Story by Eva Stovern. Photos by Thom Stovern.
Please visit www.caravanchef.com
You can tell when a business is run with passion and skill, such as a cosy restaurant huddled in an arcade in Taree, NSW. The ‘Tropical Coffee Co’ is a coffee bar and kitchenware shop proudly run by owners Chris and Clay Trengove with the support of their enthusiastic team. The extensive menu should please the most demanding customer. A range of coffee blends with enticing names such as ‘Cosmic’, plus a selection of gourmet teas including one which immediately caught my attention; the ‘Australian Campfire Caravan’.
Breakfast, lunch and specials menus cater for the ‘snacky’ as well as the famished foodies and can be enjoyed with your own wine for a mere $2 per bottle corkage. Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon or double smoked ham are lavishly coated in a sauce actually prepared on the premises, and the open steak sandwich offers only the best prime scotch fillet.
Choosing my meal from such a wide range was not easy, so I opted for the specialty of the house ‘Asian BBQ Pork & crispy noodles’. This dish has been immortalised by popular demand after customers expressed fears of withdrawal symptoms should it ever be taken off the menu. Chris and Clay always valued their patrons’ opinions and catered for their needs. Back in 2000, when the restaurant was opened, a small range of coffee plungers for sale created so much interest that they expanded the restaurant to include a successful kitchenware shop. It’s that sort of service which popularised the restaurant by word-of-mouth. In fact, that’s how I found it. Whilst strolling the area looking for a great cappuccino, my conversation with Thom was overheard by a friendly local who politely suggested I try ‘her favourite place’. And it’s now certainly one of mine.
Business hours are 7am-3.30pm, Mon- Fri, and 8.30am-12pm Saturdays.
Tropical Coffee Co. Coffee Bar - Kitchen and Giftwares
Address: Pulteney Arcade, Taree NSW
Phone: (02) 6557 8999