‘Mr Barista’ brings a taste of ‘Down Under’ to Rodley

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Mr Barista Butties and Brews opened on Monday, 29 April with the aim to bringing something a bit different to Rodley.

Community reporter Jim Corah chatted with Nick Kozić-Shaw, Mr Barista himself, about his eight-year journey to opening the coffee shop, the importance of finding the right coffee roaster, and watching the Ashes in Australia.

The new coffee shop will be a “cross between a traditional sandwich shop with artisan coffee and baked treats,” said Nick, Mr Barista, as he was putting finishing touches to the shop at 127 Town Street, Rodley.

While there has been a sandwich shop at that location before, Nick hopes that good quality independent coffee, and food from Jodie Bakes, Doboy Donuts and Gilchrist Bakery will go down well with the Rodley community. The coffee shop will be open 8am to 2pm weekdays and 8am to 1pm on Saturdays.

Serving coffee is not a completely new venture for Nick, who operates the Mr Barista Coffee Van which visits offices and events. Preparing for opening the new coffee shop in the heart of Rodley has taken five weeks, though this is part of a much longer association with good coffee for Nick. 

Eight years ago Nick decided to switch from working in hospitality recruitment to launching his own coffee van. The recruitment industry had taken Nick to Australia, where he has family. Nick had always wanted to catch the Ashes played in Australia, though his stay there also exposed him to the Australian approach to coffee. 

Due to the number of independent coffee businesses in Australia, Nick noted that their coffee was completely different to that offered by UK high street brands. Nick realised that the coffee van would allow him to work outside in his shorts, a “I can do that” moment.

Nick had an eye on the location in Rodley for some time as it is in the heart of his community. When circumstances were good and the opportunity came up, it offered the chance to expand the business to a coffee shop, alongside the coffee van. The fit out was done by themselves, while managing the demands of an eight month old baby, a dog, and running the van. 

At the centre of the Mr Barista approach has been the relationship with Ue Coffee Roasters, based in Whitney, Oxfordshire. The UK’s first wood-powered coffee roastery, Ue Coffee Roasters have an ethical goals for their business, sourcing their fuel from sustainable sources and donating spare food to a local homeless charity in Oxfordshire. Ethical and with a positive impact on the community are important for Mr Barista.

Ue’s means of roasting coffee beans with wood produces a light flavour that is not over powering. For Mr Barista Butties and Brews this means a coffee that can be enjoyed by coffee lovers and regular coffee drinkers alike. The interior of the coffee shop has been fitted out to be simpler, cleaner, and modern compared to what was there before, and outside there is tables for when the weather is good. The branding was created by Nick’s brother who still lives in Melbourne, Australia.

While independent coffee shops are sometimes viewed as ‘hipster joints’ Nick knows that good coffee, food, and service appeal to all customers. When asked what customers can expect from Mr Barista Butties and Brews, Nick said with a smile that opening week will be “mayhem” though it would remain “friendly, local and for the community.” Feedback is welcome, customers can come have a chat.

Check out the Mr Barista Butties and Brews social media for offers and specialities – Instagram and Facebook.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Good luck to this gentleman in his new venture. Its good to get more of a variety of businesses down in Rodley, which unfortunately, these days is mostly about beauty parlours, hairdressers, etc. Hopefully he can attract the business of some of those using the canal for recreation too.

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