This article was originally published in the April 2014 issue of Bean Scene magazine. Article written by Sarah Baker.
Ben Walker used to live the lifestyle of a typical Chartered Accountant – filing, calculating and staring at a computer screen day after day. The only daily relief would be the few cups of coffee he’d drink.
Now however, the accountant cafe cum coffee entrepreneur has set up what he is calling a world first – an accounting firm office set up in a cafe.
“A typical office job is quite dull and boring. But after speaking to a mentor Paul Dunn, who has been training accountants for more than 20 years, he said, ‘why not set up your firm in a cafe?'” recalls Ben. “At first I thought it was a joke. Then I realised it was actually a very good idea.”
Months later, with the support of crowd funding in addition to his own, Ben set up Inspire Cafe. “We’ve created a really relaxed setting where customers and business professionals can come to network, host informal meetings, work on your laptop or share ideas over a coffee or meal,” says Ben. “It’s a place for professionals to come together to work, rest and play. One customer told us after her visit that her time at Inspire Cafe was the most relaxed she’d been all day. That’s the reaction we want.”
In the mornings, Inspire Cafe is open to the public. Take away and dine-in Esprosini coffee is available with Chief Espresso Officer Cam Silk Sbusy at work on the cafe’s Synchro espresso machine. Cam describes the house blend, named the Roast Master’s blend, as “very smooth with hints of citrus and berry”. “It’s nice and strong on the palette and a great energy boost for our business customers,” he says.
Cam has spent 14 years honing his craft, and isn’t too keen to trade places with Ben anytime soon. “I’m happy to keep working behind the espresso machine,” he laughs. “It’s been a fun challenge to start this place from scratch with just an empty room and build it up to our dream cafe with a great customer base.”
Inspire Cafe invites business firms and clients come in and use the cafe’s meeting rooms and boardrooms, while the space also holds functions and events.
For their hard-working customers, brain food at Inspire Cafe comes in the form of an entire gluten-free breakfast and lunch menu. Favourite items include their bircher muesli, pizzas and egg and bacon rolls – which Cam says walk out the door faster than they can make them.
Inspire Cafe also has a liquor license so Friday night drinks for the business type are the perfect way to celebrate the weekend.
Through their partnership with Buy1Give1’s overseas aid program, for each coffee Inspire Cafe sells, a child in a Malawi village gets access to life saving water. And for each meal they sell, a child in an Indian school will receive a nourishing meal.
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