Baristas Brylie Jones, Taylor Southgate and owner Rhys Ashlin pride themselves on great coffee and exceptional customer service. (Picture: Tristan Evert)
Baristas Brylie Jones, Taylor Southgate and owner Rhys Ashlin pride themselves on great coffee and exceptional customer service. (Picture: Tristan Evert)

Nanango’s newest café already a big hit with the locals

PEOPLE come for the coffee and stay for the atmosphere. Nanango's newest café opened on Monday and is exactly what the people of Nanango were after according to owner Rhys Ashlin.

@81 on Drayton Street is all about high quality organic coffee, exceptional customer service, great food and with open air seating, beanbags, booths and a deck, Mr Ashlin has created the perfect café atmosphere.

@81 features booths, perfect for families as well as a deck with seating. Photo/Tristan Evert
@81 features booths, perfect for families as well as a deck with seating. Photo/Tristan Evert

Mr Ashlin purchased the business, which includes a herb and spice store and an old chapel six weeks ago and created what he said Nanango was missing.

"Nanango really needed an actual café where you can sit down, relax and enjoy the atmosphere," he said.

"All of our coffee is organic, we don't really tell people that and the feedback we get people are blown away and just love organic coffee.

"We also own Batter N Crumbz in Kingaroy and we get a lot of positive feedback about our coffee there so when we saw the opportunity to expand, we jumped at it."

Currently only open till 4pm, Mr Ashlin has grand plans to open on Friday and Saturday nights, host live music, events, build a playground for kids and become a licenced venue.

Between the two businesses they staff 19 South Burnett locals, priding themselves on creating high quality coffee, that if isn't ready to be served four seconds after being finished, baristas will make it again.

Originally from Tasmania, Mr Ashlin's food handling skills began at his family's fish and chip shop before working at Woolworths where he was transferred to the South Burnett three years ago.

Mr Ashlin has created the perfect atmosphere with beanbags and open air seating. Photo/Tristan Evert
Mr Ashlin has created the perfect atmosphere with beanbags and open air seating. Photo/Tristan Evert

He said he never envisioned owning three hospitality businesses.

"I was the store manager of Woolworths, that is where I learnt a lot of my food handling skills and that job is how I found my way to the South Burnett," Mr Ashlin said.

"I now have the three hospitality businesses, @81, Batter N Crumbz and the herb and spice shop as well as the farm where I live with my partner.

"I honestly don't have too much of a background in hospitality but when I left Woolworths, I saw the opportunity to get into business in the region."

The café also features seating inside an old chapel connected to the business. Photo/Tristan Evert
The café also features seating inside an old chapel connected to the business. Photo/Tristan Evert

After only being open for three days, people have already started booking events and functions.

Mr Ashlin said they have partnered with a not for profit to run a program with the Nanango State School.

"When people saw us setting up and the work we had done, they were already messaging us on Facebook and booking events for Christmas," he said.

"We have partnered with a not for profit group to run a wholesome food program with a local school to introduce students into wholesome, preservative free foods, which we will run once a month for six months.

"The response has been great from the community, we have done very little advertising and been pretty busy every morning, which is a great outcome."

@81 can be found at 81 Drayton Street in Nanango and opens at 6.00am seven days a week.

South Burnett

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