REOPENING: Owner of Whitsunday Gold Coffee, Nikki Phillips.
REOPENING: Owner of Whitsunday Gold Coffee, Nikki Phillips. Peter Carruthers

Popular highway coffee plantation re-opening soon

THE owner of Whitsunday Gold Coffee has - at long last - announced the top drop in the Whitsundays will open with a "bang" in January next year after Cyclone Debbie decimated the plantation.

Nikki Phillips said right now the building is getting a lick of paint and preparations were well underway for a grand reopening of the ever-popular and award-winning coffee house.

"Really at the moment we are getting everything fine-tuned and cleaned and we should be good to go very soon," she said.

Local chef, Adam Cawthorne has been hired and Ms Phillips was excited and thrilled about the opening which is expected to feature a huge, long lunch.

"Hopefully we can make it a huge success," Ms Phillips said.

"We will have a totally fresh staff, everyone is excited and keen and positive."

 

Graham Simpson of Whitsunday Gold.
Graham Simpson of Whitsunday Gold. Peter Carruthers

 

Like so many other buildings in Proserpine the Whitsunday Gold Coffee Plantation did not stand up well to the force of the 260km/h winds during Cyclone Debbie

The manager's residence was levelled and water damage to the roasting and coffee shop buildings meant a big clean up.

Significant damage to the actual coffee plants meant a harvest was out of the question this year and the yield of the attached cane fields was expected to be down 30%.

The coffee farm was the dream of Nikki's late husband, Peter, whose businesses in the Whitsundays operated under the name Trader Pete.

Trader Pete also operated a newsagency and souvenir outlet, the Resort Store, the Swimwear Shop and all of the lobby shops on Hamilton Island, which Nikki took over when Peter died in 2010.

Nikki said Whitsunday Gold Coffee gave the town of Proserpine a little bit of character and she was sad to return after the cyclone to witness the devastation.

 

Zander Hope, Maddison and James Warwick at the Whitsunday Gold Coffee Farmer's Markets on Sunday morning. Photo Matthew Newton / The Guardian
Zander Hope, Maddison and James Warwick at the Whitsunday Gold Coffee Farmer's Markets on Sunday morning. Photo Matthew Newton / The Guardian Matthew Newton

 

Nikki said her house and her businesses on Hamilton Island had been affected by the cyclone also.

"Who knows what happens at this stage. At the moment it's just waiting for insurance," she said.

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