The Pickers Union Revamped

Subscribe to Forte Magazine

The Pickers Union Revamped

A simple dream, some great coffee and a keen eye for detail is all that was needed to kick start this café evolution. Tucked away with the vintage markets amongst the industrial setting, The Pickers Union Café is a real North Geelong treasure. With renovations back in July after three and a half years in business, this hidden gem reopened with a new outlook, an updated menu and a fully visible refresh.

Owner Bek Lah (along with her partner Sev) says the refurbishments were needed to keep up with the demand of their cosy café. “We originally planned to have a simple menu of coffee, cake and sandwiches. Soon, the café was filling up every weekend and our loyal regulars wanted more. Gradually our menu expanded and we started creating over the top sweets. It didn’t take long for us to realise that we had grown out of our cosy space and that we would need to expand our seating and build a much bigger kitchen,” Lah says.

The renovations included the installation of a full kitchen, bathrooms and doubling the seating for the café, inside and out, making it the ideal place to be this summer. “The outside seating area has a new life of its own now. The addition of the hanging chairs and all new seating looks and feels fantastic. We even put in some speakers so we can crank music right through summer whilst we sip on some tasty iced lattes!”

With a macrame hanging, pink flamingos, new pink and mint signage, and a custom made golden unicorn named Cornelius, the space has created a fresh new look sporting a contemporary Malibu vibe. “Inspiration came from California and Palm Springs. Some art deco touches tie in with the Vintage Market next door, and some quirky bits and pieces we personally just loved.”


With a strong focus on delicious coffee, and a menu that has always been coaxing, the industrial kitchen has meant the creation of an even better menu, allowing the guys to create dishes with more complex elements. “We are smoking and slow cooking meats now which adds another level to some of the meals. One in particular is the 14-hour hickory smoked brisket on a roast onion waffle, with baconaise, cheese and a fried egg,” Lah says.

If that hasn’t got your mouth watering, Lah says the ‘squeaky clean’ with broccoli, roast sweet potato, raw beetroot and zucchini salad, avocado and chia with activated charcoal hummus is another favourite dish. However, if you’re a fan of sweets, they definitely have you covered with the “oh my gosh” hazelnut and chocolate waffles, peanut semi-freddo, chocolate fudge sauce, berries and vanilla Persian fairy floss.

Focusing strongly on supporting local business, Pickers works with a range of local suppliers including Coffee Cartel, The Bronx Pressed Juices, Lamadre bakery, Sprout House Farms, and Geetroit Foodie, which has only added to the look and feel of their friendly and vibrant renovated café.

Head down to The Pickers Union at 3 Mackey St, North Geelong. Open every day 8am-3.30pm.

Phone 0447 531 844 or visit their Facebook page

Written by Talia Rinaldo