The Coffee Chronicles
Upon arriving into Port Macquarie you’d be forgiven in thinking this is your average sleepy coastal town, but there’s more here than meets the eye. Port’s café culture is alive and buzzing, it’s population consisting of an eclectic mix of humble folk and the town itself radiating with a creative, artistic vibe.
When compiling a list of Port’s coolest places to sit and enjoy your daily brew, one can’t look past Book Face Store and Café at Port Central. The bookshop with a café inside is the winning combo where you can grab yourself a cuppa with a yummy treat whilst perusing the colorful isles of literary fascination.
The Berkelouw family has been trading in books for six generations.
Books are their passion and they love meeting new customers who share a love of all things creative. We chatted to Cathy Bayes Hunt, store manager of Book Face since its conception in November 2014 and she’ll be the first to tell you that books are in her blood.
Cathy’s family moved to Port Macquarie in 1977 and opened their own bookstore, which serviced Port through the 70’s and 80’s. Cathy literally grew up around books and managing Book Face Store today, makes her feel like she’s come full circle.
Cathy treats the shop likes it’s her own and her passion for the business itself is inspiring.
The role of a bookstore is to create an environment and space people want to hang out in”, Cathy explains. People like to touch and feel books, to turn the pages and make an informed decision before walking away with their choice in hand.
With the introduction of online bookstores, the physical stores had to change with the times and offer an enticing reason for people to step foot inside their doors. Book Face Store doesn’t just sell books, they offer a wide array of gift ideas, household items and knick-knacks you never knew you wanted, but could definitely find a use for. There is even a kid’s corner with a fabulous variety of children’s titles to keep the little ones occupied.
The introduction of the café owned by Jo Hawes, which sits side by side with the bookstore was an ingenious decision and confirmed BookFace Store and Café as a destination in Port Macquarie.
Cathy believes the scheme for online bookstores is pure marketing. They take all your personal information, spam your inbox and subtly upsell with their personalised ‘suggested titles for you’. Compare that to a physical store where you can guarantee at least one staff member has read the book you want and can tell you all about it.
Although busy running the café, Jo is equally passionate about books and excited for others to share their love of reading while enjoying her unique blend produced by local roasters, Peak Coffee and savouring her delectable delights made in store or by locals.
Book Face Store and Café are also avid supporters of local charities and schools, regular donating to special causes and striving to improve education in the region. They make a point of stocking local works and supporting home grown artists who have yet to secure publishing deals. The concept store fits perfectly with the town’s growing art culture and the iconic experience that is Glasshouse theatre and gallery, which is just a stone’s throw away.