A local favourite – Eat Drink West
Drive by for a golden coffee that’s on point
JUST shy of two years old, transformed former petrol station, Drive Café is the family run eatery striving to create a community hot spot within Golden Point.
Owner Sam Fraser said she and her family viewed the location as an opportunity to create a space for members of the community to meet and connect.
“We are local Golden Point residents who saw potential in a site that was run down and a bit of an eye sore,” she said.
“We also thought there was no café or eatery venue in this area, Ballarat has a massive population but nothing over this side of town, so we thought why don’t we develop it?
“Although we haven’t done a café before, we run another business and our children have extensive hospitality experience so we figured as a family unit those things might work well together.”
Drive manager Jarrah Staley said the process of selecting a coffee producer when setting up the business was important, as it’s often a key factor in a café’s long-term success.
“I undertook extensive research throughout Melbourne where I was living at the time,” he said. “We ended up going with Dukes which is a small local team based in Richmond.
“They are incredibly down to earth, genuine people who have done an incredible amount to help us out and the coffee is phenomenal.”
In addition to the caffeinated appeal, the breakfast, lunch and night food options focus on being as “tasty and wholesome” as possible, while highlighting some of Ballarat’s finest produce.
“We wanted to offer a lot of fresh, local produce because there are a lot of great regional producers so it seemed like a good fit to offer those,” Ms Fraser said.
“The feedback has been great, customers have responded really well to having local options on the menu.”
Although the café’s inventive food offerings, quality coffee and award winning wine list brings in new customers, it’s the community-first atmosphere that keeps people coming back.
Since its inception, Ms Fraser said not only have they noticed a variety of other businesses popping up in the area but also a close-knit and supportive Golden Point community forming.
“We’ve seen a variety of different businesses open up in the area including a fashion boutique and a homewares shop both across the road which has brought a lot of extra people,” she said.
“We have people who met each other through the café who are really good friends now, so it’s lovely from a community point of view that it’s worked.
“So many of our regular customers are people from the area which is what we had hoped would happen and they tell us how much they love it and how it’s become a part of their lives.”