Sou’West toasts its latest addition
Across the world, Torquay is known for its unique culture and history.
It is the home of surfing, a place with growing food and coffee culture, a little town surrounded by beautiful landscapes, art, and a growing innovative small businesses scene.
So when Sou’West first moved into the former Quiksilver global headquarters and warehouse in Torquay, they knew they wanted to draw on this unique fabric.
The team wanted to capture the essence of what Torquay is, and create a meeting point, a hub, where the Surf Coast community could gather to celebrate. Something reflective of this diverse and unique coast and its community.
And what could be more Torquay than a surf outlet transformed into a hospitality venue?
The doors to Sou’West Brewery have been open at 27 Baines Crescent for a little over a year, and the team have just opened a new café.
In their eyes, as Sou’West operations manager Ishbel McAleer says, Sou’West is another phase in the story of the old Quiksilver warehouse and the story of the Surf Coast itself, and it is something they are very proud of.
Ishbel said she’s had customers come in and tell her stories of coming into the warehouse 20 years ago to buy wetsuits or their favourite T-shirt.
These stories are woven into the fabric of Sou’West Brewery and now café, in both the building design and the culture.
“We have designed our brewery and business taking all of the great things of the original site and the Surf Coast community into consideration,” Ishbel said.
“We’re very lucky to be the next phase of what has been an iconic site for Torquay and for the global surfing community.
“For the main beer hall, the warehouse element of what the building used to be was kept in mind, while we also aimed to emulate a fresh contemporary vibe around the building. We often have customers coming in and telling us about how they used to come to warehouse sales in the very spot they are now standing drinking a beer!”
Ishbel said the team’s dream was to create a space that allows people to have access to the Sou’West spaces all day and night, a relaxing second-home experience where guests can relax and enjoy fresh locally sourced produce, friendly staff and a relaxing atmosphere.
“People want warm, friendly and affordable food, sort of like a local delicacy, ‘it’s made in Torquay’ type of thing.”
The little grab-and-go café out the front of the brewery has just opened.
With pink walls and a circular window making the coffee machine visible from the street, it’s miss to walk past on a gloomy winter’s day.
And even harder to miss is the smell of freshly ground coffee beans and freshly toasted sandwiches drifting down the driveway to the footpath.
As operations manager, Ishbel also runs this newest business venture.
Ishbel said the idea to start up a Sou’West cafe had been brewing for some time, but was really fast-tracked since their block had evolved into a business hub.
The team saw the opportunity for a fun, convenient cafe to provide fresh meals and coffee for those in the block during the working week.
“The cafe is open Monday to Friday 8am to 2pm, so we’re there for your morning coffee and ready and waiting when lunch time rolls around,” Ishbel said.
Ishebl also works at the café with supervisor Taylah, and the two said they love the friendly chats they have with workers that stop buy for coffee or lunch, and having opened only three weeks ago they are delighted to already have regulars.
“A big focus in our first month is striking up conversations with our customers to find out what sort of meals they’d like to be able to purchase during their work day. Through doing this we have already brought on some new items to suit the needs of our customers.
“And we’re lucky to have so many loyal customers who we get know on a personal level and are happy to call them great friends.”
Ishbel said beyond these customer relationships, Sou’West had also loved building connections with so many local businesses.
“We’re stoked to be serving delicious Ocean Grind coffee which is roasted in Torquay; this is the perfect pairing for our fresh meal options which are prepared by our talented brewery chefs.”
For more on Sou’West, head to their socials or their website at souwest.com.au