There’s nobody in the Broadsheet office when I leave it to go to Sackville Street, Collingwood, to chat with Everyday Coffee co-owner Mark Free. And why would there be? It’s the first week of January. All sensible Melburnians are at the beach.
Or, it seems, at Everyday Coffee.
It’s 12pm and the half-finished warehouse space is teeming. Shoppers, cyclists, dog walkers and more spill out onto the concreted courtyard out the front, each person carefully positioning themselves in and out of the shade as their summer tans permit.
“[When] we had the outside landscaped and the good weather came around, we were like, ‘Woah, we've gotta get busy with this space’,” says Free.
The original Johnston Street spot is being turned into apartments (Everyday also has a CBD outpost, Everyday Midtown), but this isn’t new news – Free says a demolition clause has been hovering over his head – and the head of fellow owner and Aaron Maxwell (ex-Seven Seeds and Wide Open Road) since opening in early 2013.
“From day one we knew that our time was limited,” says Free. “So we've been hoping to get out sooner rather than later … Then we found this warehouse and jumped on it.”
It’s not a major move in terms of location – we’re just 150 metres away from the original – but the former mechanical workshop is a lot bigger than the old 20-seater. The counter and coffee machine by the entrance give off a coffee-cart vibe. If you’re toting a laptop, duck under the massive roller door inside to a quieter space with a couple of borrowed tables and chairs; the odd fern; and a slightly foreboding, but temporary, grey wall screening off the rest of the warehouse.
“This particular configuration is just a pop-up while we finish the rest, [then] everything will open up completely,” Free says. “We basically slapped this together in two weeks. And when I say we, I mean mostly Olly [Mckay, operations manager] did all the work.”
At the other end of the spectrum, and just a couple of shops up, is the minimalist expanse of Acoffee’s warehouse. “They're all friends of ours,” Free says. “It's great, we've got a little precinct along this street which two years ago was just empty warehouses.”
The Everyday crew has been roasting its own coffee for about four years, but always using other people’s equipment. That’s about to change. “Now that we've got our own roaster, we're a lot more in control of the coffee … rather than cruising into someone else's space once a week like couch-surfing roasters,” Free says.
The team is looking into a liquor license too (that sunny courtyard cries out for frosty longnecks), and more room means a bigger menu. Everyday has always been almost entirely about the coffee; at the old space offering baked goods, including Lune croissants, Fatto a Mano sweets and bagels from 5 & Dime was based on ease for staff. Sackville Street will have an on-site kitchen.
“The food will be simple, not flashy. Same as we do with our coffee. Just do the basics well,” Free says. “It's a work in progress.
“People come into the place and say, ‘Love the new shop!’” and it's like, this isn't the new shop, you ain't seen nothing yet.”
36–38 Sackville Street, Collingwood
Mon to Sat 7am–4pm