Paul Henley, originally from New Zealand, and his wife, Eve, opened Quest Coffee Roasters in Burleigh Heads, after Paul had a vision.
“I actually had a vision…no, really, I’d been to Burleigh Heads, of course, but only to the beach and had never really seen the back part of Burleigh (James Street). In my vision I had a shop on the back street of Burleigh which was pretty strange because when we came here I was looking on the beach front. But somehow that just didn’t feel right and when I walked down here, this place was for sale and it felt like where I was supposed to be,” says Paul.
Having lived in various parts of Australia, Paul and Eve are happily settled on the Gold Coast.
“It’s such a lovely place to live. We looked all around Australia but here is so relaxed, you’ve got everything you need, the Gold Coast has all the facilities of a big city without being a big city. You’ve got the airport and a constant flow of people coming through and it’s just nice, the people here are nice.”
Quest Coffee Roasters opened in April 2009 and now has its regulars loving the freshly roasted coffee as well as devotees making the trip down from Brisbane. Yet, no matter how many times Paul and his baristas are complimented on their wonderful tasting coffee, they still get a buzz.
“I select beans from all around the world,” he explains. “We bring them in, try all sorts of types out, what’s suited to what coffee. Some beans stand out by themselves, others are better in a blend so we try it all out, we do a lot of testing and we make sure all the beans we get are organic beans.
“People come to our shop because we are a roastery so they’re guaranteed fresh coffee roasted on the premises. We’re also fully organic, with organic coffee, organic milk and organic tea. Plus all our baking we do ourselves, I just really love baking! We offer cookies, biscotti and cakes as well as lovely toasted sandwiches.
So, how did Paul become a Master Roaster and end up in the coffee trade?
“A lot of it is self-taught. I had friends who were in the coffee industry and they looked like they were having a really good time,” he laughs. “So I sort of stumbled into it basically as I was always around, chatting and having coffee. We used to have a design business and then I guess just got bored of it. Eve and I like chatting and coffee and the industry and it all just seemed to go together, it’s very enjoyable.
“We’re really glad we chose Burleigh, it’s changed so much in the last couple of years. It’s still got a great family vibe but there is a new level of sophistication in the shops, cafes and restaurants. There’s an emphasis on the natural, gourmet and style. It’s a wonderful place.”