Celebrating a tiny treasure trove of artisan treats

1 November 2021

Immerse yourself in the elegant tea salons of Europe without leaving Melbourne at The Little Royal in Royal Arcade. 

Over 10 years, the central-city kiosk has become a favourite spot for locals and tourists who are charmed by the exquisite display of treats and gifts.

Artisan specialties include acclaimed macarons by the La Belle Miette, luxury tea from master blenders Harney and Sons, and beautiful fine bone tea-ware from local designer Cristina Re.

Owners Mary and Andrew White are no strangers to running a business in Royal Arcade, having also operated the ever-popular Caffe e Torta for 20 years.

‘We have had the pleasure of getting to know our regular customers, as well as new ones from interstate and all over the world,’ Mary said.

‘This is one of the highlights of running a business in the heart of the City of Melbourne – you never know who you might meet.’

Four years ago, the ongoing success of The Little Royal kiosk led Mary and Andrew to open its bigger sister: Royal St. Collins Tea Salon in St. Collins Lane.

Over 20 years, Mary and Andrew – alongside their team of loyal workers – have experienced many boom times and challenges, and witnessed the city grow to its pre-COVID status.

They credit this journey for making them resilient, stubbornly determined, focused and positive through adversity.

A person standing in a historic shopping arcade with a tower of macarons

Andrew White

‘As plans to celebrate 20 years at Caffe e Torta and 10 years at The Little Royal had to be postponed due to COVID- 19, we are remaining positive and cautiously hoping for a bright future for the City of Melbourne once more,’ Andrew said.

‘Even though we have had to close down our businesses with every lockdown and have had to endure some of our darkest days with so much uncertainty, we have also surprisingly discovered along the way that, for us personally, we are more capable of coping with ongoing changes and challenges than we give ourselves credit for.’

The City of Melbourne has recognised The Little Royal in this year’s Lord Mayor’s Commendations, a program that celebrates the vast contributions small businesses make to our city.

‘We are so grateful to be receiving the Lord Mayor’s Commendation,’ Mary said.

‘It’s such a lovely reminder of all of the hard work our team and us have put in over the years and a reminder of how important it is to stay focused and positive and not give up, especially during these challenging COVID times.’

‘We can’t wait to get back to work, to re-connect with our team and customers and share our love for our industry,’ Andrew said.

‘We look forward to finally celebrating the anniversaries at Caffe e Torta and The Little Royal and working together to help bring back to life our world-class City of Melbourne that we all love.’

To find out more, visit Lord Mayor’s Commendations

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