It has been almost a year since Swims opened for coffee at Scamander.
Sean Bradley and Caitlin Sherrey-Dadd established Swims as a quick stop en route to St Helens or Bicheno, but it has actually become a favourite haunt for the area’s residents.
The lawn in front of the converted shipping container that houses the tiny cafe is always heaving with customers eager for a caffeine fix before they hit the waves across the road.
Mr Bradley said “there was an empty block of land and we thought we could make it work”.
“We rent the land and we fitted out the container ourselves. We dropped the container on here and, worst case scenario we could move it, but we never want to,” he said.
Rather than being simply a summer business, Swims has become part of the Scamander routine.
“We do have a continual trade all year and it’s been a good meeting spot for the locals, and then we just experience that boom through the summer,” Mr Bradley said.
Val Schier lives in Cairns but owns a shack at Falmouth and visits twice a year.
Initially concerned at the sight of a shipping container on the vacant lot, Ms Schier said she has come to love Swims.
“What they’ve done in terms of design is really clever, because there’s shipping containers everywhere and some of them are really very ugly, but with very clever design elements they have made something and it’s constantly packed with cars stopping,” she said.
“You see people meeting here and having their coffee. And it’s good coffee too.”
East Coast Tourism chief executive Ruth Dowty said Swims was one of many East Coast businesses that had taken advantage of the region’s tourism boom.
“The very clever in the industry are delivering the great experiences that people want – and you're seeing that through all these new businesses, as well as the more established businesses,” Ms Dowty said.
“And I think that’s contributing a great deal to the growth we are seeing.”
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