Andrew Foster and Harrison Black opened the first Foster & Black on the Sunshine Coast in 2015 with one goal: to share specialty coffee in unlikely places.
Five years and six more coffee bars spread across south-east Queensland later, Harrison and his wife packed their bags and took the concept to the north-eastern suburbs of Melbourne.
After a year of setbacks and lockdowns, Foster & Black opened its first Victorian
location at Westfield Doncaster Shopping Centre in April 2021.
“We visited Melbourne a number of times and absolutely loved it here,” Harrison says.
“We targeted the Westfield in Doncaster because we thought there was a gap in
the market for providing good specialty coffee in such a commercial space. We’re competing with the big chains so we separate ourselves by providing a more boutique experience.”
Foster & Black roasts its own coffee at its Fortitude Valley roastery, including a house blend and rotating single origins for black and filter coffee.
“There’s been a lot of interest in our single origins. We have a shelf of retail
coffee as well, showing what we have on offer at the bar or coming up, which helps start the conversation and bring them in,” Harrison says.
“People are interested in trying new things and really experiencing the coffee world much deeper than they may have before.”
Espresso is prepared with a three-group La Marzocco KB90 machine and Mythos One grinder, with an additional Mahlkönig EK43 for the single origins. For its milk, Foster & Black uses dairy from Riverina Fresh to bring out the best of its shots.
“We tasted a few different milks and found Riverina Fresh worked best with our coffees,” Harrison says.
“We’ve got more of a lighter roast and the milk pairs with that really well without taking away from the coffee flavour. It’s also a delicious milk in its own right.”
This approach of bringing specialty coffee to where it wasn’t has been well received by the shoppers of Doncaster.
“It’s been a good couple of weeks. People appreciate what we’re doing and the coffee we’ve roasted,” Harrison says.
“It’s all about pairing delicious coffee with genuine service. People come to us for a break in their day and are up for a chat and a nice coffee. That’s what’s working for us and what we’ll keep doing.”
Foster & Black
619 Doncaster Road, Doncaster, Victoria 3108
Open Monday to Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 7am to 5:30pm, Thursday 7am to 9pm, Sunday 8am to 5pm
This article appears in the June 2021 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.