There is something about quaint villages and charming family-run Cafes that just seem to click. When it comes to quaint and charming, the village of Exeter and its General Store have both in spades.
"The village has retained much of its charm over the years. Things like the quirky antique store, and the heritage railway station make it very picturesque and unique.
Owned and operated by Craig and Lauren Johnson for the past 15 years, the Exeter General Store is much more than a café; the gorgeous 100-year-old building is an oasis of Southern Highlands village life that the regulars and visitors find irresistible - that and the amazing food and coffee on offer.
"Back in 1914 the property was a produce store for local farms," reveals Craig. "It's still a proper working general store - and a café. The locals are in here every day."
When asked to reveal the secret to retaining the passion required to run a busy café for 15 years, Craig reveals a simple love for good coffee and food is the main ingredient.
"We are both lovers of great food, but more than that is the store's role in the community as a hub. It's a great feeling to know that we provide a meeting place for the local community, as well as an enjoyable stop-in for visitors."
The store has ample seating inside, including the much-coveted window seat - a vantage point to watch the world go by. The post office is operational and still well used by the local community, and, as the name suggests, the property is an operating general store with a wide selection of local gourmet produce, gifts, and walls full of pre-loved books all available to purchase.
Back in 1914 the property was a produce store for local farms. It's still a proper working general store - and a café
The large garden courtyard outside is the perfect lunch or breakfast location on a sunny day, and the café is motorcycle and dog friendly.
"The General store is perfectly situated in the Highlands for a halfway break for anyone getting out for a ride day through the highlands," Craig explains. "There's ample parking and plenty of seating."
Once you have finished enjoying the Cafe's ambience, Exeter is a great place to wander and check out the selection of retro and knick-knack stores.
"The village has retained much of its charm over the years," explains Lauren. "Things like the quirky antique store, and the heritage railway station make it very picturesque and unique.