Tailem Bend locals can thank a red brick wall for having the best coffee, drinks and desserts in the region.
On a whim, Amy Chinsami convinced her husband Neil that an unassuming shopfront in the main street of Tailem Bend was the perfect place for a coffee shop, all because she fell in love with the exposed feature wall.
‘It didn’t matter to her that the rest of the place needed major work!’ laughs Neil. ‘We knew we wanted to start Little Local Co, but hadn’t thought of where. So because of a brick wall, Tailem Bend got the nod. It felt like everything just fitted us, and the timing was right.’
In just 18 months, Amy and Neil have cleverly used social media to promote Little Local Co. ‘We treat it organically – we’re not about the hard sell. We just post our creations, letting people know what we’re up to in the kitchen.’
Their posts cause a frenzy of shares and comments, with people suddenly organising a change of plans to include a visit to Little Local Co to sample the days’ specialty.
‘We genuinely love what we do, and don’t overcomplicate things. I think maybe people can sense that we enjoy experimenting with our cooking, and just love feeding people,’ Neil says.
Amy produces the sweet stuff, and her sugar bombs are a hot commodity. People are known to drive from Adelaide just for coffee and cake, and locals often beg Amy to pop a zeppole aside for later. ‘People message us with requests to hold their favourites until they can get here to collect them,’ she laughs.
Neil loves to create breakfast and lunch goodies for Little Local Co, utilising seasonal, local ingredients, and both he and Amy enjoy experimenting with native ingredients. Amy’s lemon myrtle tarts and Neil’s Golden Wattle cold brew, which has wild harvested wattle seed from the Coorong, are popular with customers.
‘People like to know where their food comes from, and they like to support local and SA producers,’ Neil says. ‘We’re going to stock more shelf products like our coffee beans from Cirelli Roasting Co to support small producers and creators, as people have supported us,’ Neil says.
And Neil is creating new cold brews with unusual bush ingredients, which have proven popular. In the pipeline is My Island Home, which uses cacao beans from Fiji, which will then be roasted in SA.
‘We’re loving that people are liking what we do, and are supporting us in what can be a tough business environment,’ Neil says. ‘I’d advise people to just follow their passion and spend their days doing something they love.’