A Chat with Elise Turnedge from “Brunch on McBride”
I moved to Cockatoo 15 years ago with my husband Paul and daughter Chloe who was then 3 years old.Chloe started at Cockatoo Kinder about 3 weeks after we moved here and that was around about when the “community” side of me was dragged out kicking and screaming (LOL) and it hasn’t stopped.
I spent 2 years on the Kinder Committee, and then moved onto the Primary School council for the better part of the time Chloe attended Cockatoo Primary School. I then spent 4 years as Treasurer of the Cockatoo Township Committee, before moving on to my present role as Secretary & Treasurer of the awesome Ash Wednesday Bushfire Education Centre, while Paul is a local CFA volunteer.
My previous working career, before having 5 years dedicated to being a Mum, was in banking and finance and I used to joke around with Paul about how they needed to build a bank in the main street so that when Chloe started primary School I would have a nice local job. And, that is just what the Bendigo Bank did. The branch opened in Sept 2015 and Chloe was due to start school the next year. So, naturally I applied for a part time job, and was successful, although my first role was at the branch in Belgrave. After 5 years the manager’s position became available at Cockatoo and I just had to go for it, to realise that dream I had all those years ago. I was successful, and spent the next 4 years as the manager of the local bank. Part of the role I loved the most was being involved with community, giving out grant, donations etc. It was a great feeling to be working for the betterment of the town.
After 4 years here Paul & I decided we needed a career change, and really wanted to do something together. We started to look at what was missing in town, and decided that perhaps a new old style café was something we could do, even though the only experience we had was me working in a cafe 10 + years ago on weekends.So we rented a totally empty shop and started to set up Brunch. We personally built everything from the ground up. On the 25th of January 2015 Brunch was born, and the rest is history. We have now been running 3 1/2 years and we still love every minute of it.
One of the things we tried to do was to create healthier options for people, we have no deep fryers, we don’t do chips, dim sims etc., but what we do is fresh made to order sandwiches and lots of home cooked quiches, lasagnes & pies. We make everything on premises such as hot food, cakes, sweet slices, muffins & even the biscuits. The only thing we don’t make is the bread we use for our sandwiches. We source 80% of our supplies locally, as we are still about the betterment of the whole town.
We are a space for local artisans to display & sell their work. Such as paintings, pottery, photography & lead lighting>But one of the things we are most proud of is every month we donate our tips to a local community group such as the SES, CFA, RSL, Scouts etc. because again, it isn’t always about us, but making the town better as a whole.
Brunch on McBride can be found at 44b McBride Street in Cockatoo, Victoria.They’re open from 7am to 4pm Monday to Friday, and 9am to 2pm Saturdays.