Popular coffee business is up for sale
AFTER 27 years of serving up great coffee, eats and music at myriads of Northern Rivers markets each month, Greg Vail is selling his beloved Oasis Coffee stall.
Coffee Oasis first burst on to the market scene in 1988 at the Bangalow Markets and has since grown a strong following for its cafe vibe, signature coffee, teas, chai, hot chocolate, Middle Eastern pastries and homemade cakes and its live music stage.
"I joined the original owner in 1991 and worked with him for five years, then I took it over in 1996," Mr Vail said.
"I got involved because I like the market life, and I still do ... I've also had the pleasure of running it with my wife Kath, who was more behind the scenes than me, and my daughter Crystal."
The Middle Pocket resident said he was hanging up his pinafore and selling up because it "was just time".
"I'm 70 now so it's time to maybe let someone a bit younger have a go," he said.
"I plan to travel and I might even walk around a market which will be great... I don't see a market, I just go there and work."
About ten years ago, Mr Vail decided to add another element to "meeting place and cafe-esque market stall", by setting up a live music stage and letting local and touring musicians jam out.
"It's a special part of it," he said.
"I book different musos who do it, it's more of a busking stage, they get paid by some markets, have their guitars out and CDs for sale.
"I only do four markets a month out of the six with the music ... the music keeps people at the markets.
"The first musicians who started with us was the Perch Creek Family Jug Band - their little kids would tap dance and sing - now they are a super group in Melbourne called the Perch Creek Band."
Mr Vail said one reason the stall had a such strong following was because of their traditionally brewed coffee.
"We don't use a coffee machine, we infuse our coffee which is very old-school," he said.
"It's a very nice way to have coffee - it's one grind off Turkish - it's a commercial grind which is very fine.
"Potential buyers can take over our ways or they might want to get a machine as well, but our style definitely has a following.
"It's also very much a meeting place as well as a market stall and a central point for some markets."
He thanked the many followers of Oasis Coffee for their continued support over the years.
"I will miss my lovely friends I've made," he said.
"But I will definitley keep going with my nice coffee, I wont be missing that."
Mr Vail said the business included all equipment, a van and a trailer plus two months of training.
"The market people are amazing people- there are some fantastic people amongst us," he said.
"To take over you would need to be a people person. But you aren't in a shop ... you do have to work weekends, sometimes mid-week and holiday times but it's a homely, casual relaxed feel."
He said out of Brunswick Heads, Byron Bay, The Channon, Mullumbimby, Uki, Bangalow and Byron Beachside Markets he frequented each month, the Uki Market was his favourite.
"Uki is probably the smallest of them all, it's very old fashioned and I like it that way," he said.
"They advertise saying that it's the last of the 70s markets- and it's very true."
The stall can cater for gigs with delicious curries, savoury pastries and the above mentioned refreshments at various venues for local and touring bands is another great service.
Find Coffee Oasis at the monthly markets: first Saturday @ Brunswick Heads; first Sunday @ Byron Bay; second Sunday @ The Channon; third Saturday @ Mullumbimby; third Sunday @ Uki; fourth Sunday @ Bangalow.
Interested buyers please call Mr Vail on 0417 654 944.