Meet b3 Partner: Rebecca from Urban Paddock Co.
Located in the Flinders Station Plaza, Urban Paddock Co. is well known by students, commuters and hospital patients and staff for their friendly and efficient service and homemade and tasty ‘grab and go’ food items.
As a valued b3 Partner, we asked owner and operator, Rebecca, a couple of questions for you to learn a more about her and UPCO.
How long have you been working in the hospitality industry?
I have been working in the hospitality industry for most of my work life (21-22yrs) in various positions & roles. Fortunately, I started off surrounded by some of the Fleurieu's top chefs & front of house leaders while in high school, where I completed Certificate 1 in FOH & Commercial Kitchen Operations. They were huge influences on my career. From there, my love of the industry grew, especially the coffee industry, seeing me through to where I am today.
What’s the story behind the name ‘Urban Paddock Co.’?
Urban Paddock Co is located within Flinders University & Hospitals precinct. When announcing the construction of the University, then Premier Don Dunstan referred to the location as a ‘suburban paddock’. This term became the grassroots of our name. It also symbolises where I come from and what I stand for: producers, fresh & local.
That’s why we endeavour to source beautiful produce from the paddocks of small farmers within the Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu regions.
Lynda Shepherd initially established Urban Paddock Co around 2015/2016. In mid-2018, my husband & I purchased UPCO, transforming the coffee shop from a retro caravan within the main campus to what it currently is – in a new location, trading out of a modern custom-designed shipping container. A lot has changed over the last four years, especially through the pandemic; however, the heart of Urban Paddock Co stands true to the original ‘local’ vision of Lynda, which still aligns with our own values.
What do you love about your customers?
There are so many things my team and I LOVE about our customers – their openness to engage with us and the trust they give us daily with their custom-made orders, followed by the personal chats.
Being located next to a hospital, we have kind of become therapy for some trying to have a break from their daily stresses, which means we are often greeted with big smiles.
Being the 'people' people we are, it only leads to great customer relationships, conversations & cheeky banter. We believe 'everyone's dash is a little different', and I feel our customers also value that understanding and respect individually. I am very blessed to have created a space where like-minded people meet.
What did you do before Urban Paddock Co? What do you enjoy most about having a café?
Before Urban Paddock Co, I used to work for Villeré Specialty Coffee Roasters in McLaren Vale. I also owned & ran From Humble Grounds on the side – a premium mobile coffee cart trading weekly at the Willunga Farmers Market, and also catered to weddings, corporate events & music festivals. Through FHG, I produced & bottled cold brew coffee commercially, having our own label locally.
The thing I enjoy the most about owning a cafe is eating croissants & coffee, haha! Well almost. I really enjoy the relationships & being able to ‘create’ – it’s one of my art forms.
Do you have a favourite moment with your staff?
There are many moments I have enjoyed over the years, though I would say my favourite moments (not specific) are when we have high-fived at the end of a huge day, knowing we worked in ‘the zone’ as a team. It’s almost like a proud mum moment for me. I also love when we laugh over silly daily things or share memes etc.
How do you enjoy your coffee at home?
Quite simply, a soy latte. I’m also a little bit lucky as I have a very nice espresso machine at home where my husband is the main ‘barista’. Occasionally, I revisit the old French press and have a long black with a dash of milk. I am quite particular about the preparation & timing of the brew.
Next time you're in the Flinders area, be sure to pop into Urban Paddock Co to meet Rebecca and the team! They have an array of takeaway items, including b3 beans, as well as additional seating to enjoy a coffee or a delicious bite to eat!
To learn more about our partners, visit our b3 Partner page.