Check the latest government travel advice before travelling

Not-so-general store and cafe LYDIARD General to open in Ballarat

Words by Della Vreeland
Images supplied

A new cafe and general store is set to open up shop in Ballarat later this month. Serving up warming local fare and featuring its own accompanying gift and homewares shop, LYDIARD General has been dubbed a ‘destination to delight’. After selling another business 15 months earlier, owner Rachel Sheehan says the opening of the cafe was a case of the right time and the right business opportunity.

Located in the historic northern precinct of Lydiard Street, the storefront was originally opened in the early 1900s as a greengrocer before being bought by a fruiterer and confectioner. Fast forward 100 years, and the store remains true to its prior life as a retail space. Its interior walls are also covered from roof to floor with the local newspapers of yesteryear as a nod to its rich history.

While LYDIARD general will predominantly be a cafe showcasing local produce and ingredients as much as possible, it will also stock a broad selection of general goods and gifts including indoor plants (Rachel is particularly excited about her cacti range), planters, candles and diffusers, accessories and specially-branded bling.

The cafe’s exterior wall is also adorned with a vibrant floral mural by Ballarat artisan Tegan Crosbie, whose psychedelic earrings will be stocked at the store.

‘It may be small but (the store) will come with a big punch,’ Rachel says. ‘Wait at the window bench, lounge in the laneway, sit inside while you sip on a Coffee Supreme latte, or simply let time pass by.’

Whether it’s a coffee, a crisp toastie, a warming chai or tea, or a window shopping experience, LYDIARD general is indeed set to delight. But the one thing that acts as Rachel’s predominant goal is the creation of community.

‘I want to create a space that is inviting, comfortable and interesting. I want customers to feel at home, nearly like they are at my home, at my kitchen table, having a cuppa and a chat.’


WHERE: 313 Lydiard St North, Soldiers Hill
WHEN: Opening end of October, Monday – Saturday

We wish to acknowledge the Taungurung people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.
Every week we send you
our picks of the best
stuff happening outside
We will never share your information with a third-party.