Decade of Ocean Grind
FROM a small humble coffee dream while hiking through Central South America to becoming coffee roasting trailblazers within the industry,
Mark Clatworthy and his team at Ocean Grind are proudly celebrating ten “exciting and dedicated” years of business.
Based in Torquay north’s industrial estate, the team at Ocean Grind pride themselves on fresh, quality coffee, while recognising the coast and the natural environment.
The organic coffee shop and roastery use 100 per cent specialty beans sourced from all corners of the globe, which are are then roasted in Torquay.
With a mission to maximise flavour, while minimizing their impact on the environment, Ocean Grind gained many fans both locally and internationally for its dedication to the environment and obvious industry expertise.
Mr Clatworthy said the idea for Ocean Grind came to him while backpacking with his wife over 15 years ago.
“I was a civil engineer at the time and while backpacking, my wife and I came across this beautiful café in Nicaragua who were roasting coffee beans with a popcorn popper.
“I had always loved my coffee and watching others enjoy theirs, but the roasting here in Nicaragua really tweaked my interest.
“When I got back, I started experimenting with a little K-Mart popcorn popper and tried my hand.
“They went brown, but just tasted terrible!
“Thereafter, I got a small electric roaster and then did a little course in Melbourne and just bit the bullet and bought my first 5 kilogram commercial roaster.
“I was engineering by day and roasting at night and it all evolved from then on.”
Months later, Mr Clatworthy was given a stall at the Torquay Farmers Market and soon after bought a small caravan to pop out in the Torquay industrial estate.
He hoped the area would begin to boom with shops and people, and luckily, he was right.
“I started at the odd market and then went from a small cart to a caravan and it kept getting bigger and bigger.
“I took Ocean Grind on full-time and gave away my engineering job to give it the effort it needed.
“I was delivering little bags of coffee beans to people’s letterboxes. It probably looked pretty dodgy.
“After honing my craft, we soon moved into the space we are in now, and for the first few months I just had the coffee machine at the doorway.
“More was to come, and we expanded the space, and added tables, local artworks, and the café grew organically.
“There was Bunnings and us, but now it’s a full social hub which is terrific.”
Mr Clatworthy said there are many elements which continue to be key to Ocean Grind’s success.
He lauded both his staff and the community for their eagerness to promote the mentality of “protecting the coastline” and being environmentally aware.
“Part of what we do is raise awareness of the oceans, we do beach clean ups and the big step we took in 2019 was ditching single use cups.
“We phased them out, and we were probably one of the first to do so in town.
“The staff were at the coalface of explaining this to the staff, and locals were super accommodating and happy to help with our environmental mission.
“I’m really stoked everyone adapted, and I wish more cafes would do the same to help.
“We are just consistent and true to our product and values.
“I like to think our roast profile and sustainability certainly assist with it too.”
Mr Clatworthy said the sky was the limit for the next ten years and beyond.
“I’m proud of what we’ve achieved and am keen to take it further with new blends, new fit outs and the customer experience.
“We aren’t just about the sale; we are here to help people’s experiences with coffee and their understanding.
“Coffee should be approachable and available to all, so education will also be at the forefront of what we do.
“We want to continue giving out sound advice to help people to brew their perfect coffee.
“We look forward to seeing where it goes.”
Ocean Grind can be found at 10b Sawmills Way, Torquay.
The roastery is open Monday to Friday 7am-2pm and Saturday from 8am-1pm.