Beyond the tracks of Puffing Billy, the iconic steam engine of the hills, lies Gembrook. It’s a small but growing town, which once provided stunning bush scenery for the 2009 film Where the Wild Things Are. Despite several newly developed estates, Gembrook manages to keep it’s rustic, friendly charm and none of their local businesses reflect this more than Spencer’s Store.
From the homely exterior, with dried flowers pressed within the glass panels of the front door, to the bay window and garden seating area, Spencer’s is built for casual beauty and rustic comfort. Owners Ryan and Scott have infused Spencer’s Store’s renovations with warmth. Entering this café feels more like being welcomed into the dining room of their home rather than a business site.
Their menu changes season to season, with house-made sauces and jams with many ingredients sourced from their own vegetable gardens out the back. Breads, cakes, art and table floral arrangements come from local suppliers, and they are always on the lookout for other small, independent businesses they can put their support behind.
Despite being in the hands of its new owners for less than a year, Spencer’s Store in thriving and has become a quick favourite for many looking for a quiet place to read, eat, write, catch up or caffeinate.
Current menu favourites are the burgers. If you don’t fancy the spicy chicken with cucumber, tomato with herb and chili mayonnaise or the pork with ‘slaw and chilly jam, there’s a vegetarian option featuring a beautifully marinated mushroom flavoured with dukkah and a parmesan popcorn accompaniment.
Spencer’s Store is always full, if not with people then with warmth and hospitality.