Church building, Lilydale cafe Harrow & Harvest sign hanging with church in the background

Harrow & Harvest cafe

Local Love Project

Jun, 2023
Lilydale

Heritage church building in Lilydale now local Lilydale cafe, Harrow & Harvest
Church building, Lilydale cafe Harrow & Harvest sign hanging with church in the background
Pink neon sign for Lilydale cafe Harrow & Harvest

Ok, I am super excited to share this one! This is my absolute favourite café, not just for the amazing atmosphere or the truly delicious food, but also because the owners are kind hearted and generous people.

As part of my local love project I asked Frazer a few questions about building this amazing business and he talks all things from opening a business in the midst of covid lockdowns and his definition of success to his ideal weekend!

This place has an amazing play area for the kiddos, a little retail space filled with products from local women owned businesses and even some outdoor seating if you bring along your pup or just want to soak up the rays.

So if you happen to be near Lilydale make sure you pop by and order something yummy! And if you’re not local you can still shop the online range at www.harrowandharvest.com.au.

42 – 44 Castella Street,
Lilydale 

Tell me about what your business is/does.
Harrow & Harvest is a cafe located in Lilydale Victoria. We operate 8-4 Tuesday to Sunday. We serve yummy food that looks pretty and delicious coffee along with having a small retail/shop local space in our cafe. At night we host special events like weddings, engagement parties & birthdays.

When did you start your business and what made you want to start it?
Harrow & Harvest opened 6 days before stage 4 covid restrictions in VIC. We opened on the 1st of july 2020. It’s a funny little story because it wasn’t planned, intentional or something I ever thought would be in the cards for me. As a makeup artist I never thought a cafe would enter my world or that i would enter a cafe unless it was for my almond latte in the morning on the way to a makeup gig. The thing is “i’d never even made a coffee before or worked a day in hospitality in my life” It was a scary world i knew nothing about…. My partner Eddie loves the building harrow now resides in and saw so much potential for the space (an old church). He spoke to me about it one night over dinner and literally the next day it was happening and the cogs were in motion. I didn’t know I’d say yes to the journey ahead but the words just came out of my mouth! “YES ill do it” from then it was concept, brand planning & finding our DNA!
 
What has been your biggest achievement in your business? And what challenges did you have to overcome to reach it?
Achievement means ” A thing done successfully with effort, skill or courage.” I wouldn’t say I’m the biggest fan of voicing my achievements out loud for the world to hear. I am thankful as much as I am proud of what we’ve done here but awards, accolades & success don’t interest me in the slightest. I feel like mentioning the achievements we’ve had makes me feel like I’m not being true to myself, as I’m the kind of person who will celebrate the wins in private, when no one’s watching as I look up to the sky and thank the universe for having my back.  I feel like everyday is another day doing what we love & serving up good shit that makes people happy. Of course there has been a long list of challenges along the way but the best medicine for challenges is a smile and keeping your cards close to your chest so the world can sit back, relax & enjoy what you’ve created without knowing the struggles it took to get there. 
The team at Harrow & Harvest Lilydale cafe
A gourmet looking wagon wheel shot through a dessert window at Harrow & Harvest, Lilydale Cafe
Frozen Elsa cookie on saucer with flower petals sprinkled over it, from Harrow & Harvest, Lilydale Cafe
What do you love most about running your business?
I love the beautiful life long friends I’ve made with incredible women who I look up to. 

How has having a business changed you?
Its softened me up a little bit. Made me a little more confident in speaking to people & I’m definitely less shy! Being a makeup artist in my past life I just did my work and was focused purely on my creative realm. This business has forced me to come out of my shell dealing with 100s of beautiful customers daily. 

What traits do you possess that have helped you in your business journey?
I think if i had to choose two traits that have helped me in business it would be the tenacity & fearlessness I’ve had since I was little that has equipped me with the tools needed for my business journey. 

What’s a quirky, little known fact about yourself?
I love country music!

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Swedish Rosti…. dah!

Favourite book/s?
I love memoirs of a geisha & the hunger games books.

Current (or recent) Netflix binge?
The Ultimatum!

Describe your perfect house.
It’s a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere with lots of cute animals, veggies and fruit gardens. 

What superpower would you like to have?
This is such a hard question! I would possess the ability to fly! but i want cute wings or something. None of this random I can fly out of nowhere stuff. Give me tinkerbell fairy wings PLEASE!

What’s your ideal weekend?
Definitely hanging out with my puppies & my best girlfriends while we eat yummy food and laugh about all the stupid shit we do.
Owner of Lilydale Cafe, Harrow & Harvest - Frazer
A man wearing an apron against a brick wall, holding his tattooed hand up to his mouth as he laughs - owner of Harrow & Harvest Cafe Lilydale cafe

Could you tell me about one of the most difficult times in your business? Was there any helpful lessons learnt from this?
Let me be completely honest with you… The most difficult times in business have been the times I’ve sat alone & pondered on the road ahead. I’m someone who is super internal about a lot of things. Portraying my visions, hopes & dreams into reality has been something I’ve found very daunting as I am hard on myself when it comes to business. I set the standard high for myself and quite often I will not stop until the job is completed no matter what. That means that a lot of personal dreams & aspirations get pushed to the side because this small business comes first. Harrow & Harvest comes first, before me, before friendships, before housework, before personal goals & before family. What I’ve learnt from pushing myself so hard and being so hard on myself is that I can do anything I set my mind to. The only obstacles are the ones I choose to view as hurdles to get over.  The helpful lesson is that I can do ANYTHING & ive learnt to say bring it the fuck on instead of i dont know if i can….     

Has there been a particular influence, person or otherwise, that has significantly helped you? And in what way?
My team!!!! Where the hell would we be without the crazy H&H fam. They’ve put up with the journey from start to finish. They’ve put up with everything from rapid growth with not enough knives and forks to keep up with service to a business that puts so much pressure on them to move fast, be the best and never give up. They’ve been with us through so much. They’ve helped us stay grounded when we needed it, been friends in times of need & have shown support when we doubted ourselves the most. 
 
What does success mean to you?
For me It’s like “who cares about success in 2023” Just do your best, stay in your lane, love what you do, wake up happy, say no to competition, set personal goals, be healthy, teach kindness & say yes to being a force for good on planet earth!

What future plans do you have for your business?
You’ll have to wait and see…. I’ll never kiss & tell. 
 
If you could give your past self one piece of advice about starting or running this business what would it be?
Don’t compare yourself to anyone… Your journey belongs to you and no one else. 

As a child what did you want to grow up to be?
I just wanted to be happy!
Heart shaped neon light under a dried flower arrangement hang on a wall divider. IN the background a female barista serves a coffee.
Dried flower arbour on the doorway entrance into Harrow & Harvest, a Lilydale Cafe

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