The best thing about living at The Village Green is not the style of home you choose or the size of the lot, it comes down to the community you will be living in, right outside your doorstep.
We took some time to speak Cara West from Home Grain Bakery, who has been instrumental in creating an inviting and inspiring community vibe at the heart of Aldinga.
In 2011 you purchased the historic General Store on 13 Old Coach Rd. (Happy 5th Birthday!) and turned it into a South Australian favourite, Home Grain Bakery. What inspired the name?
The name Home Grain came about because we wanted something a bit more special that reflected more of what we stood for than just using our town name or our last name, and were just kind of throwing around the words "home" and "whole wide world" and it just kind of came to us!! It's hard to name a business, almost like naming a kid!
What do you love about living in Aldinga?
We love living in Aldinga!! We love the beaches and how it's such a gorgeous community for raising kids. We love to live in a place where we run into people we know everywhere we go. There are so many more people who live here now than there has ever been in the past, and it's such a great opportunity to launch a community hub based on good food, good coffee, and good people!!
What have you learned about your clientele and the residents of Aldinga?
We've learned that the people of Aldinga really like good food and they're such a friendly, caring bunch who look out for each other. We have customers bring us Christmas gifts, spare lemons from their tree, flowers from their garden etc, just as their way of saying "thanks!". They were looking for a place to feel at "home" - to meet their neighbours for a coffee or get a hug when they're feeling sad - and that's what we have aimed to be!! As a community we take care of one another, and we hear time and time again how it's that level of care that people appreciate when they come into our shop! The food is great, but it's the people they come back for!!
You’ve started Fridays After Five where the Aldinga community can come out for a twilight gathering to celebrate good food, good music, beautiful wares and friendship. We love that you have created such a space for the community to come together. We think it’s pretty amazing actually! What are you grateful for when you see the turn out each Friday? What do you look forward to each week?
The turn-out at Fridays After 5 is amazing!! We started it 3 years ago, just because we thought Aldinga needed something to do on a Friday night! Since Elise & Dom from Down the Rabbit Hole wines got on board last summer it has really blossomed into something special. We love seeing everyone just hanging out and having fun. It's awesome to have an idea and see people enjoying it and just think "yes! Aldinga DID need something to do on a Friday night!" We also love seeing people come down to Aldinga, and maybe they haven't even heard of it before, and they get this experience that is super special! Each week we look forward to just seeing everyone out. My husband Toff and I are both extremely extroverted, so we get so much energy from just seeing all of the people enjoying themselves. And we love getting a chance to talk with new people or old friends - such a good mix!!
Ending with a very serious question we have to ask, what is your favourite item on the menu at Home Grain?
My favourite item at Home Grain is, and will forever be, the steak and mushroom pie!! I've tried everything in the menu at least 6 times... and I keep coming back to that!!
Have you ever asked yourself, ‘what makes a great place to live?’. We think that Cara and the rest of the community at Aldinga answer that question ten times over! We thank Cara for her time and we hope that our new residents have a better idea of what makes choosing to live in Aldinga and The Village Green so special.