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Sunday, October 24, 2021

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5 minutes with Ali Slotemaker, Co-owner of White Whale Coffee Roasters

  1. What services does your business provide?

We roast and supply specialty coffee to cafés, businesses and homes. We source the best coffee grown worldwide and impart our signature into the beans through the roasting process. My favourite bean at the moment is Timor Leste; it is wild grown, has the most delicious rich cocoa flavour and supporting Timor Leste’s economy is close to my heart.

  1. How long has your business been running and how long have you worked there?

My husband and I established our coffee roasting and espresso bar business in 2010 under the brand Industry One Coffee (now sold). We continued the coffee roasting side of our business from a warehouse in Portsmith and re-branded the business to White Whale Coffee Roasters in 2019. I have now been self-employed for 11 years. 

  1. How long have you lived in Cairns?

I moved to Cairns in 2004 with my partner, who was recruited to play football with the Manunda Hawks. Like many people, we only planned on staying six months, but we found ourselves with good jobs, home ownership and enjoying the lifestyle (aka Shenanigans 241’s).

  1. Where is your favourite place in Far North Queensland and why?

My love affair with Cairns has been a slow burn, even taking a 3-year sabbatical living in New Zealand. However, now I just love everything Cairns has on offer, the whole ease of living, affordability and clean environment. We have matured together. I also particularly love anywhere on the Tablelands and try to get there as often as I can. 

  1. What is your favourite quote?

It could always be worse. Not your typical inspo quote, however, I find myself using this saying all the time. It really makes you look at life on the bright side! 

  1. Who is someone who inspires you and why?

I love reading stories about business owners and their journeys. I always find something in the stories that inspire me to be better and do better.  Also, a couple of years ago I was totally moved by the local heroes at Reef Restoration Foundation (RRF) – so much so that White Whale Coffee Roasters entered into a corporate sponsorship deal with RRF. I just loved their mission of making a positive impact on the reef and they were just getting it done.

  1. What do you hope to achieve with your business in 2021/22?

Even though we are in unpredictable times, we are focused on growth in our region.  FNQ has an amazing and diverse range of coffee roasters and I want to see our business grow alongside all the other coffee roasters. I would love to see the day when consumers are demanding locally roasted coffee as the norm. I know we have the quality up here!

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