Pure South Dubai: Australia’s finest in one inviting speciality store and cafe
The brainchild of Aussie Felicity Sheppard, Pure South aims to bring the very best of the South – Australia, New Zealand and Fuji included – to the UAE with this beautiful concept.
Every single thing that you see in this speciality store and cafe has been thought out to the minutest detail. And aesthetically, the whole vibe here was directly inspired by Felicity’s home – a rural farm located 3.5 hours north of Melbourne in Eldorado, Victoria, which was founded by her great, great, great grandfather (she is a fourth generation farmer’s daughter) George Sheppard, who first came to Australia from England in 1859. Even the labels on the boxes feature vintage artefacts from her family’s historical archives. The stunning wood used for the shelves stocking the 1000+ products, the tables upstairs in the dining area and numerous other locations, is crafted from railway sleepers that were shipped in from Queensland. The tiles are all bespoke and handmade. The copper middle work at the barista station was handcrafted by fellow Aussie Artisan Smith. All of the photography used to decorate the space and cover the postcards and gift notes was shot by a fellow farmer, Rachael Lenehan – including Hamish, the friendly-looking Scottish Highlander flanking the cafe at the back. There’s also an old-school water station, which was inspired by Felicity’s old rainwater tank at home and offers municipality-certified clean, chilled, complimentary H20 to all guests, in glasses, to reduce plastic waste (another key part of Pure South’s mission).
In terms of the wonderful paraphernalia decorating the shelves, there are over 1000 products to get lost in. Pure South has the exclusivity for 99% of them and they are mostly all crafted from small producers and family businesses hailing from Australia, plus a small selection from New Zealand and Fuji. The idea is that every time you visit Pure South there will be something else to discover and Felicity and her team will be adding to the range on offer regularly.
One corner is dedicated to homewares, gifts and beauty and features names like Bondi Wash from Sydney, candles by SOH from Melbourne and non-toxic, vegan nail polish brand, Sienna from Byron Bay. Intricately made greeting cards by Bespoke Letterpress (who use an extremely old circa-1900 letterpress to make each one) are also on offer, alongside other trinkets.
Another corner is dedicated to ‘The Cold Room’, which will soon stock a variety of cheeses, organic baby foods, ice creams and sorbets alongside bottled kombucha and other fresh products.
The rest of the space is where the speciality food products can be found, including sauces, jams, cereals, pasta, snacks, preserves, chutneys, oils and more. A wide range of vegan, gluten-free and special diet foodie treats are also stocked. The Huntr filled our basket with Kitz’s vegan and gluten-free coconut dream caramel bars and mini pizza crackers (organic, raw, activated, vegan and gluten-free), L’Abruzzese traditional homestyle pasta (gluten-free), Pimp My Salad’s ‘Sea Superfoods’ mix, Extraordinary Food’s cashew parmesan, Bahen & Co’s house blend bean-to-bar 2-ingredient chocolate and Kombucha Max organic green tea with turmeric and ginger. Truth be told, we easily could have bought the whole shop (and we also ended up purchasing the shopping basket!)
The cafe is situated at the back. Still is soft-phase launch when The Huntr visited, the (Australian-roasted) speciality coffee is perfected and each one comes with a complimentary Tim Tam biscuit – dairy-free coffee addicts will also be happy to learn that you can get MilkLab’s almond milk and the Bonsoy soy milk used in the majority of speciality coffee shops in Australia. Food-wise, it’s all about rustic and wholesome eats for breakfast and lunch, with decent portions and prices. The offering currently features cheese toasties, quiches, bircher muesli jars, bliss balls, chia pudding, sandwiches, meat pies and sausage rolls. The Huntr sampled the truffle cheese toastie (epic) and the homemade sausage roll. Plus a lot of the products on offer at the store are replicated in the food, so if you love the chutney that comes with the sausage roll, you can buy a jar to take home.
Insider tip: This is the perfect place to pick up a gift, get some work done over a cup of cracking coffee in The Greens and purchase some extra special fare to elevate your next dinner party. Don’t miss it – add it to your hitlist here.