Connecting community through coffee
Part social enterprise, part coffee roaster, Old Quarter is proudly Australia’s only specialty coffee company sourcing 100% Southeast Asian green beans direct from farmers. We’ve had a long-standing love affair with this part of the world - in fact, it’s in Hanoi’s Old Quarter where our idea was born. The concept of connecting communities through coffee, a morning ritual that tastes good, feels good, gives good.
In fact, good is an understatement. When it comes to coffee, we only subscribe to the best. These beans have been tended, picked, and roasted by a bunch of people who really know their stuff. Our coffee is gathered across Asia, before being roasted with care in small batches at our HQ in Ballina, NSW.
Connecting communities through coffee is what we’re all about. We’ve forged close relationships with a group of passionate and skilful ethnic minority coffee farmers across Southeast Asia, from Myanmar to Sumatra (and beyond). Farmers sit at the top of our supply chain and form the heart and soul of Old Quarter.
We’re not just about delivering you a damn fine cup of coffee (though we do that too), but giving back in the process through community projects in Asia. Old Quarter is about more than Fair Trade - we’re for a Fair Value Exchange. Think 100% traceable, sustainable, ethical coffee, that benefits all involved, something we call Daily Happy.
“Old Quarter is first and foremost a social enterprise. Our strongest driver has always been to build a business bigger than ourselves that would create change, simply by its operational structure...and then some.” - Yosir Le Cerf
Old Quarter co-founders Yosir (Yose) Le Cerf and Amelia (Amy) Hicks first met when they were both studying environmental science, bonding over a shared soft spot for the environment and adventure.
In the years to follow they wandered their way around the world, and in Asia the life-changing love affair that began as kids continued to evolve. Vietnam in particular has a special place in their hearts, and is where the name Old Quarter takes its inspiration. After all, it was on one humid night spent in the Old Quarter of Hanoi on sweaty plastic stools that they dreamt of combining their passion for travel and coffee to bring about positive change.
2017 marked Old Quarter’s humble beginnings, with the company’s first coffee import. A single pallet of 700kg from a K’ho family in Vietnam started a truly respectful relationship between people, place and product in Asia and Australia. All founded on a clear purpose to give back a little happiness to those that have given them so much.
Old Quarter is not just a coffee roaster, but a genuine coffee trader too, partnering directly with the farmers who grow their beans across Southeast Asia. This means they can ensure farmers get a fair price, and Old Quarter gets great coffee - it’s what we call a Fair Value Exchange. With a commitment to Good on the Ground community development projects and more than 15 years of working relationships, this business is testament to the power of collective respect and action.
Amy and Yose are passionate about ensuring that ‘Daily Happy’ is experienced in both Asia and Australia. From their roastery and cafe in Ballina, NSW, to every business serving their delicious brew and every Aussie who toasts the day with a cup of Old Quarter, the reciprocal Good ripples far and wide.
“The unique thing about Old Quarter is that our spark ignited from a connection to people and place as well as product. For many it’s just product. Coffee is the thing that connects us to the communities we source from and our community here in Australia.” - Amelia