As you drive up through the heart of the Dandenong Ranges, passing through the town of Sassafras, you will stumble upon a humble little cafe called Proserpina Bakehouse.
Proserpina is an organic cafe that prides itself on the motto “We do not own Mother earth, we have only borrowed her” which is displayed in writing on the cafe’s wall.
Proserpina’s specialities are its breads and pastries that are made on site with their own freshly milled flour. You can press your face up against their watching window and see them hand-baking breads and sweets.
Their most popular items are their gourmet hot pressed sandwiches with decadent ingredients such as smoked gypsy ham, gruyere cheese and sherry onion jam (just try and stop yourself from drooling all over your screen).
Proserpina sits on a site that was once home to a nursery. Now the cafe uses the area for not only the cafe space, but for its own herb and vegetable garden and bug house. What makes the cafe particularly appealing among locals is that it stocks an array of local produce, from jars of jams and pickled vegetables, to chocolates, wine and an entire display cabinet of different cheeses.
One thing to remember: bring your keep cup. There are no single use coffee cups on site at all, reinforcing the cafe’s ethos of being as environmentally friendly as possible. But don’t stress, because if you forget your keep cup, they sell their own.
Just an hour out from Melbourne’s CBD, Proserpina Bakehouse is the perfect pit stop on your day out in the Dandenong Ranges.