There are two Nectar Espressos on the Gold Coast. Sister coffee shops, if you will.
One is right on the beach at North Burleigh in the bottom of the surf club. The other, the younger sister, is located on a busy stretch of Currumbin Creek Road.
The Currumbin espresso bar has been operating since May in 2016, taking over a space previously used by Billy’s Beans. Carly Way, who manages both properties said it was just a matter of seeking diversity. Plus “it’s fun to do a startup.”
As well as a coffee shop out the front, and a heap of parking down the side, Nectar Espresso at Currumbin has a blissful (and air-conditioned) co-working space, with a touch of local artists and office space upstairs, soon to be the seasonal home of Buskers by the Creek.
“For a little while it was used as a yoga studio but we found there was a real need for co-working spaces. A lot of customers pop in with laptops. We felt it was a unique position to put ourselves in with all the cafes on the streets.”
So Carly engaged a bunch of local artists. Like Kiel Tillman, who created a stunning mural in monochrome and Ryan McDonald (KMD Surfboards) installed some racks and boards and soon, there’ll be other artistic products on display.
“We’re looking at partnering with local artists keen to display their works just on constant rotation,” Carly said, “stuff that’s local to Currumbin.
Amongst the artistic touches, there’s a big timber table with plenty of powerpoints, a heap of comfy couches, some café style seating and lots of lush green plants.
“There are such great people in Currumbin. Burleigh has its thing, Palm Beach has its thing and Currumbin’s just slowly bubbling below the surface. With Balter Brewers around the corner there’s been a spotlight on this area and with all the creatives that go through Dust Temple, there’s a good undercurrent of fantastic creative locals.”
Of course, Currumbin is also home to SWELL Sculpture Festival, the Soundlounge and Currumbin RSL, Bleach* Festival and Buskers by the Creek. To say it’s bubbling below the surface isn’t exactly correct, Currumbin is just quiet about its achievements. Much like Nectar Espresso itself.
While Carly and I sit in the co-working space chatting, there are a heap of people who come and go. Carly says there are a lot of sales reps who use the space as well as students making use of the free wifi and airconditioning.
“Sales reps are predominantly looking for spaces along their way,” Carly said. “And people sometimes feel uncomfortable just sitting in a conventional café. We encourage people to stay and get comfy. There’s pressure on what you need to order to “qualify” to use the space.”
“We liked what warehouse no5 were doing and felt there was a real market for this,” Carly said, noting that warehouse no5 are no longer offering a co-working space. “This is an industrial area and it’s a thoroughfare for a lot of people on the Gold Coast plus it’s close to the M1, and the Gold Coast Highway and beach.”
Carly says the vision for Nectar Espresso is to grow into an events space. To offer food truck-style events, Friday afternoon drinks in the garden and a smaller space for people who want to have a private party or run their own events and workshops.
The team are hoping to offer a DJ School for young people in coming months, as well as an art club and photography workshops. A real focus on hands-on creativity.
“Things that aren’t out of reach for people who are hobbyists rather than professionals or even amateurs,” Carly said. “People that really just want to learn for fun.”
On the café-side of things, Nectar is switching to Blackboard Coffee and they’re excited about partnering with a local roaster. And the menu is predominantly freshly assembled, toasts and food, done simply but well.
Carly laughs when I ask about the cake cabinet. “We offer a weird mix of ridiculously sugar-laden treats to raw foods and wholefoods. We’ve really got everyone covered.”
Nectar Espresso is located at 37 Currumbin Creek Road.
IMAGE (c) Lamp Photography