, pickles, onions and fresh veggies. The produce plate can be made with gluten-free crackers. They have gluten free bread on hand for the sandwiches.
Always on the menu is the regional produce plate. Mine here is the gluten free version without the local bread. Image by Kat May.
There is a big assortment of beverages including barista made coffees, teas, milkshakes, spiders and juices. There is always plenty of cakes for sale to have with your cuppa including scones. They are proud of the fact they use all Barossa foods where possible. They wanted to be more than the notion of afternoon tea at the church with an Arnott's biscuit and a cup of tea. I have eaten at the coffee shop a number of times and have always had something GF available to me. The cakes at the venue are country homestyle cooking you will find hard to pass up.
Would you like a cake with that coffee? Today there is carrot cake, apricot crumble slice and lamingtons. Image by Kat May.
Connections Coffee Shop is worth stopping by if you are in the area. Go for lunch or drop in for afternoon tea. Once I drove by and there was a crowd of bikies parked there. Oh yes, said Rose, a motorbike club come for morning tea on some of their country runs. They are return customers and they love our cakes. Groups are welcome at Connections, but you need to book in advance.
Greenock has easy access off the Sturt Highway from the Nuriootpa exit or the Marananga turnoff.