Merdeka Coffee in Indonesia announced today that they have opened a roasting facility in Auckland and will soon follow with two retail cafes.

Congratulations to Alun and company for their good work and insight, as extending a company brand name into the retail market is a critical step for coffee producers and one that I advise for my own clients. By roasting and subsequently retailing coffee from one’s own coffee plantation, growers can control the brand experience from ground through cup, ensuring quality control and strength of the brand image.

Merdeka Coffee, one of Indonesia’s leading specialty coffee roasters, has opened a micro-roastery in the upmarket inner city suburb of Auckland. The opening in his home country has long been the dream of Kiwi founder Alun Evans.

“When I came to Indonesia in 1998, I had a dream to work with the local growing communities to source the best coffee while giving back at the same time”, said Evans. “My dream was to eventually go full circle and be able to bring some great coffee back to NZ where we could share it with the coffee community here.”

New Zealanders drink a lot of coffee, but very little of that comes from Indonesia- which is the fourth largest coffee producing country globally. Merdeka Coffee hopes the recent political and social stability in Indonesia will help Kiwis once again fall in love with the island nation.

Merdeka Coffee has plans outside of NZ to open 2 new cafes in Jakarta as well as a new regional training cafe and roastery in Singapore by the end of 2009. The Parnell business is a roastery supplying cafes as well as having a web based and over the counter retail business.

“We see plenty of opportunity out there in the specialty roasted coffee market. Consumption in Asia alone is projected to grow at around 10% per annum over the next decade” says Evans.