9 December 2021

Redbrick celebrates 10 years of coffee and community in Curtin

| Lucy Ridge
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The original coffee machine at Redbrick

The cafe as it looked when Redbrick first opened its doors in December 2011. Photo: Supplied.

Ten years ago, Tim Manning and his wife Myf opened a small espresso bar and coffee roasters in Curtin shops. Exposed brickwork in the shop gave them the perfect name: Redbrick.

With a staff of two running the sunny cafe, Tim planned to roast coffee in the corner, but as he told Region Media, “from there, we got very busy.”

They chose the corner block at the Curtin shops because so many cafes were centred around the city.

“We were looking for a place that had a lot more character and somewhere that was really easily accessible for the community. People embraced it and they loved having life back in their local shops. That was our objective, just to have a really warm and inviting place where people could come and hang out and also just have that connection to where coffee actually comes from,” Tim said.

Barista at Redbrick cafe in Curtin

After a decade, the cafe at Curtin remains an important part of the Redbrick business. Photo: Supplied.

A decade later, Redbrick has grown to 68 staff, five Canberra locations, and local and international wholesale customers. Tim has seen Canberra’s coffee scene grow both in size and reputation, and he is excited to see more people recognising that change.

“The last 10 years have seen a lot of talented people stay in Canberra as opposed to leaving to chase bigger fish. I think having the talent stay in the town has really changed the vibe of the city.”

Redbrick has certainly kept hold of many talented staff over the years, an impressive feat in an industry with notoriously high employee turnover.

Tim says a “huge part of the team” has continued to work with the business in one form or another. From baristas who’ve become roasters and managers to the former employees who now run a design business that does all of Redbrick’s branding.

“There’s a pretty long list of either Redbrick employees or alumni who are still involved in the business.”

Sean Teasdale, Madeleine Moore, Tim Manning

Redbrick head roaster Sean Teasdale, general manager Madeleine Moore and owner Tim Manning. Photo: Supplied.

As well as their headquarters in Fyshwick and the Curtin cafe, Redbrick also runs Clay in Turner, Makeshift in the Nishi building in Acton, and the recently opened Arc on Constitution Avenue. They also supply three espresso bars in downtown Seoul and sell wholesale coffee to other international buyers in Korea and China. But despite the global interest, Canberra is still a central part of their business.

“We’ve always said we’re happy to take on new challenges and grow as a business as long as we never compromise what we’ve already established,” says Tim.

“That little shop in Curtin is actually really important to us in that it maintains the life that it has, and we get to deliver what we did on day one, 10 years on.

“As long as that’s possible and it has the same vibe then we’re happy to take on new challenges because it also creates new opportunities for the team that work within the business.”

Tim Manning behind a white coffee machine

Tim Manning at Arc, Redbrick’s newest cafe in the city. Photo: Supplied.

To celebrate a decade of quality coffee, Tim and the Redbrick team are hosting a community block party this Friday evening from 4 pm to 7 pm.

“We just wanted to host an event where it all started. Curtin has an amazing community, and there’s also lots of people here who have helped the business over time, so we just wanted to have a bit of an event where we can come together as a community and celebrate.”

Redbrick cafe interior

Tim Manning says the Curtin community gave them “huge support” from day one. Photo: Supplied.

Unfortunately the predicted wet weather has caused a change of venue to their Fyshwick Roastery.

The event will feature live music from Canberra artists Lucy Sugerman and JEP, food vendors serving meatball subs, local wine and beer, and gelato made by local artisans Jasper & Myrtle. It’s safe to say there will also be plenty of Redbrick coffee!

So grab your picnic blanket and head down for the celebrations.

Redbrick block party poster

The 10-year celebrations will feature live music and local food vendors. Photo: Supplied.

To buy Redbrick coffee or find out more about their stores, visit their website. RSVP to the block party on Facebook. Follow Redbrick on Instagram to enter their birthday giveaway.

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