Amidst a pandemic, The Pickers Union are keeping their business alive with their new coffee beans

Amidst a pandemic, The Pickers Union are keeping their business alive with their new coffee beans

Words by Jessica Magtalas

Bringing the comfort of café-style coffee to your home.

This year has brought a new challenge to small businesses in regional Victoria, and there’s no way to sugar-coat it. Following the restrictions brought by the pandemic, COVID-19 has forced hospitality businesses to close their doors to eat-in diners.

Though for Bek and Sev Lah, a window for opportunity has opened for them despite the hurdles 2020 has brought to their beloved business – The Pickers Union, a café located in North Geelong.

While Bek and Sev hoped for better times during the pandemic, it has had some positive effects, unexpectedly prompting them to expand their brand. Taking to their Instagram page on Tuesday, the adored café announced a new chapter of their business, launching ‘The Pickers Union Roasters’ – an extension to their union brand and a kick-start to their very own coffee beans.

“There was nothing we could do to bring back our regular customer base who were now working from home or stuck at home. This was a way we could connect with them and supply them with great coffee they can make at home,” Bek and Sev revealed.

“Every idea generally has a brewing time. Roasting our own coffee has been on our mind for probably three to four years, but was getting stronger. When COVID hit, being in a predominate worker area, we saw most of our customers retreat to work from home situations, and therefore sales dropped. We knew now was the right time… and if not now, when?”


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Exciting news! We are stoked to bring you guys ‘The pickers Union Roasters’! There’s no sugar coating it, 2020 has hit the cafe and restaurant with a sledgehammer. While we all hope for some better times ahead, we have to play with the cards we have been dealt. These lockdowns have kicked us into gear to fulfil another dream of ours to start roasting our own coffees and extend the pickers union brand. We can’t go any further without giving a shout out to our good mates @cartelroasters that have supplied and supported us the last 8 years. We will still work close with them in some regards and whilst it is sad to part, they have been very supportive in helping us achieve this dream. There is no one in the coffee game that sticks to the specialty coffee mantras like Nathan and the crew at cartel. (Just go check their website for how many different coffees they stock, then try to find anyone else that can match the quality and amount of variety stocked that they do!). This won’t be the end of us working together in some capacity so look forward also to what the future holds. So much love for what you guys have done for the Coffee scene in Aus. We are planning on developing the brand and adding coffees as we go, for now you can buy with us in the shop and or online on our website. If you want delivery we can do that too. Any other Enquiries email us! Thanks for your continued support during these tough times. Love Bek sev and the team.

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Located in the industrial and now thriving tech hub of North Geelong, the couple have come from humble beginnings of trades work to now fulfilling their long-term dream of building a café. With Bek’s knack for creating drinks, partnered with Sev’s handiness on the tools, the couple were set with the perfect opportunity, sparking their big break.

Focusing on breakfast and lunch, the café has amassed high ratings and praises for their food and service, a reputation that will only bolster from here on out thanks to the addition of ‘The Pickers Union’ coffee beans.

Sourcing roasts out of another roastery, The Pickers Union Roasters product line includes three different types of specialty coffee. Their champion is the Picket Line blend, incorporating the sweetness of grade one Ethiopian Guji beans, coupled with smooth notes of creamy chocolate and caramel, creating a real crowd-pleaser which is perfect for coffee-lovers.

They also offer Single Origin – Guatemala which boasts flavours of grape, apple and Cherry, alongside a floral aroma with buttery chocolate body; and the Single Origin – Ethiopian (Guji Hula) which tastes of rich red cherries, beautiful sweet raspberries with a dark chocolate, caramel, plum and blackcurrant finish.

While the pair anticipate success from the new launch, the two are going with the tide, bringing in new customers, regulars and support from their community.

“We don’t have a set end goal for the Pickers Union Roasters. To be honest, just having it so far and having our regulars jump on board and be so supportive has been enough for the moment. But only time will tell.”

The Pickers Union is located at 287-307 Melbourne Road, North Geelong and is open for takeaway and delivery. You can also browse the website and place an order via The Pickers Union.