It may be small, but Cobargo’s newest food outlet, a mobile kitchen and shopfront custom-built by Tiny Homes Tilba, has already had a big dose of community support.
“People have really responded to it,” says owner Lena Kuppens, who opened Via Luna for the first time last week with partner Harry Binnendijk.
Lena and Harry are from the Netherlands originally and moved from Amsterdam to Sydney in 2010 and to Cobargo in 2012.
“It was much more of a culture shock to move Sydney to Cobargo than from Amsterdam to Sydney!” Laughs Lena “we moved to Wandella [west of Cobargo] after we started wondering – why did we move all the way across the world to live in another city?”
The small village of Cobargo is lucky [or unlucky, depending on how you see it] to have the Princes Highway running through it and all the travellers that come with it, often looking for sustenance or coffee en route.
Lena and Harry both have hospitality backgrounds and their food is tasty, homemade, uses local produce where possible and is often portable, designed to be either eaten at the outdoor tables at Via Luna or nibbled in the car as you continue your travels or make your way home.
Lena says that she and Harry have travelled a lot and that the food is “European style, inspired by all kinds of traditions and ideas.”
Some examples of the menu include pear, cardamom and pistachio muffins, roasted beetroot and feta frittata and risotto Primavera with chicken.
“We are open from 11 am until 6:30 pm, so if you need an early dinner or to get something to take home for dinner, we can do that. I find people often get a bit snackish around 4 pm,” Lena comments.
Another popular menu item is the bone broth, which comes with optional add-ins like fresh herbs or homemade kimchi and can even be blended with coconut oil for a nourishing treat.
“It totally sustains you,” Lena says of the broth.
There are big things in the future for Via Luna – the block of land Lena and Harry bought is a double block and has a big yard, which Lena plans to turn into a community garden.
“We really want to use local produce, there are lots of beautiful growers around but we’d love to have produce right next to us in the garden as well,” she says.
While Lena is focused on food, she understands that the people need coffee!
“The plan is for James Bristow of Valiant Coffee to park his coffee van here in the mornings, so we’ll have the courtyard and two vans. We know that you need coffee!” Lena laughs.
Next time you are passing through Cobargo, step into the tiny shopfront of Via Luna, where you can see Lena cooking and smell what’s baking in the oven or bubbling on the stovetop.
“I make different food almost every day, so there are lots of food adventures coming up!”
Via Luna is currently open 11 am until 6:30 pm, Wednesday to Friday and 8:30 am to 2:30 pm on Saturday.