By mid-2012, it was time for Black Sheep to grow again.
Even though they were going through more than 40kg of coffee every weekend — plus the wholesale customers who’d buy 20kg or 30kg at a time (including Gordon Ramsay’s Melbourne restaurant Maze) — Mark was still roasting on the tiny, 3kg roaster. They needed a bigger roaster. And if they had a bigger roaster, they’d need a bigger space...
Meet Emmy, digital content creator, mother of two and one of our Black Sheep favourites.
Emmy took some time out from her hectic schedule (two little ones, three websites…) to chat with us about motherhood, chickens, diamonds, and of course, coffee.
In January 2011, flash flooding devastated Queensland and three-quarters of the state were officially declared disaster zones. Rocklea, where Black Sheep had their market stall, was one of the worst affected suburbs in Brisbane.
“There was so much water,” Katie recalls. “It’s unbelievable. And just to come up and go so quickly.”
With Easter only a few days away, we thought it was the perfect time to share another of our favourite recipes using Black Sheep coffee.
This time we’ve gone for a ‘grown ups only’ concoction and asked our wonderful friend Tim Morrissey of Black Bear Lodge to lend his expertise in making the perfect espresso martini.
Now that Mark and Katie had decided it was time to get serious about the business, they needed to come up with a name.
“We went through all sorts of names,” says Katie. “There was The Cranky Donkey. Mark’s surname is Gloftis so we joked at one point that it was going to be Glofie’s Coffee..."
Renee is our manager and inspiring leader. If you’ve come by the roastery, you will have seen her smiling face and no doubt been greeted and treated like family. That's one of the things we love about her...
Every weekend Mark would watch a guy sell cold drinks and instant tea and coffee. Why don’t they have real coffee? he wondered. He’d read about the success of coffee carts in America, on train platforms and on campus at universities and he figured the same could be done here. So he set himself up with a trestle table and a vintage single lever machine. He called it Mark’s Coffee Cart (“very original,” he laughs) and charged $2 a cup. It was one of the very first coffee carts in Brisbane...
Did you know green beans are also kind of blue? And that something called “the crack” is one of the most important parts of roasting? Come with us and we’ll show you all the sights, sounds and smells of roasting day at Black Sheep. As Mark says, “It’s part science, part art and skill. And a little magic and romance thrown in…”
Here at Black Sheep, we approach the world with our eyes and our hands. From weighing out green beans for roasting, to passing your freshly brewed cup of coffee from our hands to yours, we thought you might like to see just what it is our hands do here.
Well here we are, more than halfway through January already. The holidays are over, you’re back at work and the kids are off to school next week. To help make the transition a little easier, we thought we’d share one of our favourite weeknight meals that uses coffee.
A Black Sheep Christmas Story
Gather round, friends. It's time for a Black Sheep Christmas story about how Mark and Katie created everyone’s yuletide favourite, Woolly Wonderland.