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Friday, January 20, 2006

Trouble brews over gourmet coffee shop

The Mercury: Trouble brews over gourmet coffee shop [21jan06]

A BATTERY Point gourmet coffee business is fighting to continue roasting in the face of opposition from residents and a council officer.

But Oomph! Tasmanian Gourmet Coffee, on Hampden Rd, says many more residents and businesses support it -- as demonstrated by a petition with more than 300 signatures so far.

The business, which had been roasting coffee without approval, has lodged an application for roasting.

The application is due to come before Hobart City Council's development and environmental services committee on Monday.

A council planning officer and the Battery Point Advisory Committee have recommended refusal.

Oomph, located near several restaurants, is a family business which began operating in Hampden Rd about 12 months ago. It is run by Carlos Kindred, his wife Nikki and their children.

Mrs Kindred said it was disappointing they were not given an opportunity to work through the issues.

"This is our livelihood, this is our business, this is what we live off," she said.

"Tasmanian Coffee Roaster at Sandy Bay are operating in a similar situation to us. They are among shops and housing, but they are not being closed down, they are not being victimised."

Other coffee roasters in Tasmania included one in Hobart's Centrepoint, the one in Sandy Bay and two in the Launceston CBD.

"We are in a commercial business zone alongside other businesses which put out a lot of aroma," Mrs Kindred said.

"We like a pizza shop are producing a product and someone is taking it away. We are cooking, a roaster is a cooker.

"All over the world this is considered a shop roaster because it is for a shop and it is not a big commercial unit.

"We are happy to use the roaster on certain days and at certain times."

The council received six representations when the proposal was advertised with five objections raising concerns over the burnt-coffee smell, and other issues including that roasting had occurred for 12 months without approval.

The chair of the Battery Point Advisory Committee and chair of the council's development services committee, Ald Lyn Archer, said he was fully aware of Oomph's proximity to other restaurants.

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