David Francis is a freelance writer based in Adelaide.
Published May 28th 2013
Relax over a coffee, or pick up those last-minute groceries
The busy section of King William Road at Hyde Park has long been a place to browse, to shop, to eat, or to grab a coffee. One of the first to combine some of these elements in the one stop is the Hyde Park Gourmet Grocer, on the eastern side near bus stop 6 (near the corner of Park Street).
Owners Nora and Nigel Robinson took over the local IGA supermarket in 2006 and began a transformation into the boutique store now operating in this location. They had been inspired by Hobart's popular Hill Street Grocer after a visit to that city.
Inside the store you will find fresh fruit and vegetables, including organic, a range of supermarket-type items arrayed on shelves, cheeses and smallgoods, coffee, juices, cakes, and fresh heat-and-eat dinners.
The store has a variety, from supermarket items and fresh fruit & veg to gourmet foods
And don't think you'll pay more because it's "boutique" or "gourmet". The fruit and veg prices are actually cheaper than the big stores and are delivered frash daily by the Adelaide Produce Market. Positioning themselves as a local, family-owned business, the Robinsons take great care include South Australian produce - including many products which cannot be found in the larger supermarket chains - and have established long-term relationships with many companies by placing regular orders.
The coffee is Mahalia, the Robe-based roasting company, who provided barista training for the store's staff, to ensure the beans are treated with the respect they deserve! Nora Robinson stated they employ local young people, who receive training in safety and store operations and are selected for their personal qualities and friendliness, to ensure a consistent level of customer service. She said they had wanted to create the type of local store with personalised service where repeat customers are known by name.
Some regulars come in for coffee and cake in the "Salon" - an area in the front set up with tables and comfortable chairs, with magazines to read. There is an indoor and an outdoor setting, as well as bench-style seating where you can sit and watch the world go by. Others come in to pick up groceries on the way home from work, taking advantage of the late closing, or to buy time-saving ready-made, healthy, home-style meals / soups / quiches - these are fresh, not frozen, by the way.
There are so many stores along this strip, it can be difficult to spot what you are looking for unless you are on foot. To eliminate this problem, and in keeping with using local companies, Hyde Park Gourmet Grocer turned to Jon Kruger, of Kruger Design, to create its distinctive branding.
The distinctive signage stands out in this busy street