Cobbs Coffee: Bringing specialty coffee to Ballarat

March 30, 2022 4 min read

On the picturesque corner of Sturt St and Lydiard Street in Ballarat Central, sits Cobbs Coffee, a local cafe located within one of Ballarat's heritage buildings. Named in honour of the Cobb and Co coaches that once lined this street, Cobbs Coffee was started in December 2020, in collaboration with us here at Rumble Coffee Roasters. 

Cobbs Coffee was created with the intention in mind of bringing top-shelf specialty coffee to Ballarat, and showcasing Rumble Coffee, all whilst creating an inviting space and relaxed atmosphere for the Ballarat Central community.

Owner Brendan Wrigley and his team, are passionate about bringing great coffee and excellent service to regional Vic, and from the moment you enter this light-filled space, you’ll see that this local cafe is doing just that. The staff know their customers by name, and amidst the busyness of Ballarat’s morning coffee rush, you’ll hear the friendly sounds of customers and staff chatting like old friends, as they enjoy the best coffee that Ballarat has to offer.

We had a chat to Brendan about what he envisioned in starting Cobbs Coffee, and what the journey has been like so far, over the past year and a half since opening. 

WHAT IS COBBS COFFEE ABOUT? 

The core value behind Cobb's is simple; give people the best five minutes of their day every day.  We believe great coffee shops have the ability to provide a sense of the 'third' space, outside of home and work, where people feel relaxed, comfortable and most importantly, acknowledged. It comes via three pretty basic things: a great product, delivered in a timely, efficient manner with genuinely warm service. 

With this in mind we wanted a space that was light, bright and inviting, and I think this is best encapsulated in the early hours as the sun rises and spills through the big open window which faces the intersection of Sturt and Lydiard Street.  We're also in the process of expanding our indoor plant collection with the help of local specialists When Polly Met Murphy to again improve that feeling of warmth and comfort as you enter the shop. 

But most importantly the way we try to interact with our customers sets the tone for how the space feels and operates.  The old Cheers adage of 'you want to go where everybody knows your name' might feel like a bit of cliche but it really is true.  Going out of your way to get to know your customer base is at the core of what we strive to do. 

 

WHAT HAS BEEN THE BEST PART ABOUT THE COBBS JOURNEY SO FAR?

It's a pretty special feeling during a morning rush when the shop is full and you look around the room and realise you know the name of everybody there.  It's by no means been an easy start to business since we opened in December 2020, but it feels like we're developing a great community of people who love what we do and consider us a part of their daily routine and that's enormously rewarding. 

 

ANYTHING THAT’S SURPRISED YOU ABOUT HOW IT’S GONE SO FAR?

Given the current circumstances with staffing across the industry, we've been incredibly lucky to have maintained a really solid team since we first opened the doors with pretty minimal turnover.  There's certainly been challenges at times due to Covid related absences, but by and large we've got a crew who really buy into the type of service we're trying to deliver and are really committed to being that smiling familiar face which is such an important feature of a good coffee shop.  Hopefully that's a good reflection on the shop as a place to work, but most importantly I think it's a great reflection on the individuals we've managed to get on the team. 

 

WHAT LED YOU TO START COBBS COFFEE IN COLLABORATION WITH RUMBLE?

For me working with Rumble was a no brainer.  I worked for Joe and Stan in a previous life when they owned The Truffula Seed, and despite me saying I was going to go off and become a journalist (which I did for a little while) I vividly remember Joe saying to me "you'll be back". 

When I decided I wanted to open a cafe in early 2020 Joe, Matt and Stan (who's now left Rumble) were among the first people I told, and we've really never looked back.  They were full of encouragement and support and thankfully agreed to come on board as business partners, for which I couldn't be more grateful.  

From a purely coffee side of things, the quality and consistency has been fantastic right across the board, from the blends (we serve Haymaker) to the rotating single origin espressos and filters.  The team do a terrific job of making sure the variety reflects different tastes and preferences, which is great not just for what we serve on the bar but also for making sure there's options on our retail shelf. 

Most importantly, the team at Rumble give a shit.  We're in constant conversation with the team at the roastery and there's a genuine feeling that our feedback matters and they want to know how their coffee is performing on the bar.  As a Rumble account we're not just a number on a spreadsheet.  

Their commitment to publishing what they pay for all green coffee (not just the Geshas) via the Transparency Report demonstrates there's some ethics behind this company, which for us is really important.