New Cafe Rides Into Timbertop
The team behind the new venture are Timbertop locals the Foschini family, brothers Matt and John and their wives Linda and Julia.
The High Horse, opened in May, occupies the pop-up space that was the old Timber Mill Cafe adjoining the wetlands, before moving to a permanent site on the ground floor of Parklea’s office and retail development.
“We have two aims for the cafe, good quality food and great customer service,” said Matt.
The Foschinis have extensive hospitality experience as the proprietors of Madeline’s at Jells in Wheelers Hill.
“We really think this new venture will breathe new life into the pop-up cafe until the main site it up and running,” said Matt.
“We want to create an atmosphere where the community feels comfortable to hang out with friends or family and it doesn’t matter whether customers stay two minutes to grab a coffee or two hours to enjoy breakfast or lunch. Everyone is welcome.
“We want Timbertop and surrounding residents to refer to the The High Horse as their local cafe.”
The Foschinis have modified the temporary space to improve work flow. The High Horse also has new decor, including new tables and chairs, and a fresh colour scheme.
Matt says the menu at the “pop up site will still be substantial” but choice will increase dramatically once The High Horse moves to its permanent home sometime next year.
“ The menu will include all day brunch with a variety of egg options, acai bowls, toasted sandwiches and pastries. We do a lot of homemade baking, things like banana bread, scones, muffins and we will have lunch options such as calamari, salads and burgers,” Matt explained.
The Foschinis say they are excited by the challenge and rewards of operating a business in their own neighbourhood.
The family settled in Timbertop three years ago.
Matt admits he had never heard of Officer until a friend suggested they explore the area when they were looking to build.
“We fell in love with Timbertop the first time we drove in. We were lucky to get a lovely block of land and we haven’t looked back. We’ve built our lives in this area and now we love Berwick, Beacy and Officer. We don’t want to be anywhere else.”
The family is keen for The High Horse to become an integral part of life at Timbertop and the wider Officer community.
“It is really exciting to be opening a business where we live and embracing the community. Community means a lot to us. We want our kids to grow up with a community feel and Timbertop certainly has that” said Matt.
“We want The High Horse to be a place where people feel super comfortable to hang out. It will be casual and laid back. And we will engage with the community during Easter, Christmas and the school holidays
“When the cafe is in your backyard it becomes an extension of our home and a way to bring people into our lives.”
The name The High Horse also has special family significance. It was one idea on a “massive list” according to Matt, but became the obvious choice because of links to his daughter and niece.
“My daughter was born on 1 August which is the date on which all horses celebrate their birthday and my niece was born on Melbourne Cup day.
We felt the name had a nice meaning behind it because of those family connections.“
Timbertop residents eagerly embraced news of The High Horse’s imminent opening when it was shared on social media.
The Facebook post announcing the Foschinis’ plans received 108 comments and 406 likes.
Comments included Cardinia Councillor Tammy Radford who said she was “Very excited for your opening and can’t wait to pop in”.
Others posted – “So exciting and love the name”, “Finally real Italian coffee short black” and “Whoohoo no more Coles coffee”.
“We have been overwhelmed by the response,” said Matt.
“We are going to be doing a lot more on Facebook and Instagram to keep people updated so I encourage everyone to go to our Facebook and Instagram
pages and like @the highhorsecafe.
“The day we open we hope there will be a long line of people eager to enjoy our hospitality and get their caffeine hit,” he laughed.