Coffs Harbour’s Sushi Roll Express offers a new service with a smile

Businesses large and small were left reeling as social distancing measures were introduced in late March. Some were forced to shut up shop, while others entered a hibernation period. A third option saw some completely rework their business model and consider new ways of delivering goods (you can order from Sushi Roll here) and services. Coastbeat got in touch with Coffs Harbour business owner Claire Miller to hear how she and her husband Dave are navigating this uncharted territory.

“We’re trying to look at this situation in a positive way,” explains Claire Miller as we discuss her response to COVID-19 restrictions. “As a business, you have to adapt, or you’ll be left behind.”

Claire and her husband Dave have owned and operated Sushi Roll Express in Coffs Central for three years. They serve fresh sushi, poke bowls, rice paper rolls, soups and salads to city workers and shoppers alike. After the initial shock and uncertainty that came with the spread of Coronavirus, Claire and Dave began to formulate a plan to weather the storm. About a month before restrictions took hold, they’d bought and branded a bright and bold sushi-mobile. The timing couldn’t have been better!

sushi roll express mobile delivery
Claire and David’s sushi mobile and freshly packed sushi delivered

Sushi Roll Express have now begun delivering between Sapphire and Urunga every weekday. Sushi lovers can order on the phone or online (via their brand-new website) before 10:30am for delivery at lunchtime. Sushi and rice paper rolls are available Monday to Friday, while fresh and colourful salads and poke bowls can be ordered every Wednesday. Grab ‘n’ Go Takeaway is available from their Coffs Central restaurant between 9am and 3pm Monday to Friday and between 10am and 3pm on Saturdays. Curb side pick-up is another option, thanks to the Coffs Harbour Council’s decision to allocate collection parking bays along Harbour Drive. 

Claire says they want to give customers a new and convenient experience.

“When you’re stuck at home it’s exciting looking forward to a delivery,” she enthuses. “I had a veggie box delivered the other day and it was like unwrapping a present!”

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Claire is hopeful the additional delivery services will introduce Sushi Roll Express to a raft of new customers.

“This approach means we’re able to get our food out to people who didn’t know we were at Coffs Central,” she reasons. “We’re also looking at some wholesale opportunities and plan to expand our catering services, too.”       

Claire’s passion for the coast and its residents is clear, but it took a little while for her to see the magic of her home town. Claire grew up on a farm at Bonville before moving to the city at age 18.

“I knew it was beautiful here, but I wanted to strike out and discover the world!” she explains. “Eventually I got over city life and realised I was craving a close-knit community.”

Much to her surprise, she was drawn back to the Coffs Coast. Not long after she relocated, Claire met Dave. They had two girls – Charlotte, now five, and Elsie, now three. The couple talked about buying a business as they wanted to secure their young family’s future. Established in Coffs Harbour 15 years ago, Dave was confident Sushi Roll Express would be a good investment. Claire remembers everything happening quite quickly.

“I was pregnant with Elsie when we bought it,” she says. “I was trying to juggle a new husband, a new family and a new business – everything happened at once!”

Claire has fond memories of frequenting Sydney’s bustling sushi bars and describes herself as a long-time fan of Japanese cuisine. If she could choose anything from the Sushi Roll Express menu, it would be a poke bowl (sashimi, salmon or chicken added to a bed of brown rice then topped with fresh salad), sashimi salmon sushi rolls or the rice paper rolls. Obviously, it’s hard to pick just one dish!

pokeball and sushi platter
Crumbed chicken poke bowl and fresh sushi

If you’re looking for fresh, tasty and healthy fare to feed your family at home, check out Sushi Roll Express’s brand-new website and delivery options here.