Forrest General Store wants to be recognised as the best general store in south-west Victoria, so we make our own food and source the best-quality local produce – ensuring delicious food and memorable experiences that keep our lovely customers coming back for more.
If you only stop at one place – make it our Forrest café! We blend traditional country-style homeliness with a modern approach to customer service, providing a relaxing and useful haven for tradespeople, commuters, travellers and tourists from Geelong, Melbourne, Warnambool, Ballarat and Victoria’s south-west, as well as interstate and international travellers using the Great Ocean Road.
Not only is our store one of the best places to eat in Forrest, but our staff are happy to offer personal recommendations and tourist information about the Otway Ranges region. We have a selection of free maps and brochures, as well as handmade gifts and souvenirs.
The Forrest General Store is open 8am to 5pm, seven days a week and only closed Christmas Day. We appreciate customer feedback and always do our best to improve customer service and provide high-quality produce.
Forrest catering services
With an internationally trained chef at our disposal, we’re excited to offer catering in Forrest and nearby towns. Enjoy homemade local delicacies, including seasonal produce, cakes, pastries, slices and our famous sourdough.
Our versatile catering services are perfect for schools, businesses and private events. Simply contact us to discuss your needs.
Forrest General Store in the community
Forrest General Store is proud to be an active member of the local community. We are involved with the Forrest Community Group, Soupfest committee and the Otway Harvest Trail. We also support and give donations to the Forrest Primary School, New Beginnings Animal Rescue, Forrest Lions Club, Forrest Men’s Shed and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne.
Our Forrest café uses compost and recycles as much as possible for zero waste.
Station Street formed as the main business street when the railway arrived in Forrest in 1891 and held this position for many years. By the early 1920s and the era of decent roads, new businesses began opening in Grant Street.
One long-established Station Street business, Eric Gourley’s butcher shop, was relocated to a more favourable position in Grant Street in 1957. Gourley erected an up-to-date retail premises in brick, signalling a modern approach to the main road through the town.
Gourley operated here before retiring and transferring the business to Doug Ray in 1962.
The butchery closed in the early 1970s and was bought by the McDowell family, who converted the premises to a take-away food outlet. The business proved to be a good one and carried on afterwards by partners Joy Rourke, Lorraine Evans and Marj Fox. The business was then was sold to N & V Greaves for the same purpose.
In 1982 the building was converted to a general store and café. The Post Office agency was added shortly after, when Jim Fell and Rosie McAlpine relocated from over the road.
The store and Post Office became the focal point for the town in the years before Forrest started to develop into a tourist and lifestyle village. In 2014 Sally Richardson bought the business and refurbished the store and café into the popular hub it is today.