Just Outside of Central Glenferrie
While the Glenferrie Hawthorn shopping precinct may seem like an ideal location for a business due to great exposure, high foot traffic, and proximity to Glenferrie Station, it's not every business owner's first choice. The Glenferrie Times visited some businesses located on the fringe of Glenferrie Hawthorn, to find the appeal of their less central location.
"I've always been one to shy away from big crowds," says Michael, owner of The Faculty. "I believe that if you have a good product and belief in it, you can make the most out of any area." Michael closed his cafe near Nunawading Station to open The Faculty cafe at 302 Barkers Road in 2015. The suburban Hawthorn location has a larger and more beautiful building, less direct competition, and a friendly crowd. The attraction of The Faculty's location, he says, is that "We might be away from 'central' Glenferrie Road, but we are in the 'centre' of everything. We're in the middle of multiple schools, especially same-sex schools, so families with multiple children often meet in the mornings and afternoons".
Further north, Brandy sits on a corner in the backstreets of Kew at 68 Edgevale Road. Owner Lindsey opened the cafe in 2017, along a side-street thoroughfare for local private schools. Lindsey most appreciates that the location means the cafe is "somewhere people deliberately go. People like stumbling across a great café tucked away somewhere and bringing their friends to come see it." Being in the middle of a residential area, customers take advantage of non-competitive street-parking, dog-friendliness, and the ease of walking from home. "A café off the beaten track has a lot of intimacy and community to offer."
Away from the main hub of Glenferrie Hawthorn, at either end of central Glenferrie Road, is Cotham Village (intersection of Cotham and Glenferrie Roads) and Glenferrie Hill (intersection of Riversdale and Glenferrie Roads). These intimate mini-centres boast asmall selection of local shopsand their own cafes, with Cru and Hahndorf's Fine Chocolates at Cotham Village and Finders Keepers, Red Fox Run and River Glen Kitchen at Glenferrie Hill. These centres have another type of appeal for businessowners and locals.
Craig runs the Cotham Newsagency at 97 Cotham Rd, which has been in his family for over 40 years. "Having been here and servicing this newsagent territory for so long, the family's really gotten to know the local people over many years. 90% of the people who come in I know personally." Craig enjoys the quiet, "intimate" location, explaining it is easy to 'know your neighbours' - which is how he met his long-term partner Debbie, the owner of Mint Gifts across the street.
Ten years ago, Debbie and lifelong best friend Vickie were looking to open their own gift store just as the shop at 130 Cotham Rd, Kew became available. The address was previously home to a destination gift shop, so they snapped up the opportunity of the location's local reputation. "We have a great loyal customer base primarily made up of returning customers from the local neighbourhood, rather than once-only shoppers". Debbie would neverconsider moving to a more central location, preferring the friendliness and freedom that comes with small-time local shopping.
At Glenferrie Hill sits the iconic landmark Stotts Corner Pharmacy at 532 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn. The pharmacy dates back to the 1920s. When current owner Dragana bought the business three and a half years ago because of its historical significance, she reinstated the pharmacy's original name, logo, and colours. She noted that "everyone still called it Stotts regardless", even through multiple name changes and owners. Working as head pharmacist five days a week, Dragana appreciates being "really able to form close relationships with my customers."
The pharmacy's suburban location easily allows them to "still offer old-fashioned home-delivery services for older or sick people. I feel in busier areas, that personal touch can be lost".
Hawthorn's OsteoStrong is Australia's first centre for the American company's trademark bone density testing and skeletal strength wellness centre. Before their recent opening at 85 Riversdale Rd, Hawthorn, OsteoStrong's region research showed Hawthorn to be a prime location. Caitlin, the centre manager, noted that one of the location's most appealing qualities was the large external signage facing the local tramlines.
She explained that being amongst an intimate cluster of businesses and close to residential areas fosters "a great local community", and that "having good relationships with other local businesses and doctors means that, if a local's talking about their bone issues, doctors and/or allied health can refer them around the corner to us and we can work together collaboratively".
These bustling mini-centres and hidden cafes among the residential area just outside - but not too far from - the central hub of Glenferrie Hawthorn complete the local shopping experience.
Don, the owner of Hawthorn Barbershop at 549 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn, sums up the appeal of working in such a 'local' area: "this is where people live, rather than just where people go to shop".