Hipster caravan serves best house blend by a long shot

It could be the perfectly executed microfoam or the vibrant, first-name-basis customer service, but whatever the reason, Urban Paddock Co. is beloved by coffee ninjas all over campus and is fast becoming one of the most-lauded coffee hot-spots in southern Adelaide.

Owned by Lynda Shepherd (pictured, centre), Urban Paddock Co. (or ‘UPCO’) has been serving the Flinders community from its vintage-style caravan for four years and continues to serve up a luscious range of coffee and homemade treats from its permanent location in the Student Hub.

The business originally began trading on campus as ‘Myrtle & Mae’ in the Flinders Laneway but won a permanent lease to set up shop in the award-winning Student Hub in 2015.

It was at this time that the business rebranded itself as ‘Urban Paddock Co.’

What’s in a name

According to Lynda, the name ‘Urban Paddock Co.’ is inspired by the late Don Dunstan, who in 1963 referred to the proposed Flinders’ site as ‘nothing but a suburban paddock’.

“The land that Flinders is built on is beautiful and we love the fact that it was originally a patch of scrub by the sea,” says Lynda.

Coffee menu

Urban Paddock Co. offers three types of coffee, including a delicious house blend, a darker tasting blend, and a single origin coffee for the ‘coffee purists’.

“We love showcasing beautiful coffees from all over the world and bringing a little joy to what can sometimes be a busy, stressful day,” Lynda says.

“We have a cake cabinet that is brimming with cookies, brownies and muffins and we also offer Bircher muesli, bliss balls, yoghurt, fruit salad, freshly made sandwiches, salads, snacks and drinks from our grab-and-go fridge.

“We also sell coffee beans, chocolate, take-home chai and various ‘keep cups’,” says Lynda.

Sustainable practice

The team at UPCO, which includes Head Barista and Manager, Ilia Martini, and primary staff members Barb, Hannah and Bella, make every effort to source local, ethical, sustainable or homemade produce.

“At UPCO we are not just interested in doing business, we are interested in doing business beautifully,” Lynda says.

To that end, UPCO uses BioPak cups and takeaway containers which can be recycled or biodegraded without ending up in landfill.

“We believe in the correct production and disposal of takeaway packaging.

“We think that although compostable packaging is more expensive than plastic, in the long-run our environment will be paying for it if we don’t make sustainable choices now,” says Lynda.

Lynda is also a member of the Flinders Permaculture Committee and supports efforts to build an on-campus culture of sustainable food production, skill sharing and networking.

“We have a ‘Grow Free’ cart near our caravan where we donate excess food, tea, vegetables and coffee grounds and we would love staff and students at Flinders to participate in this communal sharing to help it become a consistent, sustainable practice,” Lynda says.

Local produce

UPCO sells a range of local South Australian products, including:

  • Paris Creek milk
  • Fruit Wise fruit straps
  • Rustic Gourmet cakes
  • Dot Chocolate biscuits
  • Four Seeds brownies
  • Besa juice
  • Mojo kombucha
  • Springwood Farm raspberries and jams
  • Gelista icecream
  • Loca Pops fruit ice-blocks
  • Ashton Valley Fresh sparkling fruit juices
  • The Carob Kitchen banjo bears
  • Kitchenhand salads
  • Es Ceramics keep cups


UPCO supports various ‘keep cup’ companies and offers a 20c discount on coffee to anyone who uses their own keep cup.

A free coffee is available to anyone who purchases a keep cup from UPCO.

A loyalty card is also available to UPCO regulars, who receive their ninth coffee for free.

Another deal is also on offer: “The first 10 people to mention this blog and say “Flinders Uni, differently think” will get a free large coffee on 7 February 2018,” said Lynda.

Opening hours

UPCO is open from Monday-Friday, 7.00am-4.00pm.

Staff and students can stay up-to-date with the latest menu options and specials by following UPCO on Facebook and Instagram.

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