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Byron Shire
February 1, 2023

Letterbox Roasters

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Victoria Cosford

Those who frequent the New Brighton Farmers Market could not fail to notice, this past month, the new kid on the block – Letterbox Roasters. They will have spotted that gorgeous red logo, for a start, matching the colour of the van from which the coffee is dispensed – and then the old-fashioned red telephone, the Tea, Sugar and Rice canisters, and old signage like ‘Fire Exit’.

2023 marks 40 years since Dave Copeland first stood behind a coffee machine. Forty years comes close to a lifetime in the industry. He tells me that, when he was a kid, his mother had a catering business. At 12 he was waiting on tables; and ‘my first cafe job (was) at 15, which is when I first made the big fluffy 1980s-style cappuccinos,’ he says.

Much has changed since then, as he points out. Back then, pre-YouTube and Google, you had to work things out for yourself, and it wasn’t until 1999 – when Dave had lessons from a world champion barista – that he was shown ‘how to make coffee properly. That was an eye-opener!’.

Over the years Dave’s run five cafes. Most recently, until he sold it in 2015, he ran Lismore’s Bank Cafe. Well before that, however, he’d started roasting beans. When he sold the Bank Cafe, he purchased a small roaster that came with a load of green beans, ‘which I roasted and gave away to friends and dropped them off in their letterboxes; hence the name.’

For Dave, working at the farmers’ markets has various pleasures; ‘Being outside, the relaxed vibe, meeting farmers and swapping coffee for fresh produce, chatting directly to my customers, and hopefully educating them about coffee.’ His advice to new customers? ‘Just ask for a Magic – you won’t be disappointed!’.

Letterbox Roasters are at New Brighton every Tuesday 8–11am.


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Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

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