A great place to enjoy coffee, nature, and community
Introducing Willow Coffee Co, a special sanctuary designed for coffee enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Their journey started with Melissa and her passion for the coffee tradition. She would come together with friends in their serene cul-de-sac, a locale teeming with birds and wildlife, and savor the delightful custom of sharing coffee with loved ones. Along came a charming retro caravan by the name of Willow that transformed this simple ritual of enjoying coffee with friends into a thriving coffee business nestled amongst the picturesque backdrop of Asthonfield’s lush bushland.
Willow Coffee Co have created a sanctuary for you to gather with friends, immerse in the beauty of the local bushland and most importantly, indulge in the perfectly brewed cup of coffee.
We spoke to Melissa about what else makes Willow Coffee Co so special...
Building a strong sense of community around a coffee shop is often a key to its success. How does your business foster a sense of belonging and community engagement among your customers and within the local neighbourhood?
I have been blown away by the response to the coffee van from our little community. It honestly makes me so happy to hear people catch up with their family, friends and neighbours outside of Willow.
The bushland encourages people to slow down, relax and have a chat. I also love it when people meet each other for the first time and have a chat. I guess that is what used to happen back in the day of corner shops. We also have lots of new residents moving into the area, so it is a great place to meet new neighbours and chat with them about the local area. We live in such a busy society, so it is so nice to reconnect with our neighbours and form that sense of community within our local neighbourhood.
Your coffee business is in a unique area with its own distinct character. What is it about this neighbourhood or community that you love and feel sets it apart? How do you see your coffee business contributing to and enhancing the local charm?
We are definitely a little different to the normal coffee shop, there are not many places where you can enjoy your coffee while little blue wrens play on the grass in front of you. The bird life is a feature of the coffee shop, as is the local goanna (but I do hope he has gone further in the gully to live). Our 6 chickens and 2 ducks also provide customers with something to watch and enjoy (especially with their yummy eggs for sale). However, I think the charm comes from being a local meeting place, whether it is enjoying a work meeting outside over coffee, catching up with friends, or meeting new neighbours and staying for an extended chat, it is just a great place to enjoy nature and community.
If you could have a coffee date with any famous person living or from history, who would it be and why? What would you hope to discuss or learn from this coffee conversation?
I would love to have coffee with some of the elders from the Wonnarua People, the traditional owners and custodians of the Maitland area. I would love to ask the elders about this land in Ashtonfield and how the land was once utilised. I think it would be so valuable to learn the history of this area, and I believe we could learn some valuable lessons on how we could treat the land in which we live.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Very soon we will be installing a community street library (it is currently being painted by a local artist). We are hoping that this will encourage everyone to come and have a look through the selection of books on offer and borrow a book.
We will cater for all ages including babies and toddlers. Being an Early Childhood Teacher, literacy is something still very close to my heart.
Willow Coffee Co
6 Austral Cl, Ashtonfield NSW 2323