South of Johnston cafe in Collingwood.
South of Johnston cafe in Collingwood. Photo: Eddie Jim

Hilary McNevin and Roslyn Grundy

Collingwood cafe South of Johnston has gone solar. Owner Stuart McKenzie says putting heating and cooling systems into the former warehouse space prompted him to "balance it out for the environment" by converting to solar energy via 40 panels on the roof.

McKenzie, who opened in Oxford Street almost four years ago, believes he's the first Melbourne cafe to completely convert to solar energy.

As part of a move to make South of Johnston more sustainable, McKenzie has joined an 18-month waiting list for beehives and has an on-site worm farm to help feed the herbs he grows out front.