Now I don’t regularly take public transport but the other morning I had a meeting in town and had planned to catch the 7.45am train in to avoid those ridiculous City car parking fees. Trouble is, not being a morning person, I slept in. So at 7.17, I leaped out of bed in a panic, had a speed shower, threw on the clothes I had worn the day before and ran out the door in a mad rush, knowing that if I missed that train, I’d miss that all important meeting and there would go the day.
I zoomed into Riversdale Station, parked and raced onto the platform with three minutes to spare. Riversdale Station looks like any other inner suburb Metro station – exposed platforms, weatherboard shelter – but the old ticketing shed of the city-bound Riversdale Station houses a hidden gem, Platform One cafe – a tiny, bright and friendly coffee lovers haven in the midst of the peak hour rush.
I flew in, thinking I would grab a muffin to make up for no breakfast and the friendly, smiling barista poking up from behind the fire engine red espresso machine, offered to heat it up. “Oh No, I don’t think I’ll have time”, was my disappointed reply as I glanced at the red clock on the wall. “We’ve got time” he said with the calm confidence of someone who knows the train timetable back to front. “Have we got time for a coffee too?” I pleaded…”Sure”… In a matter of minutes, I was on the train with a warm muffin, a hot caffe latte and a seat, and my day was off and running.
But that friendly barista and owner of Platform 1, Cameron Lea, did much more than make a good coffee for me that morning – he made my morning. In minutes I went from a whirlwind of bad mood to being uplifted, just because he took a moment to smile, engage and make getting a coffee so much more than just a transaction.
So, I went back today to thank him and it was wonderful to watch his regular customers come in. He knows each of them by name, remembers their coffee order and says he reckons he has ’30 seconds to make a difference in someone’s day’. Turns out that even my kids are on his list of regulars!
Platform 1 is a hub of good feeling in the morning as people come a little earlier to read the paper over their morning coffee before starting their day, or maybe linger longer for a proper breakfast. Some avoid going to their closest train station in favour of dropping in to Platform 1 first. Others are just regulars on their morning walk that pop in for a cuppa and a chat and are not catching the train at all.
Cameron serves Map coffee and my latte that morning was smooth and rich with just enough kick to kickstart the day. He pumps out over 120 coffees between the hours of 5.30am-11.am daily, always keeping one eye on the clock, and offers a range of quick breakfast options from bircher muesli cups and raisin toast to filled croissants and avocado on toast.
It’s no wonder the Riversdale Station commuters seem to be among the happiest on the Metro as they get to start their day with great coffee that comes with a big serve of smile!
Platform 1 Cafe
Riversdale Train Station
Wandin Road, Camberwell
Proprietor: Cameron Lea