Let’s not beat around the bush here, the last few months have been tough, tough on small businesses, tough on families, friends, cities, rural towns, butchers, bakers, and selfie stick makers. The latest lockdown is making it even tougher! The Melbourne CBD is practically a ghost town and we miss our local comforts we use to experience daily.
To cushion the blow and help us get settled in to this new kind of normal, we asked our Melbourne guides to help us build the perfect care package for yourself or a Melburnian friend and what they’ve come up with is an absolute doozy.
Item 1: Coffee beans from Melbourne icons Seven Seeds or Dukes Coffee Roasters.The number one thing Melburnians will be missing is Melbourne coffee. The greatest coffee in the world is brewed here in Melbourne, and coffee roasters across the city have made it easy to perfect “Melbourne style” coffee at home. We’d recommend grabbing a bag of Seven Seeds Espresso Blend or Dukes Coffee Roasters Market Espresso to pop in your care package. Your Melbourne/caffeine deficient self will certainly thank you for it!
Item 2: Tea from Melbourne Tea Specialists Impala & Peacock or Tea Drop.So apparently not everybody drinks coffee, but Melbourne’s cafe culture isn’t just about the bean, you know. The Melbourne cafe scene is iconic across the world for a whole host of reasons, but tea and coffee is definitely the first place to start! For the Melburnian who isn’t as into coffee as they should be, we recommend a box of Brunswick Breakfast from Impala & Peacock or My Melbourne from Tea Drop. The smell of either one of these Melbourne themed brews will have anyone reminiscing of times spent paying $30 for smashed avo in an instant.
Item 3: A pair of warm yet funky socks from Melbournalia or The Melbourne Shop.Who doesn’t love a warm pair of socks? Especially ones with Melbourne icons all over them! A we know Melbourne’s weather is some of the most unpredictable in the world, and a pair of warm socks is an absolute must for locals and visitors alike. Luckily the novelty sock trend is still very much booming here in Melbourne with loads of local suppliers stocked and set to keep you Bourke St Mall ready. If you’re after a pair of Tram patterned socks we’d recommend checking out local favourites Melbournalia or The Melbourne Shop. They can also help you with any other Melbourne memorabilia you may want to add!
Item 4: Something scrumptious from Brunetti.Brunetti is a Melbourne institution. With the first location opening in Carlton back in 1985, Brunetti is a gorgeously authentic Italian patisserie serving up some of the best sweet treats the city has to offer. Not a lot of Brunetti’s menu will be Australia Post friendly though, so you may need to go for something a little more indulgent for your care package. We suggest ordering a jar of the Rum Baba or a sleeve of Chocolate Coated Coffee Beans from the Brunetti website for an authentic Italian Australian treat.
Item 5: The latest copy of The Big Issue.The Big Issue is probably one of the most iconic magazines in Melbourne. When you’re walking through the busy streets of the CBD it’s impossible not to see a Big Issue vendor, advertising the latest addition in the most creative way they can think of. The magazine first launched in Melbourne back in 1996 to help homeless, disadvantaged and marginalised Australians find a steady income and build their confidence. Since its first edition, The Big Issue has made over $30 Million for its vendors and has become one of Melbourne’s favourite social enterprises. You can still buy the latest issue via their website to add to your perfect Melbourne care package, and your $9 will go toward helping the disadvantaged vendors directly and supporting other projects spearheaded by The Big Issue. Check out their website for more information!
Item 6: Some Art by a local Artist such as KITSU or Frances Cannon.We’ve said it once we’ll say it a thousand times – Melbourne is the cultural capital of Australia, and for good reason. We have so many incredibly talented humans in our city and there is no shortage of fantastic local pieces capturing snapshots every day. While our markets may be closed all our favourite Melbourne designers are still busy at home hustling their online stores and making distinctly Melburnian works. Art is of course completely subjective, but if you’re looking for somewhere to start your search we would suggest adding a pair of KITSU earrings or a print by Frances Cannon to your care package.
Item 7: A list of all the things you’ll do once Melbourne is back to normal!Now you’ll need to do a little soul searching for this final item. No care package would be complete without a note and this one will be the icing on the cake. Make a list of all the places, events, activities, bars, restaurants, markets, and cafes you want to take yourself to when you’re able to reacquaint with your city. You can tailor the list to fit your fancy and if you find yourself craving some history, street art or quirky Melbourne facts you can even add “Take a Melbourne I’m Free Tour” to your list. This will help to remind you just how good Melbourne is.
Don’t Forget: A splash of Soy Milk from Melbourne locals Happy Happy Soy Boy.
That’s right – soy milk! You know, to go with the tea and coffee. Being a city of left-leaning hipster types Melburnians have really jumped on board the plant-based milk train. For all our milk alternative needs Melbourne based soy company Happy Happy Soy Boy has all our bougie breakfast beverage needs covered. Whether you drink plant or dairy milk there’s just something about seeing a carton of Soy that brings those Melbourne cafe memories flooding back. If your care package recipient prefers almond, oat, macadamia, cashew, rice, coconut, flax or hemp milk, well, you’ll definitely be able to find one of those at your local IGA.
By Niamh Hassett