Noorat’s newest café, The Tribunal, has become a Sunday morning favourite with locals who are keen to enjoy a relaxing breakfast and amazing Piccolo coffee.

Jacinta and Paul MacDonald are the passion behind the venture, which operates from a space at the rear of the Mt Noorat Hotel.

Jacinta, who also works as a chef at the hotel, said the success of the cafe was underpinned by her support of local producers – including Piccolo Coffee Roasters.

“Paul works in Warrnambool and always bought coffees from Jon and Olivia at Piccolo, so when we decided to do this he said we should approach them for beans,” she said.

“It’s a beautiful product, it’s very easy to use and they have been very supportive of what we are doing here. It’s been a pleasure working with them and our customers love the coffee, which is obviously the most important thing.”

Piccolo Coffee Roasters The Tribunal Noorat
Jacinta MacDonald (left) and Paul MacDonald (right) with Mt Noorat Hotel publican Michael Leo (centre).

Jacinta said Piccolo’s own ‘Mr Darcy Fine Drinking Cocoa’ and their exclusive loose leaf teas from Tea Cake Co. were also very popular with patrons.

“Olivia grew up on Dalvui Lane near Noorat and Jon came from just outside of Camperdown. Their Piccolo brand is very well known and our customers are big supporters of them,” she said.

“Everyone supports us because we support locals and we think that’s really important in small communities.

“We buy fruit and vegetables from Greavesy’s in Terang, sourdough from the Terang Bakery, eggs from Casaccio’s in Terang, our meat – including bacon and chorizo – is from A Cut Above in Terang and we use milk from Camperdown Dairy.

“Everything is made fresh, from scratch. I even make our own ricotta when we have some leftover milk – we have lemon and ricotta pancakes on the menu.”

Jacinta said The Tribunal is a real family affair and operates from 7am to 11am Sundays.

“Paul and our daughter Brigitte (19) make coffee while myself and our eldest son Will (16) are in the kitchen. Will is our ‘juice man’ – we all enjoy working together,” she said.

“Publicans Michael Leo and Richard Conheady have been great and agreed to rent us the café space and activate that area, which is accessed separately from The Sisters road.

“Because I work at the hotel as a chef, it is like our second home and our youngest son Paddy (9) joins us on Sundays to enjoy his hot chocolate. It’s a lot of fun.”