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About Us

 
 
Our mission is to make good coffee accessible and exciting, simple to understand and appreciate, and easy to brew and enjoy.

Market Lane Coffee is a boutique coffee roastery and retailer, born and based in Melbourne. We are dedicated to high quality coffee. We spend our time sourcing beans from some of the best growers in the world, looking for superior coffees that are distinctive and memorable and can stand up on their own without blending. We roast them carefully in small batches at our Brunswick East roastery, always aiming to bring out the most exquisite characteristics in the cup. We then carefully brew coffee for our customers in our six shops across Melbourne, and do our best to help people make delicious coffee at home as well. We strive to make good coffee accessible and exciting, simple to understand and appreciate, and easy to brew and enjoy. We opened our doors in 2009 and have since shared hundreds of beautiful coffees with thousands of passionate customers. We can’t wait to continue the journey with you.

 
We are here to ignite positive change in the coffee industry.
When we opened our roastery and coffee shop at the Prahran Market in 2009, we were very clear about what we wanted to do, and why we wanted to do it. We set out to sustainably source, roast and share exceptional coffee from some of the best producers in the world. Our goal was to ignite positive change in the coffee industry by redefining what coffee is and can be, and to build a market for, and appreciation of, specialty coffee.
 
From the outset, we have been committed to quality, transparency, sustainability and using business for good. These principles have had a real impact on the way we buy coffee, the people we work with, and how we run our business. 
 
EXCEPTIONAL QUALITY 
We take an uncompromising approach to quality. We seek out and buy the best coffees from producers who share our values and are committed to quality. We roast our coffee in small batches, and then taste each one to ensure we are bringing out the very best in every lot. This approach takes time, but to us it’s worth it.
 
Our coffee offerings change with the seasons to ensure that we only offer coffee that is fresh, vibrant and at its best. We have carefully curated our shop menu and have kept it small and focused, to ensure that all our energy is concentrated on doing one thing, extremely well: offering exceptional coffees.
 
Our commitment to quality extends beyond coffee to every part of our business — from the milk we source from Schulz Organic Dairy to the organic Dulce sugar we buy from Costa Rica; from our packaging choices and way we hire and train staff to the hospitality that we extend to each customer, during every visit to our shops.
 

TRACEABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY
Transparency is integral to our business at every level. We have fostered a culture that encourages direct, open and transparent communication; an approach that has helped us form long-lasting relationships with our team, our customers, our local suppliers and our producers overseas.

We are incredibly proud of the fact that many of the producers we work with have been with us since the beginning. Our goal is to share as much information as we can about each of the coffees we source; we love to share the incredible stories of the people behind our coffees.

 


 

HAVING A POSITIVE IMPACT
We strive to contribute to, and have a positive impact on, the communities we’re connected to through Market Lane. By staying true to our founding values of quality, traceability, transparency and sustainability, we believe that we can use our business as a force for good, and help to ignite a positive and lasting change in the coffee industry and the many communities it connects us with.

HOW WE MAKE A POSITIVE IMPACT:

Through our cafes
We place great emphasis on supporting the communities where we work and live. Each of our six retail spaces plays an important role in the neighbourhood in which it’s situated. We’ve developed meaningful and ongoing relationships with our customers in each of these neighbourhoods. The community that has grown around each shop is distinct and unique, and incredibly special and valuable to us. It's what gets us out of bed every morning (especially our baristas)!

We are passionate about supporting and celebrating local businesses and creative people. In designing our shops and filling our retail shelves with goodies, we’ve worked with many local artists, ceramicists, writers and designers whose work we love and are excited to showcase.

We also partner with several local charities and social enterprises to provide support to those in our community who are disadvantaged or underserved. Every year on Australia Day, for example, we open our shops, and many of our staff members volunteer their time. All earnings from the day are donated to SCARF, which supports refugees, asylum seekers and new migrants in Melbourne.

Through our team
We have a staff of over 50 amazing individuals on board at Market Lane. They are positive, warm and thoughtful, and they help to create a happy, enthusiastic and supportive workplace. We work hard to nurture this culture and create an environment that encourages our staff to learn, develop and flourish.

Through education
We want to improve people’s understanding of, and appreciation for, specialty coffee. The more demand there is for high quality coffee, the better off the producers will be, and the more sustainable the coffee supply chain will become.

We do this through coffee education classes, events, free public cuppings, educational books and handbooks that we have written, postcards in the shops, and our website. We invest a huge amount in training to ensure our staff are well equipped to help customers who are curious and keen to learn more.


 

Through the way we buy coffee.
We're passionate about, and deeply committed to, sustainable and socially responsible sourcing. The prices we pay are substantially above the Fair Trade and commodity prices for coffee. We purchase beans from many of the same producers every year, and support them through the ups and downs of their annual harvest. This means producers are able to continue to invest in their farms and improve quality, armed with the knowledge that we are committed to buying from them, and will give them a premium price for their output.

We are also active supporters of World Coffee Research, and donate $0.01 to the organisation for every kilogram of coffee we buy. World Coffee Research's mission is to grow, protect and enhance supplies of quality coffee, while improving the livelihoods of the families that produce it. It's the only global organisation taking a coordinated, collaborative and worldwide approach to scientific research into coffee. They rely on funding from the global industry, and we see it as vitally important to offer our support. You can read more about this here.

Through our relationships at origin.
We visit the producers we work with every year to taste their coffees and select our favourite ones for customers at home. It’s important to us to build strong, meaningful and mutually beneficial long-term relationships with producers, based on trust, openness and respect. With every visit, we’re able to better understand the complexities and challenges that exist for each of the producing communities we engage with, thereby gaining an understanding of how we can best support them.

Through our environmental practices.
We are constantly pursuing ways to reduce our impact on the environment. The following goals guide our decision-making:

1) Reduce and recycle waste wherever possible across all parts of the business.  

2) Strive for energy efficiency and reduction.

3) Seek biodegradable and/or recyclable materials where they make sense.

4) Actively pursue a better understanding of our impact, and search for ways to reduce it.

We’re committed to reducing our environmental impact and will continue to research possibilities with knowledge groups, individuals, and industry colleagues in order to implement positive changes. Learn more about some of our environmental initiatives here

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