Amber Norris of St Coco’s Cafe


St. Coco’s Cafe
Daisy Hill Shopping Centre, 3 Cupania Street, Daisy Hill

Owners of St Coco’s Cafe in Daisy Hill, Amber and Cynamon Norris, started planning their first business together at the age of twelve. The twin sisters wrote up a business plan for a healthy burger joint including designing hand drawn burger wrappers with the healthy recipes scribed on them. But it would be some years later before something of the vision of those young entrepreneurs would be realised.

The Norris women grew up in Tanah Marah in a home that their parents built when they were in primary school at Kimberly Park.

Amber and Cynamon Norris

“We grew up on Sewell Road,” Amber says, “We spent a lot of time at the Murray’s Farm down the road with their kids. It was a really great upbringing full of fun, kids running around, dirt bikes, learning to drive cars. And there were a lot of outdoor adventures in the local parks.”

Amber and Cynamon Norris

The fourth generation dairy farm, once owned by the Murray family, used to supply milk to the Kingston Butter Factory, but these days, the land beside Mungaree (Slacks Creek), where it winds through its last bends to feed into the Dahgalumba (Logan River), has since become parkland itself, including a patch of low lying rainforest. 

After graduating from Springwood High, the girls headed overseas to work and travel. Returning home, Amber trained to work in technical production eventually joining the sound crew at the Brisbane Powerhouse, while Cynamon entered into retail.

Cynamon still carried the idea of owning her own business and eventually bought a tiny cafe at Mt Gravatt a few years after returning from overseas. With Amber’s work somewhat seasonal depending on gigs on offer, Cynamon invited Amber to come and work with her as well. 

A new lease for a bigger cafe soon became available just down the road and the sisters decided to form a partnership. Fourteen years after they had brainstormed their healthy burger joint as pre-teens, they bought into their first business together – Hallowed Grounds Espresso. In both cases, the women had taken over these businesses from others. While they were able to add to those existing enterprises, they were yet to form a business that carried their own vision and was distinctly their own.

They eventually came across a former factory outlet, an empty shell, at the Daisy Hill Shopping Centre. Taken by the location back in their hometown just down the road from the beautiful Daisy Hill Conservation Park, and encouraged by the proactivity of the landlord who was willing to work with them to build a successful business in the space, they sold Hallowed Grounds after four years, and made the move to establish a cafe of their own design in the City of Logan.

St Coco’s opened its doors for the first time in October 2016. Serving speciality coffees, teas and cold pressed juices, you can also launch into your day with a refreshing breakfast cocktail of fresh lemon juice, sparkling water, elderflower, grenadine, bitters, rosemary + berries. A seasonal menu is offered, utilising what’s fresh and in season, to deliver hearty creative meals. Serving simple, classic staples, dishes with a little extra St Coco’s flair include Pina Colada Waffles, Bratwurst Benedict or House polenta fritters with romesco, almonds, grilled broccolini, crispy kale and poached eggs. You can also find fresh pastries, vegan options, raw treats and gluten free options.

Family enjoying a coffee at St Coco's Cafe

Gradually building their business in the first six months, the cafe has taken off. Five years later the business continues to grow despite the challenges of the past eighteen months.

“Obviously last year with COVID was pretty full-on, but like everybody else there were a lot of changes. We essentially flipped the business overnight. That was an enormous amount of work as we went online. We just decided we had to think of ourselves as a cafe online and then see how we could make it work,” Amber explains.

With fresh products their core offering, delivery wasn’t an option. One of the key changes they implemented instead was the setting up of a safe drive-through in the carpark.

“Our whole family helped and our friends helped and our partners helped. Mum painted the lines, my partner painted some of the lines. It’s all licensed and insured,” Amber pays tribute to the community who have supported them.

With their full menu now available online, eating in or taking away a gourmet breakfast, lunch or coffee with treats has been made easy. They have also established a popular range of pantry products sourced primarily from Australia, along with some products from New Zealand. 
“It has definitely helped us. It has helped us employ more people. We have more staff than we did before. We didn’t think that would be an outcome but it drove more business, plus the logistics with the multiple ways of ordering needed to be managed.”

For twelve year old sisters, who sat in their bedroom in Tanah Merah writing their first business plan, running a successful gourmet takeaway shop, drive thru and dine in service and bringing a bespoke experience to the community of Daisy Hill and the City of Logan, is the culmination of long-held childhood dreams. 

The City of Logan is known for its beautiful expanses of parkland and forests to enjoy. With one of its most popular outdoor spaces, Daisy Hill Conservation Park and the Koala Centre just up the road, St Coco’s is the perfect place to collect an array of delicious items for your next picnic or dine in for breakfast after a morning walk or bike ride.

Author: Jacqueline Bawtree 2021 for Logan City Council.

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