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High praise for Kensington café


A café inspired by a couple’s devotion to St Mary of the Cross MacKillop has overcome the challenges of opening at the start of the COVID crisis and taken out a major prize at the recent SA Restaurant and Catering Awards for Excellence.

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The award-winning High Street Cafe

The High Street Café, located adjacent to the Mary MacKillop Museum at Kensington, won Best Coffee Shop category at the 2022 Awards.

Business owner Mick Beech said considering the huge amount of competition for coffee shops in Adelaide and South Australia, the recognition was a “real honour”.

“It’s been especially tough these last couple of years for everyone in the hospitality industry so this is some really good news for our community,” he said.

“It’s a reward for all the hard work that our team of staff have provided to our customers; I am so proud of them all.”

Mr Beech established the café four years after his wife, Tammy, died from lung cancer. At the time, he told The Southern Cross that “since Tammy has gone to heaven there’s been things happening and I think one of the things she’s been able to do is to line up this café”.

“I think she’s got really pally with Mary MacKillop up there,” he said, adding that Tammy had prayed every day to Mary MacKillop while tightly holding a wooden cross with Mary’s image in the middle.

“She held onto that cross all the time, even when she was in hospital at the Queen Elizabeth…it really helped her get through that one year.”

More than 140 local restaurants, café’s and catering businesses gathered to celebrate the achievements of their peers who were judged in over 45 categories, with the winners announced at the Hostplus Awards for Excellence ceremony held at Adelaide Oval.

The Awards for Excellence is a nationally recognised, independently judged awards program that celebrates exceptional service and culinary talent across the state. The Awards for Excellence is the only program in Australia where the judging criteria is determined by consumers who rank what is important to them in the dining experience.

The awards are judged by an independent team of trained judges who anonymously visit the venues to determine the restaurant/café winners. The scores are based on the entire dining experience from food to the customer service experience when the judges anonymously dine.

Restaurant and Catering CEO Belinda Clarke said the High Street Café should be “immensely proud of this win”.

“The past two years have been incredibly tough for the entire hospitality industry in Australia but success stories like this show how far hard work can take you. With the right mix of staff, products, produce and service, the results can be extraordinary.”


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