For many, coffee is an aid to get them through the day. For Tom Rodger, it’s a way of life. The Henley Beach local has spent the past five years fuelling the people of Brighton through his popular café, The Seller Door, but it’s through his newest venture that he’s really showing off.
In an unassuming corner store, just down the road from the hustle and bustle of Henley Square, The Local Canteen (TLC), is serving up coffee but not as you know it.
“We’re really focused on speciality coffee and innovative products that set us apart from other cafes,” explains Tom. “The concept we had in mind was for a quality coffee shop that focused on quick, on-the-go brews and food to match.”
Teaming up with local roasters, Elementary Coffee, TLC has created a special blend dedicated to Henley locals.
“A lot of our menu has been created with the thought in mind to look after the locals with a lot of it revolving around the people of Henley,”
The custom blend is available hot or cold in the form of nitro coffee straight from the tap. The relatively new trend is a cold brew infused with nitrogen to create a smooth, almost silky beverage with almost 30% higher caffeine than your regular brew.
Creating a grab-and-go menu to complement the coffee offerings was important to Tom and his brother and business partner, Ben, with the pair wanting to continue the innovative theme through the food. And they’ve succeeded.
With acai bowls on tap, New York-style toasties and cheeseburger croissants, the menu is designed to be eaten on the run.
“This space is different to the Seller Door. We’ve got some seating at TLC but it’s really made for grabbing a coffee and something to eat and heading down the beach,” says Tom.
Keeping this in mind, Tom and Ben ensured that all the packaging used in the cafe is fully compostable. “It was really important to us to be as sustainable as possible, especially as we focus on takeaway and are so close to the beach.”
A strong ethos of supporting locals rings throughout The Local Canteen. You’ll find sourdough bread from SoiiBoi, doughnuts from Butter & Toast, deli meats from Barossa Fine Foods and cold-pressed juices (on tap!) from Juice Quest.
“We’re really about quality over quantity. Everything we’re doing is focused on being the best we could get and we have so many amazing suppliers in SA that it made sense to team up with them to get fresh produce and support local at the same time.”
The Local Canteen is open 7 days a week 7am – 2pm.
Find them at 1/32 Main Street, Henley Beach