Coffee. Brew me a good one and hand it over with a smile, and I’m all yours.
That caffeine hit is one of the most sought-after refreshments during every morning holiday routine – and even more so if you’ve got kids in tow these school holidays (we’re seriously close to maxing out our caffeine limits most days).
So we’re going to let you in on a little-known secret that might help you kick-start some of those warm summer mornings in Murray Bridge.
Affectionately named Mojo’s, this little coffee café tucked away in the Murray Bridge Marketplace shopping mall, (right at the entry to Big W) is a haven for families. It’s a favourite for local parents who are either about to ‘brave’ the length of the mall with a pack of bored teenagers, but also an absolute treat for parents of little ones looking for something tasty (and often healthy) to keep them occupied while mum, dad, (or the grandparents) are on the move to get some shopping and jobs done.
Owners May and Adrian are local farmers and parents of young kids (including twins) themselves, so they understand the importance of managing family life on the go – especially the extra silliness of the summer season.
They have a passion for great coffee and customer service with a special personal touch – and when they dove head-first into the business a few years back, they were set on a vision to create a café with personality and fresh food and drinks that would help people out during their busiest moments in the mall.
It’s no mean feat to try to do something a little quirky and different when you’re based in a giant shopping complex - but, these guys have succeeded - and Mojo’s is now an absolute favourite for families, led by the unwavering smile and charisma of May, one of the loveliest baristas you’ll ever come across.
May is the kind of warm and bubbly café owner you want to invite around for a BBQ. She makes you feel welcome and valued immediately as you approach the café counter.
“We love people as much as we love our coffee. We love hearing feedback from our customers, and most often it’s people telling us that the coffee is great, but it’s the staff who treat people so incredibly well that keeps customers coming back happy. If we can put the smile on someone’s face, who is otherwise looking a bit tired or stressed, then that makes us do a little happy dance at Mojos," May says.
May and her team have perfected reading the approaching body language of their customers, striking the perfect balance between looking after those people up for a chat, and kicking things in to gear quickly for those who are in a rush – and every parent out there can appreciate that kind of service.
The Mojos team knows that everyone is different as well, and are passionate about ensuring all feel welcome, so they’ve added gluten-free options, raw desserts, dairy free milkshakes and healthy smoothies (the Tango Mango is a favourite for my family). So there’s something for everyone on their menu. Plus there’s the added bonuses of those little shortbread biscuits on the side of your takeaway coffees (mine normally get nabbed immediately by the kids). Or if you’ve ordered babycinos, then a sweet smile from the kids might earn you an extra marshmallow.
These guys always have great deals on to suit the season and each holiday with the kids too! During the Christmas holidays they’ve already been cooking up fresh gingerbread men, knocking the price off kids-sized smoothies and ice-creams and more. They’ve even boxed up tiny treats of Christmas macarons for those with a sweet tooth, or looking to grab a takeaway after-dinner dessert for the holiday accommodation.
If you’re around during Easter, then you’ll also smell the deliciousness of fresh hot cross buns coming from their kitchen as the team throws together Mojos’ annual hot cross bun giveaway.
They have simple, but delicious takeaway foods as well. Their meat and salad wraps and rolls are a healthy option from the fridge each day, but if you’re after something a bit more indulgent, then check their cooked menu for traditional grab and go takeaway treats (especially a winner for busy parents). The Mojo chicken burger would be my husband’s pick of the menu, while I can never seem to get past the fresh turkey focaccias. (Check out the full menu here).
In other good news for parents, a Mojos refreshment offers you an extra moment of peace, because it’s located right next to the indoor (free) playground at the Marketplace. So if you just need to take five to enjoy your coffee, then take a seat and let the kids burn off some energy.
If you’re up for a short walk, then take the kids downstairs to the public library afterwards. This place has books, interactive games and a toy library – and on hot days can be a great place to keep the kids cool, calm and having fun (while they learn!).
On the warm-weather days, grab your food and drink and walk across the road to the banks of the Murray River. The expansive lawns of Sturt Reserve are right next door to the Marketplace and the perfect place to sit and enjoy your coffee while you watch the world float by.
Follow the crew from Mojo’s on Facebook, and if you’re headed to town for the Murray River Splash Festival, or spending a day at the Murray Bridge Swimming Centre’s waterplay park (including six waterslides, squirters and giant bucket dump) – add it to your list for a coffee stop.