On the first of May, 1886, a Post Office opened about 69 km (give or take) from Melbourne, and named Cannibal Creek. That lasted all of a year before it was renamed Garfield, for the U.S. President (20th President, assassinated after six and a half months in the role, in 1881).
As colourful as it’s new name, Garfield’s history covers an eclectic variety of industries, from dairy and potato farming through to timber, but has been from European settlement, a tight-knit community. This is never more obvious than during the Christmas holiday period, when the whole time comes together to put on a wonderful celebration of community.
While I missed last year’s event, I’m really looking forward to this year’s… but I have caught up with a few of the local businesses; and wow. They are amazing. This is not your typical country town main road.
Impodimo Living & Giving
If you’re looking for some quality gifts, then Impodimo Living & Giving is the place to go. Stocking as much as possible Australian-owned, designed and made products, and they are just gorgeous. Having been established about a decade ago, Impodimo changed hands in 2016, and the new owner Kristy is as delightful as her shop. From fashion through homewares to bath and body goods, Impodimo has pretty much gifts for everyone. And if you can’t decide, you can buy gift cards, as well! They also run workshops with local makers and artisans – you’ll need to sign up to their newsletter via their website to find out more.
(By the way – Impodimo is an African word meaning ‘Gifts from God’).
101 Main Street, Garfield
Monday – Friday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Sunday: 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Speaking of Fashion (capitalised deliberately), SOHL Store puts many Melbourne city stores I’ve seen, to shame. And they don;t even cater to me! Brooke, however, was more than welcoming when I dropped in to have a chat. From kids to adults, no matter your shape, SOHL has something stylish for you. Accessories, maternity wear and gifts, I had to check I hadn’t walked into the T.A.R.D.I.S. their range is so extensive. And, they have gift cards, too! I am not surprised people regularly come from the Hills to visit. (You can check out their store – and buy – online here
59 Main Street, Garfield
Monday – Friday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Saturday: 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
Sunday: 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
I have to say, I debated long and hard before going into Lulu’s. I’m glad I did, though, because OH MY LOLLIES CHOCOLATE YUMMMMM. There were things in there I’d never even heard of. If this shop was a factory, it would be straight out of Willy Wonka – minus the Oompa Loompas (although I’m not sure about that). It was magic. And, again, Lulu was just as bright and bubbly as her sweets and treats. I may be dodging sugar, but this is my definitely my go-to shop for presents and special events.
87 Main Street, Garfield
Tuesday – Friday: 10:00 am – 17:00 pm
Saturday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Sunday: 10:00 – 2:00 pm
Way back when, I dropped in to Little Miss Hangry’s and ate one of the most tongue-tingling meals I have ever had the pleasure of consuming. So going back to Garfield I knew this was one place I had to stop in at, and it was just as enjoyable as the last visit (although, I swapped the chilli for a fabulous coffee this time around). The layout is not the norm, but it works so well; providing a intriguing seating that gives significantly more privacy for a public eating area than most. Add to that the decor and atmosphere, and it’s yet another shop I’d happily patronise for hours at a time.
101A Main Street, Garfield
Monday: 8:00 am – 3:00 pm
Wednesday – Sunday: 8:00 am – 3:00 pm
With all that’s in Garfield, let alone the surrounding area, it’s definitely worth more than one trip, and I am sooo going back to catch up with and wonder at the marvellous businesses that are not so hidden there