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Rozelle Explosion - Help needed!

edited January 1970 in Social
Hi all,

I'm down in Sydney again on one of my regular work trips. When I'm here, I stay in Rozelle (across the road from the Sackville, on Darling St). Thursday morning 4am, we were woken by a massive blast that destroyed a convenience store and killed three - less than 100 metres from where I stay with my friends.

Darling St Rozelle is an amazing community, it's one of my favourite places in the world and has a vibrant and caring community - one that's been utterly gutted by the events of the week. All the businesses along Darling St in the area are shuttered and anyone who had perishable stock has lost it. People have lost homes and livelihoods.

A close friend owns Penny Lane, a cafe and wine bar just two doors down from the explosion. Like everyone else, they haven't been let back into the area since the explosion and it's unlikely that anything will re-open in the next 5 - 7 days.

My friends are trying to organise some community action - a street fair, fete, anything to help the local community recover.

What I'm looking for is to see if anyone has a commercial grade coffee machine and grinder that my friends could borrow to run an ad-hoc cafe for a few days? Preferably a gas-fired machine (they might have to operate on the street), but really anything that could work for that sort of application would be great.

Please get in touch if there's anything you can do to help out with any short term equipment loans. They may need beans, but their supplier will probably sort them out.

Thanks all!


  • Hi, sounds like a great idea. I spend a lot of time in the area. Let us know the date of the fair. I'll post your message on Twitter now.  cheers, Ambra
  • Kelsey, I don't have access to a machine, but have some contacts I'll follow up. I can definitely supply coffee and my barista skills if needed. Just let me know. Cheers, Matt.
  • Thanks guys, will keep you appraised.
  • Here is a paraphrase of the reply I sent to your email yesterday. Thanks for putting this out to the community.? With regard to your plea for a coffee machine for your friends to use, may I offer the following advice. Any coffee supplier worth its salt would be in there like a flash to offer its client the use of a suitable coffee making set up and dare I say, even offer the client FREE beans and take away cups for a designated period to get them going?. It's also the quickest alternative to get them going immediately. That means, a machine and grinder? and possibly a dedicated coffee machine bench with water and drain containers etc. There is more to it than just a machine and grinder. Additionally, despite what we all see and read in forums, gas machines are not common. They will have much easier access to an electric machine? and would need to arrange a suitable generator to drive it. This also means no full size machine because they draw too much power...a COMPACT 2 group is all that is required in an emergency, and that also greatly lessens the need for a big generator to handle it. Milk can be done in a good fishing esky. I sincerely hope they can work it out pronto and get going ASAP. Regardless of all the above. I've just watched a report on this citing ASBESTOS as one reason for not allowing residents and business owners to return just yet (another week?), so I am afraid your freinds wont be able to trade until someone deems the area to be safe.... Hope that helps, Attilio
  • I wasn't involved in this [in hosp. undergoing surgery] but great initiative - Kelsey, can you update everyone where this got to? cheers A
  • My apologies for not updating everyone sooner, I've been very much under the weather this week. I'll touch base with my Sydney friends tomorrow and will let everyone know. Thank you for your support!
  • A, sorry to hear you've had an intervention in hospital. Hope all os ok. A.
  • Thanks Attilio (and to those who offered help via PM). Do you have any suggestions as to coffee suppliers who might be amenable? My friend owns his gear and deals with a single small batch roaster, so isn't in regular contact with the kind of 'machine and beans' type suppliers.
  • Hello Kelsey. Afraid it doesn't work that way in real life  :) Your friend's supplier is either prepared to help its client, or it isn't.  There are no excuses, and it's nothing I wouldn't be prepared to do for someone in this kind of predicament, in my own local area. If your friend's supplier is not prepared to help out, and I am able to refer you to someone in Sydney that may be able to help, the other supplier will (rightly) want something in return. I expect it wouldn't be anything more onerous than say, in exchange for the help, your friend giving a commitment to transfer all of his coffee supply to the helping party, for a period (say 12 months for the sake of discussion). This is the time for your friend's supplier to demonstrate there is good will between them, or I wouldn't be surprised if your friend "walked" anyways... Hope that helps.
  • And to be a little more direct, the first thing that needed doing was for your friend to discuss all this with his supplier. Always...first bite of the cherry to the encumbent, anything else would be lacking in respect (although enough of that is often seen around the traps).. If the supplier is/was unwilling or unable to help, the second thing that needs doing urgently is/was to start looking for a new coffee supplier in earnest, who is able to provide all the client services required of a professional coffee roasting outfit. Professional outfits are usually geared to help their clients in a variety of ways, as and when required, again exemplifying that there is more to a coffee supplier than just the supply of the beans. The total service aspect is just as important. Hope that helps.
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