By S Haslam
The Rock & Roll Coffee Company is a laidback, friendly locals sort of cafe/restaurant that for the last ten years has gained a following far and wide for its pan-Asian flavours from a menu with a lot of vegetarian and gluten-free options along with ethical fair-trade coffee.
You’ll find it down a little laneway next to the historic old building at 55 Burringbar St, and to add to the sense of history in the moody back room you’ll still find the old ovens in the wall from Mullum’s first bakery.
Yes, the food’s good – a personal favourite is the new Good Morning Salad (all different sorts of green vegetables with an absolutely fantastic chili jam – healthy and really delicious). Chef Michael Collins trained under renowned chef David Thompson. And yes, the coffee is good. And yes, there’s always a groove going on in the background.
Unlike some cashed-up owners who wouldn’t think of touching their cafe without an interior designer on hand, the ‘boys’ have literally built the business by hand over the last decade, including laying the tiles (black granite of course) out the front. And you get a sense that they feel that the industry, as well as the venue, is in their blood.
‘There’s a great food history in both of us that comes out in the business,’ says Trent. ‘I come from a very long tradition of hospitality; when my great-grandfather moved to Sydney he opened an oyster bar called Victor’s on King Street, which my grandfather took over when the time came.
‘Michael came from New Zealand, where he also grew up in the industry through his father’s restaurants. We met in Sydney about 20 years ago. I think we clicked with each other as we both wanted to be professionals in the industry. I think you can sense that essence in someone, whether they are just doing it as a job or whether it is part of them.’
The Rock & Roll attitude seems to extend to the hiring process: ‘When you meet someone you just know they’re the right kind of people; you can sense the same sort of essence in them,’ he says.
‘We really want to thank all our staff, past and present, and all our clientele for the support.’
And, just to prove their dedication to the industry, they aren’t taking a break after the first decade; instead they’re making a ‘comeback’ with the very popular night-times starting up again from this Thursday.
‘We are very excited to move into this next phase of Rock & Roll. We have learnt a lot over the last 10 years and are ready to change things up a bit. We have created an awesome venue. Now fully licensed, along with our regular nights, we will be hosting Warm Up, a fundraiser for the Mullum Neighbourhood Centre every month.’
If their rocking Warm Up gig last month that packed 300 people in is anything to go by, this new phase is something more to look forward to.
Rock & Roll Coffee Co. 3/55 Burringbar St, Mullumbimby. 6684 4224. Rockandrollcoffee.com.au.