Merlo's shot of capital to establish new headquarters

Merlo's shot of capital to establish new headquarters

Big things are brewing at Merlo Coffee, as the roasting and wholesaling giant looks set to triple its business production and storage after injecting $5 million into its new headquarters at Eagle Farm.

As part of the overhaul, an existing building on Fison Avenue will be redeveloped and a new warehouse will be constructed as the company looks to expand on its empire, wholesaling coffee to more than 1,500 cafes around the country.

Merlo Coffee CEO James Wilkinson says the company has outgrown its current Bowen Hills office, particularly noting the surge in online coffee buyers.

"There has been a huge increase in people buying coffee online to enjoy at home," says Wilkinson.

"We are now filling a couple of hundred online orders a day, while taking on more wholesale customers at the same time."

A new roaster will be installed at the Eagle Farm complex, however in the two years during its construction Merlo will continue to roast out of Bowen Hills.

In November last year, Merlo's roasting capacity sat at around 18 tonnes of beans each week. With the addition of the new roaster, capacity is expected to skyrocket.

"Eventually, we'll be able to roast up to 100 tonnes of beans each week with the new larger machine working in conjunction with our existing roaster," says Wilkinson.

"We will also open a café within the Eagle Farm complex and sell beans, food and coffee to cater to the large business community that is now in that area.

"This will further our plans to increase the number of Merlo cafes in Queensland we'd love to see that grow from 15 to more than 20 by the end of 2020.

"It's been a great journey so far but there's plenty more ahead."

Since starting as a small espresso bar in the Brisbane CBD in 1992, Merlo surpassed 16 of its own branded outlets, as well as ten Italian roasting houses and six espresso bars late last year.

The company's first roasting house opened in 1996 and Wilkinson began working at Merlo in 1999 in the packing department alongside founder Dean Merlo.

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