Often, when you move to a new town you spend the first little while visiting local attractions. Then if you end up settling in that community, those trips to landmarks get fewer and farther in between. Eventually it turns into years, and you start to forget why these places were top of your list.
I found myself in that exact situation earlier this month, and when I revisited one famous local spot I was pleasantly surprised at how it had grown and changed…
The Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory has existed for as long as I’ve lived in the Riverina. A mainstay at local markets and in delicatessens around the region, the sweet treats that come from the said factory are always really tasty. I think I visited the factory within a few weeks of first moving to Wagga Wagga. Everyone recommended it. I went, I enjoyed it and came home with supplies. But because you can pick up boxes of the licorice and chocolate so easily, I just never went back. There was no need.
The other weekend Adam, Paul and myself decided we’d go for a drive. We just felt like a change of scenery. We ended up in Junee and decided to head over the Licorice Factory. I couldn’t quite get over how busy it was – the last time I’d visited there was a small coffee shop, a selection of chocolate and licorice and then the factory itself. These days there’s a big coffee shop, a pizza oven, dozens of seating areas tucked into various plant filled courtyards, a gift shop, separate sweet shop… and on this particular day live music too.
It was early afternoon when arrived, but we’d already eaten lunch, so opted for coffee and cake. Both were enjoyed under the shade of an olive tree, while listening to a musician on an acoustic guitar. Paul was content to sit on my lap, drink some juice and spot sparrows sneaking crumbs from underneath tables.
We took a wander through the retail stores on site and checked out the gardens, getting a few ideas for our new house. It was just one of those really lovely family outings – where everyone is happy and relaxed. The Licorice Factory has evolved an awful lot since my last visit. It feels like it’s matured and is really comfortable in its skin. If you live locally, haven’t been for a while and are looking for a space that both grandkids and grandparents are content, I’d recommend popping in.
Have a wonderful few weeks, I’ll catch you next month.