Bun Coffee Turns 14! - Bun Coffee
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Bun Coffee Turns 14!

It’s Bun Coffee’s 14th Birthday this month. To celebrate our birthday, we sat down with David and Jenny Kennedy – the founders and owners of the business – to look back on how far they’ve come and what’s next.

Q: David, when did you decide that you wanted to become a coffee roaster:

David: It was back in 1989. My brother and I started a Café/ French Pattisserie in Glebe, called Le Chocorêve. I wanted to find something unique about our coffee and that’s when I first met the team from Gourmet Gold Coffee- an artisan coffee roasting outfit – to create a special blend. I worked with them to develop a special blend for our café and to sell as take home beans. They got me in to show me how they blend and roast coffee and I was totally captivated. It was love at first sight. I ended up joining their business a few years later and eventually went on to become their head coffee roaster.

Q: How did you end up in Byron Bay?

Jenny: We spent so many fantastic holidays in Byron Bay over the years and like so many of us thought: ‘How can we live up here?’ David had spent five years mastering coffee roasting. We had opened another café in Sydney called Bun Café, which we sold three years later, and we were looking for the next thing. That’s when we decided to test the waters further north. In 2005, we began hand roasting coffee in Byron Bay , and thanks to all of the support of our customers we haven’t looked back.

Q: Describe a typical day at Bun Coffee HQ?

Jenny: There is no typical day! It’s not unusual to find David chatting to our customers in the espresso bar, many of whom we can call friends. David sometimes helps out our baristas with making the coffees because he loves being behind the machines so much. It’s hard to keep him away sometimes! Meanwhile, Andre our roaster will be starting to roast for the day while the rest of the team are processing, packing and shipping orders in the warehouse. Hannie and Te our much loved baristas will be chatting all things coffee to the wonderful customers that come and get their daily caffeine fix from our newly refurbished Roastery Door. Kris our sales manager and David will be on the phone to customers or hitting the road to meet with them and help out café owners with coffee machines as needed.

Q: What is your favourite Bun Coffee bean and how do you drink it?

David: Double ristretto. I have always been fascinated with roasting Single Origins, the story behind the beans. One of my favourites is the Costa Rica.

Jenny: I love our Bun Coffee Christmas Blend and it’s a long black for me.

Q: How has the coffee industry changed over your 14 years of roasting?

David: While coffee roasting is our passion, we are ultimately driven by our customers. We are always looking at innovations and trends that perk the interest of our customers and align with our passion. I was offering single origins in 1989 but in those days there was very little understanding and uptake. Now it’s being driven by the demand of consumers for high-quality coffees to be enjoyed in their purest form. By producing our range of 40+ single origins it’s also becomes an opportunity to tell the origin story of the countries and the specific regions and farms and further support the farmers and their communities for better working conditions.

Q: What is the best thing about your jobs besides the coffee on tap?

David: Being your own boss is great but I mostly enjoy the sourcing of beans and creativity and the exactness that comes with hand roasting your own coffee.

Q: How central is the local community to Bun Coffee’s success?

Jenny: It’s everything. They helped us get off the ground in the early days and continue to embrace us as their local coffee roaster rather than always going for a Sydney or Melbourne based coffee. That’s why we see ‘giving back’ to the local community as one of our drivers. We have kids of our own and so we know there is a real need to support causes for young people in Byron Bay. We sell our used coffee sacks from the espresso bar for $2 each, with all monies going to the Byron Youth Service.