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August 9, 2021

Coffee and community at Spellmans’ Social in Glenelg East

Café-owning siblings Emily and Ryan Spellman have kept a long-held hospitality spot in Glenelg East alive, launching community-focussed coffee shop Spellmans' Social on Maxwell Terrace.

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  • Words and pictures: Johnny von Einem

When Stir It Up Café closed at the end of June this year, Glenelg East was left without much option for coffee and brunch catch ups.


Spellmans’ Social
37 Maxwell Terrace, Glenelg East 5045
Tue—Fri: 7am ’til 3pm
Sat—Sun: 8am ’til 2pm

Spellmans’ Social will open ’til 9pm on Fridays when coronavirus restrictions ease.


The shop on Maxwell Terrace operated as Market on Maxwell for years prior to Stir It Up Catering moving into the space in October 2020, but barely 12 months into operation, Stir It Up’s owners decided to return their focus to the catering side of their business.

The local coffee blackout would not last long, though.

Ryan Spellman, the café’s manager, knew there would be plenty of people in the area in need of their daily dose.

He partnered with his sister, Emily Spellman, who also worked in the previous business, and the duo took on the lease, relaunching the space a week later as Spellmans’ Social.

The café offers sandwiches, toasties, and a range of cakes and assorted sweets, alongside coffee from local roasters Kindred in espresso and filter formats.

There is also a selection of teas on offer, from local supplier The Tea Catcher, as well as a range of juices.

“It’s simple stuff, but we’d like to think it’s done well, without blowing our own trumpet. Just trying to support local,” Ryan says.

Spellmans’ will also offer up a separate a nighttime menu, including booze, on Fridays once restrictions ease.

Ryan and Emily launched their Friday night event series the week before the July lockdown, following their liquor licence approval, but restrictions forced them to put evening trade on hiatus.

The siblings grew up in country Queensland and moved to Adelaide from the Gold Coast in October last year to be closer to family in South Australia.

This decision came following a pandemic-induced re-evaluation of their lives.

“We were both on the Gold Coast, and you know that stale feeling from the COVID stuff: ‘What am I going to do now? Let’s change it up a little bit’,” says Emily, who previously worked in retail management.

“It’s led us here, which I definitely wouldn’t have thought a year ago we would be doing this.”

Emily Spellman


Prior to taking the job at Stir It Up, Ryan had worked in hospitality roles in London and in Queensland, working across pubs, bars, restaurants and larger scale corporate hospitality roles.

Both Emily and Ryan say their regional upbringing has informed Spellmans’ Social’s community-oriented concept.

“We’re coming from the country, so people pick that up pretty quick, even though we’ve moved around,” Ryan says.

“Our motivator is we’ve got that social factor… Just having that place you can come, and trying to make people feel welcome and having that general approach with everything we try and do.”

“That’s what we thrive off and that’s our main goal here,” Emily adds. “As well as being a café and that sort of thing, if there’s any way that we can be giving back and supporting the little groups.”

The café has already won regular custom from the workers at the nearby tram depot, and the duo hope Spellmans’ will come to be known as a meeting place for the local community.

“We’ve got the different seating, for groups and whatnot, more dining on the chairs and the bar tables too, so people can have meetings, come in for a catch up or whatever,” Emily says.

“This location is that in-between spot where people can come and socialise and do that sort of stuff.”

Spellmans’ Social’s branding comes from Adelaide design agency Sky Foundry.


Once Friday night events resume at Spellmans’ Social, Ryan and Emily hope to host local musicians, comedians and trivia nights.

“It’d be great, in Fringe time, to use the space,” Emily says.

“Obviously there’s so much going on in the city for Fringe, but if we can get some stuff happening down here and actually use the space, that’s a goal for us.

“And between now and then, tapping into the different companies or groups that run those types of events,” Ryan adds, “where they can come here if they want to tune up or something like that.”

Spellmans’ Social is located at 37 Maxwell Terrace, Glenelg East 5045. It opens 7am ‘til 3pm Tuesday to Friday, 8am ‘til 2pm on Saturday and Sunday.

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