At first glance you mightn’t notice just how much detail went into creating 10sqM. But take a closer look and you’ll see that the copper detail in the artworks by local artist Little Quarters match the Duckfat pendants hanging above, the mandala painted by Natalia Berlizova has real coffee colouring part of the artwork and a mural in the laneway by street artist Glummo was specially made for the cafe.
Owner Greg Hall-Burns has paid just as much attention to the selection of his coffee, choosing Sensory Lab as the supplier. The house blend is a steadfast blend which is a 50/50 mix of Brazilian and Columbian beans giving an earthy, chocolaty flavour with lingering sweetness to each coffee.
Aside from having a great supplier, with Australian Barista Championship winner Matt Perger in their ranks, Greg works from a formula, weighing each bean intake for every coffee to ensure perfection in each and every one. Factor in that each coffee is made from Demeter’s unhomogenised bio-dynamic milk and the quality is without question.
“Consistency for me is a big big thing. There are a lot of places in Geelong where you can get a good coffee but you can also once a week maybe get a bad one,” he says.
“For me as a customer, I want that first cup on a Monday morning to be as good as the one on a Friday afternoon and for every one in between to be the same.”
There’s a definite passion for what he does as Greg talks of their house blends and his favourites, though with a 10-year history working in the industry it’s hardly surprising he loves his job.
What’s refreshing about Greg is witnessing his interaction with customers. As we talk at the table (crafted by Rustic by Design) we’re interrupted every so often by friendly waves and hello’s of passers by and regular customers. As Greg tells me, he loves nothing more than when a customer wants to chat through the cafe window.
“There’s a community of people that will come in here. An elderly gentleman will come and get a coffee then another gentleman will get one and the two will strike up a conversation about the weather or the coffee and they leave here friends and it’s fantastic,” he says.
“Three or four days into the business, David (who used to work here) and I had this 10 o ‘clock rush and two groups came in. There was a couple of two and family of three and they all just sat around and talked about their weekend. Dave just nudged me and said, ‘You built this’. It was really emotional and it was really great just seeing all these people in a little hub of business and friendship – it was just great.”
A Jack of all trades, Greg also works the kitchen and has created a smart menu with simple meals done right. On top of some tasty takeaways, there are a few bite sized snacks from local suppliers Bearded Bros and Born & Bread Bakehouse. While 10sqM is a smaller space, it’s one that you’ll easily want to spend some time at, if not for the great coffee for the chance to make new friends.
Where: Unit 2, 124 Ryrie St, Geelong (in the laneway)
When: Mon-Fri 7am-4pm
Written and photographed by Amanda Sherring