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The scent of coffee is a welcome aroma for loyal customers of The Hatch Specialty Coffee following the recent heavy rainfall and flooding felt across much of South East Queensland.

The Hatch Specialty Coffee team

The recently established coffee shop was open for only 12 months when disaster struck forcing owner, Matthew Ward, to close doors while they repaired the shop.

“We started The Hatch Speciality Coffee in April 2021. We found this ideal location for a coffee shop and it took off straight away,” he said.

Matthew, who runs the business with his family, and employees 12 casual staff said the rain was unlike any he had ever seen.

“The rain started Friday morning and I’d never seen rain like that. We had to decide if we were going to evacuate the shop or not. Luckily, we did because five hours later, there was three metres of water through the shop,” he said.

“We knew time was ticking and so we had to make the decision on what to save and what to leave behind. We got the shop counter and coffee machine out because to replace those would have been near impossible.”

“We still lost so much equipment and stock – coffee grinders, signage, cabinetry, fridges, microwaves, lighting, tables and chairs. Paint blistered off the wall, there was mud over everything. There was about $4,000 worth of coffee beans gone and we had a delivery of fresh milk that morning which we also lost.”

Flood damage

Matthew was able to access an Extraordinary Disaster Assistance Recovery Grant administered by the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) to help get his business back to doing what they do best – making coffee.

“When we were able to get back into the shop it was devasting to see. We had to start from the beginning again,” he said.

“We first heard about the grant on the news and we applied straight away using QRIDA’s online portal.”

“We used the grant to replace stock, to get electricians and carpenters in to fix the lighting and floors. The grant was used straight away.”

“It was like a lease of life to see the shop resurrected.”

Four weeks later, The Hatch Specialty Coffee Shop re-opened on Saturday, 19 March 2022, and it was one of the best days the shop had ever experienced.

“We’ve got a huge customer following. A lot of customers came to the shop in the first couple of days after the water receded to help out. There was like 20 people at one point,” he said.

“The support was quite overwhelming. When we announced we were going to reopen the response was quite huge. We couldn’t have done it without them.”

Disaster recovery grants and loans are available for eligible primary producers, small businesses and non-profit organisations affected by the South East Queensland Rainfall and Flooding, 22 February – 5 April 2022.

For more information on the disaster assistance available, including scheme guidelines, visit our disaster recovery webpages for primary producerssmall businesses and non-profit organisations.

QRIDA administers financial assistance to disaster affected primary producers, businesses and non-profit organisations under the joint Commonwealth / Queensland Government funded Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements 2018. 

Last updated
26 May 2022