Marketplace: At Campos Coffee, Parkites can take a sip from down under |

Marketplace: At Campos Coffee, Parkites can take a sip from down under

Australian coffee company aims to build brand in America

Damian Roche and founder Will Young recently brought their Australian coffee business, Campos Coffee, to the United States. They opened a caf at the Park City Mountain Resort base area and say Park City is the perfect place to expand into America.
(Tanzi Propst/Park Record)

When Will Young took his first sip of specialty coffee, he marveled at the bold, flavorful taste that was nothing like the bland brews he had been drinking all his life. And he began pondering a mystery that has motivated him ever since.

“I was wondering how on Earth all these people walked around drinking coffee that wasn’t that great every morning,” he said.

It was then that he decided to devote his life to coffee. He opened a small café in Newtown, Australia, where he imagined spending days behind the counter making coffee, then retiring each evening to the apartment upstairs.

But then success intervened.

Nearly 15 years later, Young’s business, Campos Coffee, is different than anything he had imagined. It grew from the one location in Australia to seven, and began providing product to more than 600 partners throughout the country. And now, it has come to America.

Young and business partner Damien Roche recently opened Campos Coffee’s first American location at the base area of Park City Mountain Resort, at 1385 Lowell Ave. Along with a coffee roaster they’re developing in Salt Lake City, the venture is the perfect place to build a brand in the United States, they said.

“It’s an active, inclusive town that cares about the environment — it’s just a great community,” said Roche, who has vacationed in the town for more than a decade. “And it was a great way to start thinking about what could be for a brand like Campos in this market.”

Young had contemplated expanding to America for nearly a decade, but had passed on several offers from investors to help bring the company overseas. During that time, he considered opening shops in several places, such as New York City, Los Angeles and Boston, but it wasn’t until Roche introduced him to Park City that he felt compelled to finally make the leap to the American market.

As soon as he got out the car on his first trip to town, he said, he could tell this was the place Campos would embark on its American dream. As he got to know Park City, he saw what Roche had known for years: it’s a place that embraces innovation and welcomes people of all cultures. And though it’s a small town, it’s presence as a bustling ski town and home of the Sundance Film Festival give it some big-city perks.

“Park City is not San Francisco, it’s not New York, it’s not L.A.,” Roche said. “But actually, it’s a cosmopolitan city with people coming in from all over. You’ve also got a lot of millennials who are looking for real, authentic artisanal products. And that’s something that sort of runs through the company and everything that we do.”

Park City’s commitment to philanthropy was also alluring. When Campos started growing, Young realized he had an opportunity to better the lives of people less fortunate. The company invests time and money into philanthropic projects in each of the communities from which it harvests beans.

According to the Campos website, the company helped renovate a dilapidated school in Ethiopia, for example, and provided funding for a team of doctors from Australia to perform open-heart surgery on children in Rwanda.

Young said giving back to the communities that make Campos’ success possible is baked into the company’s DNA. As well as making a difference in people’s lives, it shows customers and employees that they’re part of a cause bigger than coffee.

He is optimistic that message will resonate in Park City.

“It’s important for us to show them that all this growth and all this success that we have in coffee goes towards a good place,” he said. “We really have to show that, as we grow, so too does our ability to do good. We measure success by the amount of success we can do in the world.”

Campos Coffee
1385 Lowell Ave.

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