Hi Camilla. I’ve been watching you make coffees, greet people and create amazing food. I’m guessing you’ve done this before, right?
I’ve been working since I was fourteen! I grew up around the hospitality industry. My dad is a chef and, when I was a kid, my parents ran restaurants in Sydney. My first job as a teenager was when I first learned to make coffee, in a cute little café in Eumundi in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Later, while managing a café in Woolloongabba, I became obsessed with latte art. Later, while working with Neighbourhood Coffee Roasters, I learnt to love the community that a great coffee location can create. I’ve had a wide industry education.
What brought you to Byron Moonshine Coffee?
I met Richard and Belinda Kelly when I chose to use Moonshine coffee in my own café, Chapel Park in Nundah. When I went to the Federal roastery, we really connected on the use of organic products and family values like trust, openness and straightforwardness.
Towards the end of my time at Chapel Park, in late 2019, Richard asked if I’d like to partner with him in Queensland. By the time we opened Kangaroo Point in May 2020 we had a strong relationship.
Hang on, it sounds like you opened the Kangaroo Point Moonshine Café in the middle of the first Covid lockdown?
Yep, just as we finished a major renovation, the waves of restrictions started to come into effect. We decided we would serve take-away only. It was a scary time but we were confident we were in a great location and could build a sense of community with great service and an amazing product.
Together with Covid restrictions and the recent floods it’s been a tough couple of years. But I’ve always had Belinda and Richard there to talk to. It’s like having a second mum and dad.
What is your role with Moonshine Coffee?
I’m part owner of Byron Bay Moonshine Brisbane and run the day-to-day operation of the café and retail store. I’m also the contact for wholesale business enquiries in Queensland and am helping develop menus across all the Moonshine cafés.
What’s on the menu?
The food is delicious and made fresh every day. We run a specials board along with café classics, like old-style sardines on toast. Specials include avocado toast with labna, mexican salsa, blue tortilla chips and fresh herbs.
There are fresh muffins and pastries every morning and our biggest sellers are toasties. Vegan and gluten free options abound. Our green smoothie is a favourite, with kale, cucumber, coco water, banana, apple. We also stock Byron Bay Gourmet pies and use Byron Bay-made produce as much as possible, such as Church Farm sauces and Byron Bay Peanut Butter.
And the coffee? Extraordinary!
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
I just got a new kelpie puppy so he’s my little alarm clock. At 5.30am he is barking at me and wanting to go to work.
When I arrive at Kangaroo Point, it’s the sense of community and the relationships I’ve made with customers that make it worthwhile. Our Moonshine staff are first rate, and I want to show up for them every day.
I tell my staff that work is their safe space. We are family. It’s a zone where you can trust the people around you. It should be a place that you want to go to everyday.
How do you describe yourself to others?
Caring. I look at the bigger picture and I love having deep connections with people. I’m an honest and open person. And lots of fun!
What skill do you have that most people don’t know about?
I’m super flexible! My fingers flex in unusual ways. My pinky fingers always look broken.
Thanks for sharing your passion and story, Camilla. Do you have a farewell motto or saying that you try to live by?
Listen to your body and your mind because that’s what you have to live with for the rest of your life.