Sharla Watson in the new, renovated Farmer and Sun Cafe, which offers more space and an eclectic, rustic, vintage vibed decor.
Sharla Watson in the new, renovated Farmer and Sun Cafe, which offers more space and an eclectic, rustic, vintage vibed decor. Donna Jones

The Gympie cafe that has 'out-hipstered' Melbourne

ONE of Gympie's favourite cafes has had a make-over and an injection of space.

Farmer and Sun Cafe in the Southside Town Centre shopping complex has expanded and now is more popular than ever.

Cafe owner, Sharla Watson said the need for more space was paramount.

"It was getting to the point where staff were working on top of each other. There were not enough seats and no-one was able to settle in for any length of time,” Mrs Watson said.

Customer Mahli Lobegier in the new, renovated Farmer and Sun Cafe, which offers more space and an eclectic, rustic, vintage vibed decor.
Customer Mahli Lobegier in the new, renovated Farmer and Sun Cafe, which offers more space and an eclectic, rustic, vintage vibed decor. Donna Jones

The new space has been sourced from the former Laguna Real Estate office and it means there is much more seating available for patrons.

There is also more kitchen space which has come from former storage space from the Farmer and Sun marketplace and fresh fruit and vegetable shop next door.

The marketplace has also had a chance to expand, utilising former cafe seating space and in the future will use that space to install a deli and to provide bulk items like grains and nuts available for purchase by the kilogram.

Sharla Watson in the new, renovated Farmer and Sun Cafe, which offers more space and an eclectic, rustic, vintage vibed decor.
Sharla Watson in the new, renovated Farmer and Sun Cafe, which offers more space and an eclectic, rustic, vintage vibed decor. Donna Jones

Inside the cafe is fully air-conditioned and the decor is an eclectic mix of vintage interest pieces and sentimental keepsakes.

There are pages of The Gympie Times from as early on as 1924 plastered on the dividing walls.

An arbor at the rear of the space was made from the hardwood uprights and hand carved panels of a 140-year-old slab hut made from felled timber from a property in Widgee.

The Webber family bible, which is around 198 years old and brought out to Australia by Sharla Watson's ancestors, is proudly displayed inside the Farmer and Sun Cafe which was recently renovated.
The Webber family bible, which is around 198 years old and brought out to Australia by Sharla Watson's ancestors, is proudly displayed inside the Farmer and Sun Cafe which was recently renovated. Donna Jones

Shelving set up at the back holds a 198-year-old family Bible and all around are interesting pieces, hand made objects and touches of the past.

Mrs Watson said her mother, Trena Waugh, was responsible for all the antiques and by-gone memorabilia, like the Bible which belonged to her ancestors, adorning the space.

A photograph of Sharla Watson (the baby) and four generations of her family on display at the Farmer and Sun Cafe.
A photograph of Sharla Watson (the baby) and four generations of her family on display at the Farmer and Sun Cafe. Donna Jones

Mrs Waugh said a lot of the items belonged to her parents, Mrs Watson's grand parents, like a hand made boat that "Pop” made in an afternoon and would get used every summer.

It now holds pride of place displaying a selection of organic coffee and reusable coffee cups near the front door, along with a hand carved oar and "Pop's” favourite flatcap hat.

A lot of the furniture was sourced and made by local company Rustic Country Kitchens including the unique tables made from timber pallets and some of the timber artwork.

Some of the eclectic items on display inside the renovated Farmer and Sun cafe including Sharla Watson's grandfather's fob watch and knick-knacks belonging to her grandmother.
Some of the eclectic items on display inside the renovated Farmer and Sun cafe including Sharla Watson's grandfather's fob watch and knick-knacks belonging to her grandmother. Donna Jones

Feedback from customers has been overwhelmingly positive with one local saying the cafe had "Out-hipstered Melbourne”.

"We're getting amazing feedback. We got some really good comments on Trip Advisor,” Mrs Watson said.

Jacquie M gave Farmer and Sun a five out of five on Trip Advisor and said with the increased seating and the decor, she would be back.

"The expansion into the next shop with so much more seating is sensational, the decor is hip and easy to be in,” she wrote.

"So happy with this place, will be back regularly now with more seating available.”

Sharla Watson in the new, renovated Farmer and Sun Cafe, which offers more space and an eclectic, rustic, vintage vibed decor.
Sharla Watson in the new, renovated Farmer and Sun Cafe, which offers more space and an eclectic, rustic, vintage vibed decor. Donna Jones

As of December 23, customers will have more opportunity to experience the new Farmer and Sun Cafe for themselves with Mrs Watson planning to open on Sundays for breakfast and lunch.

"Our Saturdays are always fully booked, so we've been wanting to do Sundays for a while,” Mrs Watson said.

"We thought we'd wait a couple of weeks to give staff a bit of practise with the new space.”