How cold brew business became international seller
BUILDING a brand can take decades, but for the Airlie Beach-born Mr Bean Cold Brew it's taken just three years - or 93,600 bottles to be precise.
Polly Muller, 30, started slinging back coffee 16 years ago when she began working at a McDonald's McCafe.
Over the years she has lived in different states and when she moved back home in 2016 to teach yoga on a maternity contract she realised that nowhere in North Queensland sold cold brew coffee, nor would any southern businesses ship north.
Ms Muller said she had always wanted to have her own product or business and recognising a gap in the market saw the opportunity and grabbed it with both hands.
In three years of business she hasn't looked back and in that time 6240kg of coffee has resulted in more than 800 stockists across the country, as well as two overseas stockists in Singapore and China.
Not bad considering when Mr Bean debuted at the Airlie Beach markets in July 2016 there were just 16 bottles of brew for sale.
"We sold out in under an hour," Ms Muller told the Whitsunday Times.
So she went back the following week, this time with 32 bottles.
The same thing happened and by the end of the year she had leased a premises for the business, where she still is today.
Ms Muller said many people still didn't realise the brew was made right here in Airlie Beach.
The product is brewed in cold triple-filtered water and then steeped for 22 hours at controlled temperatures.
Ms Muller said cold brewing allowed the natural flavours of the coffee to shine while lowering the acidity by 70 per cent, resulting in a smoother, healthier and more versatile form of coffee.
She works hard to ensure her business is as sustainable as possible, with coffee grinds donated to local businesses and community groups, empty glass bottles donated to Turtle's Crazy Kombucha and only biodegradable cups, paper straws and plant-based plastics used at her market stalls.
Ms Muller said she had been humbled by the continued support of the tight-knit Whitsunday community. "There is no way Mr Bean would be where it is today without the local support," she said.
Ms Muller said she had a lot of ideas in the pipeline for her business, but one thing she would love to do is open her very own Mr Bean cafe.