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Gold Coast Steals Queensland Coffee Crown

The bustling Merlo Coffee store at the Brickworks, Southport is now the number one Merlo outlet in Queensland.

Founder Dean Merlo said the Ferry Road roastery and café had been a firm favourite with locals and visitors since it opened its doors in 2006.

“Its success has shown us that Gold Coast coffee-drinkers are on the lookout for great coffee served by friendly, knowledgeable people and we have identified the southern strip of the Gold Coast as a real growth area for the future,” Mr Merlo said.

“More than 5,000 cups of coffee head out the door of our Brickworks store every week, and our customers purchase more than one-and-a-half tonnes of beans each month for brewing at home.”

The Southport outlet also supplies some 130 Gold Coast wholesale customers, a far cry from its café and restaurant trade base of just two customers when the Brickworks store opened 13 years ago.

Merlo CEO James Wilkinson said the company’s expansion hasn’t been solely in bricks-and-mortar.

“In 2018, we had a 25 per cent increase in online orders on the previous year, demonstrating the rise in people who like to make good coffee at home,” Mr Wilkinson said.

The origins of Australia’s coffee obsession can be traced to 1832, when the nation’s first coffee trees were planted in south-east Queensland.

Merlo opened for business in 1992, with a small coffee nook in Brisbane where a flat white cost $1.95. Today, it has blossomed to 15 coffee shops, including 11 Torrefaziones (Italian roasting houses).