Aaron Leck didn’t think hospitality was for him while working in cafés during his school day. But after some time working in an office environment, he felt unfulfilled.
“I was missing the customer and human interaction you get in hospitality,” Aaron says.
“I went to a couple of cupping sessions at Dandelion and Driftwood [a flagship café of Wolff Coffee Roasters]. That reignited my passion for coffee and made me realise maybe there would be something in it for me long term.”
Aaron and his wife purchased a second-hand coffee cart and The Wired Owl was born. Initially only setting up and serving coffee on the weekend, an opportunity for Aaron to take a redundancy from his office job came up. He used the opportunity to go into coffee full time and invest in a permanent location.
For the past five years, The Wired Owl has worked out of a small shop in Sandgate, gaining a reputation for its coffee quality.
“I think customers found it a little weird at first when we were weighing shots and discarding those that weren’t quite up to our standard or extracting the way we’d like,” Aaron says. “But after tasting that quality, customers started to appreciate it. We’ve been very lucky to be embraced by the community exceptionally well from the start.”
The Wired Owl serves a custom blend and rotating single origins from Wolff Coffee Roasters, a partnership Aaron says has been key to the café’s growth since the very beginning.
“When we started out with the trailer, we were pretty sporadic with our orders and they were willing to work with us in those early days. Hopefully, we’ve repaid their support by continuing to grow,” he says.
“When I first mentioned to Peter [Wolff] my idea of starting the shop, he provided assistance, advice, and encouragement, and has done so ever since.”
On the bar, The Wired Owl uses a Mythos One grinder, Puqpress automatic tamper, San Remo Café Racer, and a Perfect Moose milk steamer. Aaron says the Perfect Moose has been particularly useful when working with different dairy alternatives during rush hour.
“Space is really limited in our shop and we can’t always have an extra person pouring. The Perfect Moose is like having an extra set of hands to help us keep pace,” Aaron says.
With such high volumes of coffee and little room for food prep, The Wired Owl has formed a unique friendship with the brunch restaurant next door, The Witchin Kitchen.
“We do the coffee and they do amazing food. It’s an arrangement that’s worked well for both of us,” Aaron says.
“People might be a little surprised when they find out they have to go next door to order their coffee or food, but at the end of the day, it allows us both to focus on what our passions are, so the customer gets a better result.”
It was the relationships and interaction that drew Aaron back into coffee, and he says it’s what has helped The Wired Owl to flourish.
“We’ve become a part of the community. Some of our staff have been with us for years, so people get to know them as well as me,” he says.
“Some customers tell us we’ve ruined going to other places for them. I love that we get to provide them with amazing coffee every day.”
The Wired Owl
227 Rainbow Street, Sandgate, Queensland, 4017
Open seven days 6am to 2pm
0413 849 814