Make sure you have plenty of time to explore and wander this sleepy mountain town.  The last thing you want to do is rush your way through this quaint shopping strip of Mount Dandenong.  There are so many nooks and crannies to explore, boutiques to peruse and eateries to progressively eat your way through.  There are a few ‘must’s’ when it comes to visiting this beautiful part of the Dandenong Ranges.  If you are a tea lover, child at heart or pastry lover then continue reading because I have you covered.

Tea Leaves:

If loose tea is your must have then look no further than this little retailer.  There is no denying that this store is the go to for all things loose leaf.  The small floor plan is packed to overflowing with tea varieties and accessories.  This quaint little ‘old style’ shop has been in the business of ‘tea’ for 22 years.  After humble beginnings Teri has grown this store from a hobby into one of the biggest wholesaler of tea in Australia.  With a focus on speciality green teas you will find varieties from India, Sri Lanka, China, Africa, P.N.G and the list goes on.  If it’s naturopathic tea that you are interested in no problems; working with her naturopath daughter, Teri has stocked a range for you to aid your health and wellbeing.  Matcha has also been given a special place amongst the tea chest shelving.  You will find all you need to mix up the highly caffeinated green tea.  If you would prefer to cook with it there are flavour varieties to support the perfect sweet treat.

Warning: Teapot collectors enter Tea Leaves at your own risk!!!  Importing amazing pots and accessories from America and England you will find it impossible to leave without another teapot to add to your collection.

Geppetto’s Workshop:

Everything about this store appeals to the child within.  If you think you said goodbye to that inner munchkin years ago, you may just find it will welcome you as soon as you step into this Toy Store.  With a façade that screams yesteryear you will find it hard to walk past without popping in to see what is hidden beyond their display windows. 

Once inside you will be greeted with an explosion of colour! Looking up you will find it hard not to smile at the puppets, marionettes and flying objects hanging from the ceiling.  This store dwarfs compared to the larger toy stores that we have become so accustomed to, however the saying ‘the best things are found in small packages’ rings true when it comes to Geppetto’s Workshop.  You will be hard pressed to find a toy of poor quality.  The choice of wooden toys is amazing, ranging from the tourist pleasing Melbourne tram and post box to play kitchens, train tracks and educational toys.  For those who prefer an international flavour added to their toy box you will find an extensive range of Matryoshka (otherwise known as babushka) dolls.

This is a store that has been a resident of the Mountain for many years.  It is refreshing to see that the owners of the last 5+ years, Dion and Kim, have continued its legacy of quality, educational and old fashioned play.  Oh…and if you do find your long lost inner child at this store, please take it home with you and nurture it – life is a lot brighter through the eyes of a child.

Cafe De BeauMarchais


Now if you want amazing coffee and delectable French pastries then you need to pop into this French style café.  Its elegance is felt as soon as you walk through the saloon style doors into its French navy interior.  I am in love with the colour of the interior at De BeauMarchais, it is highlighted by gold frames, marble and oak tables.  With lamps and chandeliers for lighting this is a café oozing romance.  Making your way to the counter you will set your eyes on the freshly baked Parisian pastries.  With a local commissioned to supply the treats you will not be disappointed with the choice, especially if you order a fresh cup of Jasper coffee to enjoy alongside.  Don’t get me wrong, there is a lunch menu to order from… but to me lemon cheese cake is as good a lunch as any – who’s with me?


So get your diaries out and pencil in an appointment for retail therapy. Spend a good chunk of your day discovering everything from tea, coffee, pastries, toys and more on offer in the beautiful town of Sassafras…you won’t be disappointed. 

Our Guest Blogger - Yarra Valley Life can be found wandering the region talking about wonderful experiences on her blog page, Instagram account @yarravalleylife and Facebook page: