There aren’t many nurseries where you can get a gourmet pizza while you shop for some greenery. Luckily for the locals of Kangaroo Island, Frogs & Roses looks after all their plant and pizza needs, boasting a garden centre, florist, shop and cafe in the one spot.
Lindy Bruce, Cherikee Berden and Natalie Donaghy are the family behind the concept. The mother and daughters started off in 2007, opening Frogs & Roses as a plant nursery and florist. Having learnt her craft by her grandmother’s side as a very young child, Lindy built a reputation for producing beautiful arrangements for any occasion, using a large number of flowers that she’d grown herself.
With big plans in their minds, they brought a block in Kingscote but were hit hard by the global financial crisis. Once their original lease ended, they reapproached the idea of expanding, adding a culinary element to the ever-popular store. The risk paid off and the response was huge, with both locals and tourists flocking to try their produce.
The name was inspired by two elements of the business, with frogs representing a healthy garden and the roses covering the floristry side of things. Wander through the centre to get to the cafe, where Cherikee whips up rustic fare. She uses as much local produce as possible, picking most fruit and vegetables from the on-site garden. Cheeses are also sourced on the island, making the menu truly native. It includes a number of gourmet pizzas, as well as soups, salads and baked goods.
All the pizza dough is hand-rolled to ensure that what’s on your plate is as fresh as can be. The tomato base sauce is made with veggies from the garden (when in season) and the team prepare the confit garlic for two hours before popping it on your pizza. One of their most popular options is the ‘special’, which features garlic confit, tomato sauce, fresh herbs, fresh mushrooms, Spanish onion, roasted capsicum, pepperoni, olives, feta and anchovies.
If pizza doesn’t tickle your tastebuds, opt for the warm chicken salad, combining tomatoes, gooseberries, watercress, kale, mustard plant and lettuce – all from the garden – with local feta and chicken that’s been marinating in garlic and ginger for hours. For dessert, don’t look past the house-made cheesecakes, featuring a nut-based bottom and fruit-based toppings, chosen based on what’s growing outside. Past flavours have included apricot, plum, mulberry, pomegranate, orange and lemon.
They also make ice cream in-house, appearing on the menu in their milkshakes. Once again, the flavours are dependant on the seasons, with fruits like mulberries making an appearance in the past.
Once you’ve finished eating, don’t forget to walk through the rest of the property. The garden boasts hundreds of plants, mainly Australian natives, which form the perfect setting for an afternoon of strolling through. The shop is filled with antiques, local art and books to read, creating a warm atmosphere you won’t want to leave any time soon.