An attraction which has provided a glimpse into the workings of one of Australia’s largest coffee exporters will celebrate a decade in tourism.
The owners of Skybury Coffee Ian and Marion MacLaughin took the plunge to add to their successful farming enterprise near Mareeba by opening their one-of-a-kind Australian Coffee Centre on their 360-acre plantation in 2006.
The striking centre, which was constructed on a granite escarpment to overlook the picturesque landscape was built by local builder Jon Knott and attracted a Master Builders national construction award and a gong from the Urban Development Institute of Australia.
“To come here to Mareeba, see this peaceful location and drink our award-winning coffee is a must for any traveller,” Mr MacLaughlin said.
“This was the reason we opened the Centre to cater for thousands of visitors each year – we wanted to share this special place.”
Ten years on, the Skybury Cafe and Roastery is still attracting crowds for its hot and cold drinks, cakes, scones and light lunches as well as papaya and bananas grown on the farm.
“Visitors from across Australia and the world are able to walk through the Centre, learn about coffee, have a relaxing lunch and take home the world’s purest Arabica coffee to share with their friends and family,” Mr MacLaughlin added.
The two-storey timber building has a 140-seat café, function room, roaster, exhibits, gift shop and theatre.
Skybury produced the first commercial crop of coffee in Australia and was the first to export internationally with their inaugural shipment of green coffee making its way to Japan in 1990.
Today, Skybury Coffee is enjoyed not only in Japan, but across the world from the US and Canada to Europe and in particular Germany and Italy.
“We love what we do and our business has grown into a passion for our family also,” Mrs MacLaughlin said.
“Our son Mark manages the farm, our daughter Candy is the head coffee roaster and her husband Paul leads Skybury’s business development. It really is a family-run business.”
To celebrate the Centre’s significant milestone, Skybury is running a competition for coffee-lovers to win one year’s supply of coffee.
“It is very simple to enter, just visit us here at the Centre, receive the special win code and enter online,” Mrs MacLaughlin added. For more information, visit www.skybury.com.au.