BLOG: Moving to Moonah

BLOG: Moving to Moonah

Posted by Tilly on 31st Oct 2022

Making Moves.

Since 2009, our roasting operations have been based out of Huntingfield, 20 minutes south of Hobart. When we first moved to Huntingfield to begin roasting for our Café, it seemed like such a big room, and we wondered how we'd ever fill it. Our first delivery of a half pallet of green coffee seemed like a huge quantity to take on, and a half dozen batches was a massive day. With the steady growth of the wholesale side of the business over the years, it became clear that we were outgrowing our space, and so the search began for a new site that the next stage of Villino could grow into.

First Green deliveries, first big orders, and first little roaster set up.

Busy production days in our Huntingfield space in more recent years.

In November of last year, after years of dreaming about it, we got the keys to our new home on Sunderland Street in Moonah. Planning began immediately to convert the largely empty warehouse into our dream Roastery space. The past 12 months have been a mammoth undertaking, but we are over the moon to have finally relocated our production operations to Moonah last month. There's still more to come, but we wanted to share our progress thus far, as we look back on this gargantuan project.

Phase 1. The Planning

Day 1: Let's do this.

Starting from a largely blank slate, the first few months involved many models, mockups, meetings and measurements, to get a feel for how to best utilise our new site. We wanted to to build additional rooms to home our Green Storage, Cupping Lab, Tech workshop, and Training room, as well as to extend the front offices to create a future café space. 

Initial renders of the roaster positioning in front of green storage, packing station and cupping lab, and café layouts.

Mock up of front Café extension.

Phase 2. The Build

There was much painting and patching to be done, as well as a major upgrade to the warehouse's electrical capabilities. After getting the space prepped, the first order of business was upgrading our green coffee storage. We've long had to juggle smaller frequent deliveries, to make up for our lack of storage space in Huntingfield, so increasing our storage bay capacity was a priority. We constructed a wall along the back of our warehouse, to section off our green coffee storage so that we can better control the airflow and temperature around our stored beans.

Wall in progress, wall complete, and a wall-full of coffee storage space.

Next up was the construction of our dedicated office, cupping lab, tech workshop, and training rooms, which had previously all occupied the same single Lab space at Huntingfield. A two-storey extension was built into the warehouse space, to create three new spaces, with the offices separated out into the existing building. 

Framed up and clad, the upstairs room will house our training facilities, while downstairs became our cupping lab and tech workshop.

The final major stage of the build, which is yet to be completed, is our café space. We removed some walls, built some walls, and gutted the whole room. We've polished up the concrete floors, installed our joinery, and are now waiting on our final furnishings and equipment. Our opening date is TBA, but will likely be early 2023. Stay tuned!

Watch this space!

Phase 3. The Move

After months of construction, we finally had to work out how we were going to move ourselves across town, without disrupting production. First up was our medium-sized P12 roaster, which was moved mid-September to allow us to start calibrating our roast profiles in our new space. After a successful first roaster move, it was time for the big UG 22, which was hoisted onto the back of a truck and driven across town without incident (phew!). Then came several days of commissioning everything in at Moonah. It was a mammoth couple of weeks, but we're so proud of the contribution of the whole Villino Team, who really stepped up and made this happen.

New Afterburners in place, P12 lifted in, and new flues installed.

The big old UG22 being hoisted out of Huntingfield, and moved to its new home in Moonah. It's never looked so small than in our big new Roastery!

We've now been working out of our new Roastery for just over a month, and are thrilled to be in our new space that is going to allow us to grow into the next stage of Villino. Though we're not open to the public just yet, we're so looking forward to showing off our new digs in the near future. Stay tuned for our café opening date (TBA), as well as events and more!

Busy production days in our new Moonah space.

Thanks to everyone who has supported Villino over these last 15 years, we can't wait to see what the future brings.