TAKING FLIGHT: Whitsunday Gold Coffee owner Nikki Phillips with 10-week-old blue amazon parrot Echo.
TAKING FLIGHT: Whitsunday Gold Coffee owner Nikki Phillips with 10-week-old blue amazon parrot Echo. Georgia Simpson

Finding her wings, and a cup of coffee

WHEN you lose everything, the only way forward is up and when the sky's the limit, the possibilities are endless.

Whitsunday Gold Coffee has just re-opened its doors after being closed for almost two years as a result of Tropical Cyclone Debbie's wrath.

With an extensive background in retail, owner Nikki Phillips is now in unfamiliar territory.

Mrs Phillips realised the potential she had to create something truly spectacular for the region, and she set to work, dreaming big.

"The ideas are still coming, I've had to put a handbrake on," she said.

Mrs Phillips is in exciting, but unfamiliar territory as the coffee plantation has transformed to include a fully licensed bar, restaurant, children's play area, wishing fountain, Bellagio-style fountain, an aviary and easily the star of the show, a 10-week-old blue amazon parrot called Echo.

 

Long time Whitsunday Gold Coffee employer Jason Cox with Echo.
Long time Whitsunday Gold Coffee employer Jason Cox with Echo. Georgia Simpson

Mrs Phillips and her late husband Pete first planted coffee trees 15 years ago, but it was six years before they were able to produce a single cup of brew.

Trading re-commenced last week, with a soft opening to iron out any teething issues. It will eventually be licensed until midnight and Mrs Phillips has already had inquiries regarding functions.

The bright and spacious outdoor seating area has the capacity to seat 120 people, and cafe-goers can sip their coffee, and eat their food while looking out at the mango tree, that is more than 80 years old.

 

The new dining area is light, bright and ready for customers to enjoy a cup of coffee, or something a little stronger.
The new dining area is light, bright and ready for customers to enjoy a cup of coffee, or something a little stronger. Georgia Simpson

Mrs Phillips walks through the children's play area, where a giant padded jungle gym reaching floor to ceiling takes up the whole back part of the room.

A tea cup merry round spins in circles, and it's like Disneyland has arrived in Proserpine.

 

Whitsunday Gold Coffee have got parents covered during the wet season with their indoor play area.
Whitsunday Gold Coffee have got parents covered during the wet season with their indoor play area. Georgia Simpson

There are party rooms in progress with the options of a mermaid or pirate themes and both rooms look out to what will be the aviary, yet to be completed.

Built on the ruins of an old farm house, the aviary will house 100 birds, all bred locally along with farm animals like pigs, and goats.

"It's been a long time in the making, we expected it would take this long because it's North Queensland; purely because of the weather."

Mrs Phillips said she couldn't have done it without RD Developments.

"They have been amazing, they've helped my vision come alive, I couldn't have done it without them."


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