If you’re an early riser, you’re bound to bump into a friendly group of Sunrise Swimmers with a hot cup of coffee there. They regroup on the front deck every morning after their swimming practice – rain, hail or shine. You’ll also meet many Port Macquarie locals who flock to Salty Crew Kiosk with the first light for a healthy grab’n’go snack. We talked to Leasa Harris who’s been running the beach kiosk with her husband since its launch in 2016.
Hi Leasa. Why did you decide to open Salty Crew Kiosk?
Myself and husband Chris could see so much potential for a kiosk on our beautiful beach. We wanted to offer healthy food and drinks such as sandwiches, Acai and smoothie bowls, salads and icy cold smoothies. Both of us have hospitality backgrounds (we managed hotels and retreats across Australia for nearly 8 years) and had so much inspiration to bring to the Kiosk.
How big is your team?
We have a wonderful team of fifteen happy, kind and vibrant humans. It’s their energy that attracts people to come and enjoy our vibe and hospitality. Our customers come to Salty Crew Kiosk to get their daily dose of sunshine, fresh air and calming ions from the Ocean.
What’s your vision for the place?
We want to inspire happiness and health through connection. We’ve created a place for people to catch up with family and friends or meet someone new, while making the most of our phenomenal natural surroundings.
In winter, you can watch the sunrise and humpback whales frolicking while your hands are wrapped around a steaming cup of your favourite brew. In summer, you can plant yourself under the oasis of an umbrella as you keep cool in the ocean.
We’ve always wanted to create a place where we know your name, as well as how you like your coffee. We want our customers to feel like we are hosting them on our back deck at home.
Why is living in Port Macquarie great?
Port Macquarie is a beautiful coastal town located on the mid north coast of New South Wales, only four hours North of Sydney and five hours South of Byron Bay. But it’s our amazing and supportive community what we love the most.
You’re organising so many events for the community such as beach cleanups or yoga on the beach. Which one is your favourite?
We love supporting local businesses and charity organisations. Every 2 months we choose a local charity to support and a $1 from all coffees for the day go to that charity.
Our favourite community event would probably have to be Coastal Warriors and their amazing monthly beach clean-ups. It is just incredible how much rubbish they remove from our beaches and local waterways before it enters the ocean. They do such a fantastic job!
“We want to inspire happiness and health through connection. People come to us to get their daily dose of sunshine, fresh air and calming ions from the Ocean.”
– Leasa Harris
Do you have any nice stories about the regular customers you want to share?
So many! Salty Crew Kiosk is a place for locals and tourists to meet and socialise. We have so many stories of people moving from the cities to Port Macquarie not knowing anyone. After their daily visits to the Kiosk they made some great new friends.
Sunrise Swimmers are pretty special for us. It’s a group of people who meet on the front deck every morning. They talk, swim and drink coffee together. They make getting up early so worth it.
Sustainability is no longer just a buzzword. It became a necessity in the time we live in. How do you encourage customers to change their habits?
We all need to be doing our part for our future generations and our planet.
Single use packaging and plastics is a big one for us. We’re constantly promoting for our customers to BYO cups and offer a 50c discount as an incentive and have been doing this for over two years now.
We have minimised single use packaging and encourage customers to bring their own for takeaway. We also have a waste bin system at the front of our Kiosk including green waste available for the biodegradable food and packaging.
Clearly marked with what goes in what bins, it’s been a great way to educate our customers on our to dispose of their waste correctly.
How can we do things better if we want to help preserve our beautiful Coast?
RE-USE and minimise using plastic any way you can! Bring your own cups and takeaway packaging when visiting cafes, use reusable bags for not only shopping but also when buying fruit and vegetables.
Dispose of your waste in a mindful way at home, use your green bins and recycle. Make your general bin as empty as possible.
We’re very grateful to work with businesses like you that share our values: sustainability, community and craftsmanship.
We developed a partnership with Clandestino when managing Makepeace Island resort in Noosa back in 2015.
Everything you guys are about aligns with our vision and philosophies so it was a no brainer to get you on board when we launched Salty Crew. You are all so supportive and part of our Salty Crew family and have been with us right from the beginning of our journey.
What are your plans for the future?
We just sold our restaurant Bill’s Fishhouse due to welcoming our second child to the family last October. So we’re looking forward to spending more quality family time with our children Elle and Jesse as a family of four.
And lastly, how do you drink your coffee?
We’re both latte drinkers (I am a coconut milk lover haha). However I certainly don’t mind a good long back or espresso from time to time.
If you’re around the Port Macquarie area be sure to check them out!
Town Beach Reserve, Lot 7065, William Street Port Macquarie NSW, 2444
Photos: Salty Crew Kiosk Archive
Would you like to serve our coffee or drink it in your office? Find out how here.