The quiet, leafy suburb of Coorparoo is only four kilometres from Brisbane’s CBD, but underneath its unassuming, residential exterior lies a thriving community of shopkeepers presenting a must-visit experience for discerning shoppers. With cobblestoned streets to flower-boxed windows and a plethora of bespoke products on offer, Coorparoo is a well-kept shopping secret just waiting to be discovered.
STOP 1: Vanilla House
Ruth Raison opened Vanilla House 10 years ago with an aim to create a sense of community and inclusion. “I’m happy to say I think we’ve done that, and do so daily,” she says. “Our customers really matter and we’ve built up great relationships with so many.” Good product selection is, of course, key, and Ruth’s buying philosophy is simple. “I buy only what I love and I’m not easily persuaded,” she says. “If I don’t like a product, I won’t order it!” Recently, Ruth added inspirational bespoke candles in her favourite scents to her range, and this month celebrates a decade in business.
Open: Mon-Sat, 10am-5pm; Sun, 10am-2pm.
Visit: Shop 2/380 Cavendish Road, (07) 3324 2136.
Bookmark: @vanillahouse_ on Instagram.
STOP 2: Oliveaux
Interior designer Amanda Harris has a knack for blending old with new and creating interiors that are inspired by a home’s character. “I would best describe my style as classic Queenslander-meets-British Colonial plantation,” she says. Her showroom was formerly a corner store but has been made over beautifully in her signature style. Oliveaux is open by appointment only, but is a treasure-trove of hard-to-find designer and bespoke pieces, so it’s well worth a visit if a new build, renovation – or even new upholstery or curtains – is on your to-do list.
Open: By appointment only.
Visit: 252 Cavendish Road, (07) 3394 2477.
STOP 3: Teenie & Tiny
Mother-and-daughter team, Katina Papadatos and Annetta Cayas were having a coffee when they noticed a "For Lease" sign. “I said to Mum that there was a need for a children’s store on this side of town,” says Annetta, a teacher and mother-of-three, “and within eight weeks we had opened our doors!” A few years on, Teenie & Tiny is staying true to its ethos of embracing back-to-basics play with quality, meaningful objects (above left). “We find pieces that last the test of time and make a childhood memorable,” says Annetta.
Open: Mon-Fri, 9am-4.30pm; Sat, 9am-3.30pm.
Visit: 130 Leicester Street, (07) 3395 3680.
Bookmark: Facebook/Teenie & Tiny.
STOP 4: Picnic
Picnic cafe’s philosophy is to stay true to its suburban roots. The result is an inviting eatery with a relaxed vibe and an amazing array of quality meals on offer, including a large selection of vegan and gluten-free dishes. Huge windows open the inside (above right) up to the usually sunny elements, and house window boxes are planted with herbs and edible flowers that are used to garnish their dishes.
Open: Mon-Sun, 7am-3pm.
Visit: 12 Martha Street, (07) 3398 6600.
STOP 5: Amble & Adore
Marianna Miranda had just closed one chapter of her life and was looking to start a new one with her daughter, Adrianna. The pair took on the lease of a 90-year-old Queenslander with a vine-encased verandah to create Amble & Adore, and set about stocking it with as many locally made and fair-trade products as possible. “It’s not just a shop to us – it’s a space where people can embrace creativity, start conversations and stop for a coffee,” says Marianna.
Open: Mon-Fri, 7am-3pm; Sat, 7am-2pm; Sun, 8am-1pm.
Visit: 1 Kelsey Street, (07) 3398 9729.
While you're there...
Coorparoo is a residential suburb best known for its easy proximity to the Brisbane CBD, lovely homes and plethora of parks – when the array of jacaranda trees are in flower, Majestic Park is stunning. For some, however, a stroll around the streets is what piques the most interest. With much of the suburb’s settlement taking place in the 1950s and 1960s, this south-eastern suburb is unusual in Brisbane for its architecture and abundance of Californian bungalows, Spanish Mission and Art Deco properties – as well as some truly spectacular older masonry dwellings. The most well-known of these includes Langlands House, which was built in 1883 and is now located in the grounds of Villanova College. Buena Vista Avenue is our pick for an architectural feast of beautiful homes, along with standout city views.