Coffee culture big business in the Clarence
FROM the Botero coffee roastery in Maclean to the family coffee kiosk in a local supermarket, coffee has become an integral part of the Clarence Valley culture.
And it's also mirroring the trend around Australia of becoming big business.
In its report on penalty rates for casual workers, the Productivity Commission noted the cafe sector was one of the fastest growing areas of the economy, which would overtake manufacturing in size and importance in a few years.
According to IBISWorld report in April the cafe sector grew 7.4% annually from 2011 with 7263 businesses employing 70,694 people and generating revenue of around $5billion.
Locally those figures are reflected in the booming numbers of cafes in the region.
A Google search of businesses advertising as selling coffee turned up 26 entries in Grafton alone.
In the coming weeks The Daily Examiner will look at how the coffee culture has developed in the Clarence Valley and how important it is to the region.
The Clarence Coffee Culture series will look at how the culture has developed in the main population centres, Grafton, Maclean and Yamba and some of the personalities involved.
It will also delve into both the art and science of producing the perfect cup of coffee.
It's hard to go past the impact of Danny and Jill Young, whose coffee roastery and cafe in Maclean has become almost synonymous with coffee in the region.
Danny charts its progress from "the turn of the century" when he first became involved in the industry.
"For me it's from about then," he said. "There used to be just a few major players in the coffee industry that really dominated the market, but over the past 15 years or more we've seen an explosion of people interested in what they can bring to the market.
"It's more than just coffee too. It's kind of a real art form and culture."
Danny said the boutique nature of the coffee industry has driven the development of coffee culture.
"In the boutique industry people want to work directly with the roaster and that roaster needs to carry out training and service of their equipment," he said.
"The market's expanding with more and more roasters coming into the business, so we need to focus on both our wholesale and also our cafe interests."