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Hidden gems of Ipswich

Ipswich is full of hidden gems.

Sometimes is something off the beaten track. Sometimes it is a great bargain to be had, if only you know about it.

This is a small list of just some of Ipswich’s greatest hidden gems.

Ipswich Pickers and Recyclers

Hidden out in the back yard of the Ipswich Antique Centre, you will find the Ipswich Pickers and Recyclers.

Owner Nick Koomen (main image) sells all manner of antiques and old stuff and has a yard full of gardening pots and ornaments.

“Everyone wants a bargain and you can find one here,” Mr Kooman said.

The yard only opens on Saturday and Sundays with most of his items under $10.

Ipswich Pickers and Recyclers is on Roderick Street (car park out front) behind the Ipswich Antique Centre which is at 86 East Street.

Dancing Bean

Dancing Bean are Ipswich’s only coffee roasters.

They are also quite literally hidden. To find them out the back of Heisenberg Beer Haus, you have to walk down the laneway.

They also have a café and like a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, the café is light and airy surrounded by lush plants.

Owner Rob Mergard (pictured above) has been in the coffee business for 21 years and in this location here in Ipswich for the past five.

“We have created a culture at Dancing Bean that is all about service,” Mr Mergard said.

“Consistency is so important, we have systems in place so that no matter how many different barista’s are used, every cup should be the same.”

Wholesale is where Mr Mergard’s real passion lays and he enjoys working with local cafes and restaurants who buy his beans.

“Working locally works very well for us,” Mr Mergard said.

“I don’t just sell the beans, I make sure the business knows how to make a good coffee and I’m happy to share my expertise.”

If you are chasing a bag of fresh coffee beans or somewhere out-of-the-way right in the middle of town, this place is for you.

Dancing Bean is at 164 Brisbane Street, Ipswich.

Watch Them Grow

Watching a plant grow, watering it and nurturing it along is an act of optimism and hope.

Gardens connect us with nature and many green thumbs claim tending a garden to be very relaxing.

The Salvation Army raise seedlings into plants at their Riverview farm.

The nursery provides a place of work and respite for people and is largely run by volunteers, work for the dole participants.

The money raised from the nursery will be used for Salvation Army mission work in the local area, helping people who most need help.

If you are buying a large amount of plants you can by wholesale from the 29 Riverview Road nursery.

If you are just wanting a pot or two at very reasonable prices you can pick them up at the Watch Them Grow Garden Centre at the Bundamba Salvation Army Family Store, 12 Coal Street Bundamba. Monday to Friday 8.30am till 4.30pm and Saturday 8am until 4pm.

World Gym Ipswich

World Gym Ipswich is a purpose built gym in the industrial area in Bundamba. The gym opened in April 2018 and since then has become home to many local body builders and Ipswich residents who just want to me a bit fitter.

Owner Darcy Edwards said his goal was to creat a community at his gym.

“I want as many people involved as possible,” Mr Edwards said.

“I want anyone, maybe someone who has never set foot in a gym before, to come in here and feel comfortable.”

To that end the gym offers free HIIT classes (high intensity interval training) every Saturday morning at 7.30am.

The training sessions are available for all levels of fitness for both members and non-members.

The World Gym Ipswich is at 105 Hoepner Road, Bundabma.

Read also: >>> Ipswich bulks up

Molly’s Self Raising Flowers

Molly’s Self Raising Flowers is a road side stall run by Molly Bitmead, 9 and her brother Eli, 7 (pictured above) at Karalee.

Children have been playing shops for generations. And according to the parents of the Bitmeads, it’s good wholesome fun that gets them engaged in a project that teaches them about entrepreneurship, business and good old-fashioned customer service.

Molly and Eli are the children of second generation flower growers Sonia and Jeremmy Bitmead from Currey Flowers at Karalee.

If you follow their Facebook page, you will discover when Molly and Eli are putting on their road side stall at 172 – 230 Arthur Summervilles Road, Karalee.

The youngsters sell seconds flowers from their parents flower farm at very cheap prices.

The hard slog of stall day begins early. They make posters and draw flowers on them, spend an hour doing up the flowers, then set up the stall.

The kids work out their money purse and how much change they will need.

“I like the joy it brings to people and I like to think of why we are doing it, to help others,” Molly said.

Read also: >>> Kids blooming great stall

Rosewood Artist Co-op volunteers Tracey Noll, Kara Noll and Kerrie Thompson

Rosewood Artist Co-op

Finding unique, well-made items at reasonable prices can be difficult in this age of cheap imports.

Some crafty residents at Rosewood have come up with a solution.

Local artisans have come together to form a co-op. A place to buy and sell their wares.

The not-for-profit group have a permanent shop space recently opened behind the scout hall at 79 Matthew Street, Rosewood.

The store is currently open on Saturdays only from 9am until 1pm.

They are inviting Ipswich residents to head along to their shop with and they are also calling for people to sell with them too.

Tracey Noll said she saw a need for a space where people could come to buy and sell things.

“In the old days people used to make things and there were areas you could buy and sell,” Ms Noll said.

“Having a place to put your wares permanently eliminates the need to follow the market circuit which involves a lot of time setting up then packing down each time.

“We have artists who make candles, sew clothes, paint rocks, bakers, artists and more.”

The group are still gathering artists to sell their work and they have a website they are still building.

 Clint’s Farm Fresh Produce

A third generation fruiterer opens a farmer’s-style market in the centre of Ipswich every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Clint Borghardt (pictured above) and his family run Clint’s Farm Fresh Produce which sources produce locally and across the south-east during the week to sell on the weekend.

He credits his success with the fact that they source the majority of their produce direct from farmers.

Clint’s Fresh Farm Produce is at 37 Brisbane Street, Ipswich, opposite Hog’s Breath Cafe.

Opening hours are Friday 8am to 5pm, Saturday and Sunday 8am to 2pm.

The weekly haul is posted on Facebook each week.

Read also: >>> Fruit shop with a twist

Ipswich Woodcrafts Club

The Ipswich Woodcrafts Club get together Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8.30am until noon each week to do all sorts of woodworking.

The good news for the rest of us is that they often will sell their beautifully crafted items.

John Holland (pictured above) said he has been playing with wood since he was a child.

“I like to do a bit of everything, whether you are making a miniature or a large bowl, there is not much difference between the two,” he said.

“But I really enjoying making things that are intricate and need some sort of construction element.

“I get a lot of enjoyment from working here and it gives you a social life with a good mob of people.”

There are items on display at the workshop at 29 Swan Street Brassall, but their big selling event is their open day which is on Saturday, 29 August 9am till 3pm, free entry.

They will also be selling their wares at the upcoming Timber Tools and Artisan Show on 20, 21 and 22 of March at the RNA Showgrounds, Bowen Hills, a ticketed event from $12.

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