Barista Equip unveils its new showroom

Barista Equip

Barista Equip tells BeanScene why its new showroom is an all-in-one space for the coffee industry to grow, learn and network.

It took Barista Equip two and a half years to bring its glistening new Queensland showroom to life. But for CEO Brett Bolwell, the payoff hit him in less than a minute into its official launch in mid-November where about 70 people from all sectors of the coffee industry attended.

“We’ve been in barista technology for just over 10 years and decided to do a rebrand under more of a global brand, which became Barista Equip (formerly Barista Technology Australia). As part of that rebrand, we wanted to form a really solid alliance with Queensland café owners, roasters and the industry in general,” Brett says.

“We said, ‘well, if we’re going to do that, we need a collaborative space that we can use as a showroom, both retail and commercial, but also as a destination for events, product launches, training, competitions, cuppings – basically a collaborative space for our local and interstate coffee friends to utilise in whatever their minds can imagine.

“[At the launch] I saw people playing with the latest Eversys machines, Perfect Moose and our new, auto-adjusting Flow grinder and they said ‘wow, I can literally do the work of two people as one person’. I told them ‘that’s the story we’ve been trying to convey for the past 10 years, and you’ve just worked it out in under 30 seconds’.”

Brett says the showroom, located in Burleigh Heads, offers the perfect opportunity to give clients a more tangible experience with its products.

“For most people, it is just the touch and feel of being able to use the equipment and see it in the flesh that is different to seeing it on a video or reading about it online,” he says.

“I think customers like to interact more when they’re going to invest in equipment, rather than seeing pictures or reading about products. The space offers us an opportunity to plant that seed in their mind – to play around with whatever they want to, and then tell us what they think.

“Since [the launch] we’ve had quite a few people say they’d love to bring some clients or colleagues or their whole team back through and spend some proper time in front of our equipment.”

The showroom features the latest in commercial cafe technology and a developing prosumer retail space. It is split into two areas, with a huge glass door divides the space, which can be opened or shut depending on what is required.

Brett says as well as being a practical space for testing equipment, the showroom will allow his and other businesses the chance to host events and functions year- round. He adds that it’s another testament to Barista Equip’s commitment to industry- wide growth, innovation and education.

“We want café owners who invest heavily to launch their businesses to still be in business in five to 10 years, and we want them to be opening multiple stores, not just one. If they learn more and get educated about different elements of their industry, then we want to help and be part of that. It’s a win-win for everybody,” he says.

“For us, [just like with a] trade show when you get in front of a few hundred people, our goal is to be able to do that every week, or every two weeks. We’re effectively going to be running 20-odd trade shows a year out of there, but just in a more personalised context to the audience’s requirements.

“We will be running all sorts of different events, which could also be a business-to- business type event, not always necessarily coffee-related. Part of being in the coffee industry is being in business, which is a constant learning process. You never stop learning. I’ve been in business for 32 years now and I’m still learning, and I think most people these days are open to learning something new and different.”

Brett says all elements of the coffee industry can benefit from using the showroom.

“If businesses want to do a product launch, or they want to run a particular event or an educational or training or promotional event, we’re going to use it in that capacity,” he says.

“For example, if you’re an alternative milk-based business, or you’re a packaging supplier, we want to use the showroom as a collaborative space for all industry-related people to use.

“We feel it’s going to broaden the community and give people better insights into what’s actually going on out there, rather than if they’re stuck inside the four walls or their café.”

Barista Equip hopes to make booking the showroom as easy as possible for companies interested in using the space.

“There will soon be an online event booking calendar going up, where businesses will see the events we’ve got coming up which they might want to attend, but they will also be able to book the space themselves,” Brett says.

The space will be free to use, with only costs associated if staff need to be hired for catering. Brett says the development of the functional space will help take the company to new heights, with Barista Equip to reveal five new innovations throughout 2024, officially launched at the showroom.

“I think it takes us to another level because there really isn’t anything like it in Australia. People have showrooms, and they have equipment on display, but this is more of a functional space,” he says.

“When people walk in, they just get what it is. They don’t have to guess, we don’t even have to tell them. I think it just it adds to our brand recognition and it says ‘this is the new Barista Equip’. It’s our new image – a way more personalised image than what it was before. I’m confident we’ve created a much more engaged experience.

“People walk in and go ‘wow, this is a very unique space’.”

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This article appears in the February 2024 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.

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