Rachel Follan’s journey into the world of coffee began at the age of 15, whilst working as a barista during high school. Unbeknownst to her, those several years in her after-school café job, would ignite a life-long passion for specialty coffee. It was Follan’s experience of living and working in Canada however – and the lack of a decent coffee – that solidified the importance of the humble little coffee bean in the founder's life. Despite the challenges she faced in 2020 to get home, Follan’s determination to return and continue working as a barista in Burleigh Heads eventually prevailed. Finally, getting back into the local coffee scene, she found her passion for the craft reignite.
By 2021, an apprentice coffee roaster position was secured and marked the beginning of a journey into coffee appreciation and preparation. With her role came the ever-increasing desire to learn more about coffee, its origins, and its impact on agriculture and society growing stronger, understanding the art of coffee roasting, and supporting coffee farmers became Follan’s priority. Then, with the encouragement of her dad, Follan began brainstorming ideas for her own business. But it was the funny little sketch of a kookaburra named Kev, that jumped off the page and brought the idea to life – a brand was born.
Starting small, the massive amount of support Follan received exceeded her expectations. “I would often joke that once my friends and family had bought a bag of my coffee, it would all be over… what I didn’t expect was an overwhelming love for not only the brand, but the magic beans too” she says. These days, Whyld Coffee can be enjoyed at Commune Espresso - one of Burleigh's well-known cafés, which serves the brand exclusively. Additionally, a partnership was formed with the popular coffee van, Little Nova, a staple at big events and festivals in town.
What sets Whyld Coffee apart from other roasters? Perhaps it’s that 100% Certified Organic Coffee is exclusively used. Or that the beans are sourced and combined meticulously by Follan - the house blend, 'Solstice,' combines beans from Colombia, Ethiopia, and Brazil to create a smooth and balanced espresso - who, as a one-woman show, roasts, picks, blends, and packages all the coffee by hand. It could also be that single-origin offerings are frequently rotated, with a focus on beans from micro lots that allow for the sharing of the farmers' stories. We think the standout, however, is Follan’s commitment to genuine human connection, and her firm belief that excellent coffee goes hand in hand with fostering meaningful relationships.