By Emily Friedel
Flori e Casa means flowers and homewares, and that’s what you’ll find at the shop tucked away on Station Steet in Yea. But you’ll find a lot more besides. Coffee, cakes, light lunches, plants, books, and lovely things for the little ones. Approaching Christmas, you’ll also find festive season decorations, while the dog-friendly atmosphere is something you can find all year round.
For owner Linda McAuliffe, the Yea shop is the third incarnation of Flori e Casa. The business started in Sydney before popping up in Alexandra’s main street, then moving to the Station Street location two years ago. Linda says her love of homewares and vintage goods came from her mother.
“Back in my teenage years, Mum had a little antique shop, so I tagged along to garage sales and markets at the local halls and Ainger Auctions in Richmond. Highlight of my week.”
With this longtime appreciation for home decoration, Linda has created a warm, cosy vibe in the shop based on her personal tastes.
“I try to be true to my style and only sell what I would put in my own home,” Linda says.
Like homewares, fresh flowers have always been a part of Flori e Casa. Tina Brunt is the resident florist at the Yea shop and sources flowers from local growers to make colourful bouquets. Tina was also in charge of creating the garden around the outdoor dining area, which led to Flori e Casa stocking plants from Kinglake’s Antique Perennials.
“The plants we have in the garden are either culinary or for floristry, and Antique Perennials are perfect for floristry. I knew as soon as people would see them in the garden, they’d want them. So it was kind of an obvious thing to stock,” Tina says.
While homewares and flowers have been staples at all Flori e Casa locations, the café at Yea is a new addition.
“The added bonus of this building was the kitchen, so it seemed sensible to make use of it. I really just wanted a small café bar so people could have a cup of coffee and a piece of cake while they’re shopping, and one thing led to another. So now we do toasties and soup and quiche – all made in house. I am lucky to have Daniel, a local French pastry chef, who bakes all our delicious cakes on site,” Linda says.
The cafe’s offerings can be enjoyed in many different ways: indoors, outdoors, seated, or when wandering around the shop in search of treasures. They can even be enjoyed with a canine companion.
“We are dog friendly. People love it because their dogs are their fur-babies; they’re part of the family,” Linda says.
While the Flori e Casa team strives to make every shopping experience special, the annual Christmas night offers a unique opportunity to browse their wares with a complimentary glass of bubbly and some nibbles. This is a great chance to get loved ones’ gifts or find some festive decorations to spruce up your own home for the holidays.
“Every year we have a selection of fair-trade items – the little nativity scenes usually sell out straight away. We have a few vintage decorations, lots of candles, and we offer free gift wrapping,” Linda says.
Also available are Tina’s bespoke Christmas decorations made from an assortment of collected vintage and natural materials.
“We can do Christmas flower arrangements and table decorations and wreaths, but get in early to order because it’ll be here before we know it! We’ll have some on display for our Christmas night, so people can order then too,” Linda says.
Whatever the occasion at Flori e Casa – whether it’s their Christmas night or an everyday outing – customers are assured of an abundance of flowers and homewares to browse through at their leisure. However, there is also a great deal more to entice and inspire, with latte in hand and pooch by your side if you choose. Or perhaps after a light lunch and catch-up with friends.
As Linda says, “It’s really a one-stop shop.”
For more information on Flori e Casa you can find them on Facebook or Instagram, just search for Flori e Casa.