Article: A foodie road trip near Melbourne, The West Australian newspaper.
“Every day in Barwon Heads is a good day,” Maria Malakellis declares as we stand outside her lifestyle store, Kiitos Living by Design, in the seaside town made famous by its starring role in the television series SeaChange.
A supremely elegant dynamo in a printed Marimekko dress, Maria started Kiitos more than five years ago in Barwon Heads, and now has a second store in nearby Torquay. They’re both a short drive from Geelong, where I woke this morning, in a suite as big as a ballroom at the Mercure, for our second day road-tripping around the Bellarine Peninsula.
Maria’s family is of Greek extraction and has a long history of running small businesses in Barwon Heads. She grew up down the road in the family fish-and-chip shop, and runs Kiitos (Finnish for “thank you”) from the former petrol station where she stands today, surrounded by her carefully curated selection of predominantly Scandinavian homewares, gifts, clothing, accessories and fabrics. “Colour’s always been my thing — clean lines, simplicity,” she says.
Marimekko is a big brand for Kiitos — Maria stocks its clothing, fabrics and homewares — but other favourites in the store include the retro lifestyle brand Orla Kiely, SaltWater Sandals, Funkis clogs, Muuto lighting and Otto & Spike, a Melbourne label which uses surplus wool to produce knitted socks and scarves in Brunswick.
You can read the full article online here.