Positioned on the Great Alpine Road on the outskirts of town, owners Ermanno and Michelle Lupo saw their new business venture as an opportunity to add to Myrtleford’s growing tourism potential.
The idea originated from Michelle after spending the past few years as a full-time mother to four boys, she had the thought that Myrtleford lacked a café that both parents and young children could enjoy.
WITH much of the café’s intrigue coming from the fact it is a tobacco kiln, those who stop in will be just as impressed with the inside of the building.
Keeping a consistent theme throughout the café was always the aim of Ermanno and Michelle and that’s just what they have done.
Having used all local trades in the construction of the café, they have kept a rustic look by using many recycled materials. Starting from the outside, all the tin has been sourced from old tobacco kilns, either from their own, family members or other former growers.
Old metal tobacco cages have been utilised in the garden as planter boxes for vegetables and herbs, while inside, they have been filled with river rocks and used as a floor-to-ceiling pillar.
Wooden tobacco boxes used to hold tobacco seedlings have been mounted on the wall and now house glass ware. Doors have been made out of Murray Pine boards which once lined the floors of local tobacco kilns.
Tobacco sticks used to hang the tobacco have been used as the fence on the children’s play area and a range of other things.
One of the most fascinating elements inside the café is the tables. All are old doors fitted with a glass top but it is underneath where a lot of thought has gone. The legs are irrigation pipes from tobacco fields while the base plates are old ploughing disks. Another interesting aspect is the café’s cooling system of fans and mist sprays, particularly on the outside where the outer sprays give an effect similar to steam leaving a tobacco kiln during the curing process.
Other recycled materials include felled hardwood from Ermanno and Michelle’s paddock, which has been machined in to bench tops and shelves.
And things don’t stop there with the couple even going as far as sourcing a recycled coffee machine.
Overall the entire building has come up sensationally and looks just the way Ermanno and Michelle had hoped.