Merlo expands coffee success story

By: Merlo Coffee
Merlo CEO James Wilkinson
Merlo CEO James Wilkinson
BRISBANE, Australia - July 29, 2018 - PRLog -- Independent coffee company Merlo is investing more than $5 million into its future success, with a new 2425m2 headquarters at Eagle Farm set to triple the business's production and storage.

Merlo Coffee CEO James Wilkinson said the redevelopment of an existing building on the Fison Avenue East site, as well as the construction of a new warehouse, was needed for the expanding business.

"We have simply outgrown our home at Bowen Hills," Mr Wilkinson said. "There has been a huge increase in people buying coffee online to enjoy at home. We are now filling a couple of hundred online orders a day, while taking on more wholesale customers at the same time."

Mr Wilkinson said a new roaster would be installed at the Eagle Farm complex, enabling Merlo to triple its roasting output.

"That will take up to two years to be installed so, in the meantime, we'll continue roasting at Bowen Hills, along with operating the existing café," he said.

"Eventually, we'll be able to roast up to 100 tonnes of beans each week with the new larger machine working in conjunction with our existing roaster.

"We will also open a café within the Eagle Farm complex and sell beans, food and coffee to cater to the large business community that is now in that area. This will further our plans to increase the number of Merlo cafes in Queensland – we'd love to see that grow from 15 to more than 20 by the end of 2020."

Mr Wilkinson said the new 1500m2 warehouse, under construction within the complex at Eagle Farm, would provide optimal space for packing and storage.

"Being so close to the Gateway Motorway, it will also improve our access to transport networks," he said. "Where we are now in Bowen Hills is not conducive to loading and unloading trucks."

Mr Wilkinson said he expected the new Eagle Farm facility to open by the end of October.

Since starting as a small espresso bar in the Brisbane CBD in 1992, Merlo Coffee now supplies more than 1500 cafes and restaurants across Australia, plus thousands of online customers.

The company's first torrefazione (Italian roasting house) opened in 1996 and Mr Wilkinson began working at Merlo in 1999 in the packing department.

"It's been a great journey so far but there's plenty more ahead," he said.

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