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Tannum café doubles coffee count of Brisbane cafés

SAY Espresso called on Queensland's no. 2 barista on Saturday to brew more than 500 free coffees for customers who turned up to celebrate the café's first birthday.

As pro-barista Matt Holmes burnt through 8kg of coffee, reps from Brisbane-based coffee supplier Veneziano sat by to watch how the "particularly good customers" Sonia and Brett McGuiness pull it off.

Casey Winefield, owner of the local supplier that links Say Espresso with Veneziano, said the couple's café "was years in the making," adding that the couple had brought her a well thought-out plan before the business was up.

"It's been a big deal," she said. "They've done really well."

Matt Holmes (centre) with Casey Winefield (left). Source: Facebook / Say Espresso.
Matt Holmes (centre) with Casey Winefield (left). Source: Facebook / Say Espresso.

In real terms, Ms Winefield said the cafe is nearly doubling the coffee count of the average Brisbane cafe, as it grinds through 40kg each week.

But Ms McGuiness said apart from a smooth cup of coffee, the service, the quality of food, and the "vibe" of the café is why the customers keep coming back.

And while locals had been "extremely supportive", Ms McGuiness said they'd managed to tap into a market of travellers from backpackers to grey gypsies.

"A lot of it's word of mouth or they get on Trip Advisor and tell everyone else about us," she said.

Its Say Espresso Bar's first birthday today and owner Brett McGuiness and his daughter. Photo Campbell Gellie / The Observer
Its Say Espresso Bar's first birthday today and owner Brett McGuiness and his daughter. Photo Campbell Gellie / The Observer Campbell Gellie

Buzz words in Trip Advisor reviews, such as "best café in Gladstone", "fresh food, friendly service", and "awesome little place", seem to have had a snowball effect, luring new customers.

More than 76% of reviewers on Trip Advisor conclude Say Espresso is "Excellent", or five star, and it gets better on Facebook at 93%.

But after a busy year and on days like Saturday when the café is brimming with customers, Ms McGuiness is always reminded of one key ingredient.

"We've worked hard to get to this point," Ms McGuiness said. "We certainly know we are alive."



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