Farmers delight in coffee
Gordonton farmer Alan Sharp is just one of an increasing number of caffeine-quaffing cockies.
The rural sector is leaving the instant coffee era behind and, as a result, more coffee machines are being plumbed into farmhouses than ever before.
Allpress Coffee technical manager Frith Joiner has installed $8000 commercial machines in rural properties – and reckons they are an investment not only in machinery, but in seriously good coffee.
"People are prepared to invest in good quality products for good quality coffee – and farmers tend to be very astute businessmen – they know what they want," he said.
Nomad Coffee is the official supplier of coffee to the Fielday's event and owners Peter and Toni Allpress are banking on $200,000 in sales by Saturday night.
"We have 78 baristas working in this venue and we have also employed staff to man the tills and take care of all other duties in our carts and corporate locations," Mr Allpress said.
When he first approached Fieldays about supplying espresso coffee 13 years ago, he was employed by Freedom Air where he worked as a flight attendant.
Working for the same company as a baggage handler was Jon Calder – now chief executive of Mystery Creek.
Yesterday, over a coffee and leaning on a rubbish bin, the pair were recalling just how far they had come since 1999.
"I remember Jon coming around to my place while I tried to build a coffee cart in the garage in time for Fieldays," Mr Allpress laughed.
"And I just remember seeing him stuffing around with the electrics wondering how it was all going to come together," Mr Calder replied.
But come together it did – and Mr Allpress has left the flight attendant position far behind as his coffee business takes flight.
"That first year we had two machines at Fieldays, now we have 24 located strategically around the venue.
"We don't want to saturate the event with coffee, it has to be well placed and managed to meet demand."
The Nomad Coffee Fieldays success story is even followed closely by Italian coffee machine maker La Marzocco.
"This event is their single largest event where their machines are present – I send video footage and photographs back to the company in Florence and that has made it into European publications – it's that big for them," he said.