Hugh Whitehead, Little Green Corner Cafe – Swapping homegrown veggies for coffee

Patrick Blampied 2016 Speakers

The Little Green Corner Cafe stands for three core values: Simplicity, thinking and acting locally, and operating sustainably. They’re popular values that are easy to proclaim but harder to live by, and often the wheels fall off before you make it through the door. That’s definitely not the case here.

Beyond the cafe is Green Corner Farm, both a physical farm (out in Waurn Ponds) and a kitchen garden out the back of the cafe. It’s also a concept that refers to the simple exchange of coffee for excess ‘spray free’ produce from Geelong backyards, farmers or growers.

It’s based on the idea homegrown stuff is the best and that an act of bartering (without money) is a powerful, and beautiful, thing. The concept is in perfect harmony with a menu that is based solely on what can be grown around here.

That super productive old lemon tree, those zucchinis, spring onion…. bring them in and have chat and a bloody good cuppa on the house!

Hugh Whitehead is the owner and he’s infused those concepts throughout the building, the seasonal menu and his choice of staff. He will be sharing his story with us at the 2016 Future of Local Food Conference.

Housed in one of Geelong’s oldest buildings, there are visible signs throughout the Little Green Corner. The first thing you notice is the array of solar panels pointing towards our beautiful north facing bay. As you walk through the door your eye is drawn upward along freshly milled vintage hardwood to a row of fermented jars of veggies that frame the main counter.

Little Green Corner Geelong - Fermented vegies framing the counter

Little Green Corner Geelong – Fermented vegies framing the counter

The timber is heavily featured throughout the Little Green Corner Geelong and was sourced from a building of a similar age that was being demolished in Hamilton.

Little Green Corner Geelong - #greencornerfarm

Little Green Corner Geelong – #greencornerfarm

Anyone who has a green thumb will know the perils of a home garden, as well as the benefits. What do you do with 600 lemons that are all ripe at the same time? The Little Green Corner Cafe offers precious coffee in exchange for local produce. This is when you know they’re committed. Dealing with the variety and inconsistency of small batches of local produce is a challenge that some kitchens aren’t prepared to deal with.

Little Green Corner Geelong - Tipping the Scale

Little Green Corner Geelong – Tipping the Scale

Great coffee sourced from microlots and a seasonal menu isn’t where it ends, the place is littered with little green treats such as the esky boombox, crate table and cardboard business cards. If you’re a green thumb (or and aspiring one), the Little Green Corner Cafe also has you covered with Little Veggie Patch Co. seeds and books. If you’re in the area, stop by and say hi to Hugh, he’s the smiling man behind the coffee machine.

Little Green Corner Geelong - 1 Minute Gardener

Little Green Corner Geelong – 1 Minute Gardener

Little Green Corner Cafe Geelong - Esky Speakers

Little Green Corner Cafe Geelong – Esky Speakers

Little Green Corner Geelong - Story of the Week

Little Green Corner Cafe Geelong – Story of the Week

Little Green Corner Geelong - Salted Caramel

Little Green Corner Cafe Geelong – Salted Caramel

Little Green Corner Geelong - Salt & Pepper

Little Green Corner Cafe Geelong – Salt & Pepper

Little Green Corner Geelong - Quince & Cinnamon

Little Green Corner Cafe Geelong – Quince & Cinnamon

Little Green Corner Geelong - From the Front

Little Green Corner Cafe Geelong – From the Front

Little Green Corner Geelong - Fireplace

Little Green Corner Cafe Geelong – Fireplace

Little Green Corner Geelong - Cardboard Business Cards

Little Green Corner Cafe Geelong – Cardboard Business Cards

Little Green Corner Geelong - Crate Table

Little Green Corner Cafe Geelong – Crate Table

Little Green Corner Geelong - Delicious Filter

Little Green Corner Cafe Geelong – Delicious Filter