The first I learnt about Johnny Ripe on the Mornington Peninsula was from my daughter who’d stayed at a friends holiday house last summer. They’d visited and bought some apple pies and Hayley said they were delicious. My interest was piqued and one Sunday we drove to Balnarring Beach to walk Charlie, I suggested going there for lunch. Once we worked out directions we arrived and were met by this fabulous farm gate bakery, next to Red Hill Lavender Farm. It was full of freshly baked pies that looked delicious, just like Grandma use to make. They also make cakes, take home meals, savoury pies, tarts, tomato sauce, chutney and lots more. It’s not surprising the apple pies are so good seeing the apples are picked from their 70 year old orchard. The rhubarb, limes and other fresh ingredients are also sourced from their farm. The owner/operators take great pride in sourcing the best ingredients and using their skills as Chefs to turn them into something delectable.
Johnny Ripe is a produce store and cafe dining room open Friday to Sunday. The cafe serves an all day menu Friday, Saturday and Sunday and a dinner menu Saturday evening, the menu is a reflection of the season and what’s available. My cousin Carol and I dined in the cafe when we visited last Friday, it’s a rustic style room with a stone fireplace in the middle with friendly, helpful staff. I ordered the Chicken and Vegetable Pie and Salad, Carol the Smoked Salmon and Avocado on Quinoa Bread which was fresh, flavoursome and had the wow factor as it was brought to the table.
Johnny Ripe has become a place for locals to gather to stock up with scrumptious, comforting food for the weekend. It’s located at 284 Main Creek Road, Main Ridge, if you’d like to visit and I highly recommend you do. Don’t forget they’re only open Friday to Sunday and the earlier you get there the better as the apple pies do sell out.