ON THE MAP: Iolanthe Street to be changed forever
THE $240m Grafton Bridge project will change Iolanthe business district in South Grafton forever. With road upgrades planned, the street will become the main thoroughfare for people entering Grafton.
One of the businesses that will see these changes first-hand is Driven to Espresso, Mark and Anne Paterson's family run, locally owned business..
Mr Paterson said Driven to Espresso was opened in 2015 and the location "kind of chose us”.
He said the developer at the time, who they knew, approached them at their previous cafe.
"They came to us and said 'this is what we want to do, do you want to do it?' and we said yeah,” he said.
Mrs Paterson said it was their love of coffee and want to provide it to the community and highway travellers that led them to open the cafe.
Mr Paterson said the bridge off-ramp, located at the end of Iolanthe St, will bring both a positive and a negative change for them.
"Because of the structure of the road and going on to the bridge (will change) and people are going past us and on to the bridge easily (but) people are going off the bridge and away from us, it's going to be hard for them to get to us,” he said.
"They are going to have to go all the way around and then turn right because there is no turn around,” Mrs Paterson added.
She said they would hopefully build up their reputation enough that people would be "willing to go that way and get back to us” after the construction was finished.
Mr Paterson described their small family owned business as not "attached to the big boys”.
He added the foundation of their business was the great team around them.
"It isn't just our business, it's our teams, and that's the most important thing for us,” he said.
"We really like to support our community too, and do as much as we can within our own community,” Mrs Paterson said.
Driven to Espresso recently held a fundraiser for drought stricken farmers where $1 from every coffee sold went to the cause, with $1000 raised on the day.
They also support a local soccer team, Grafton United, and Studio One Dance academy.
Driven To Espresso is on Spring St in the BP in South Grafton but can also be accessed on Iolanthe St.