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Going from a Qantas aircraft mechanical engineer to the owner of an award winning international coffee roasting company has been quite the career change for Dancing Bean Espresso owner, Rob Mergard.

Established 14 years ago, the Brisbane-based company has gone from strength to strength, expanding both interstate and internationally in that time.

Mergard is living proof that following your passion can pay off, if you’re willing to put in the hard work. So how did a small coffee bean business from Brisbane end up expanding as far as Egypt?

Mergard didn’t anticipate international expansion when he first launched the business, and credits coming first runner up in the internationally renowned Golden Bean Coffee Award to the surprising success. Dancing Bean Espresso was a first time entrant in the Golden Bean Coffee Roasting Competition, which is the largest coffee roasting competition in the world and attracts over 1200 entrants.

“The fact is that our coffee has been the same for years, but after entering Golden Bean and winning such a distinguished award in the coffee industry, our business is expanding faster than ever,” Mergard said.

“It’s truly amazing what that sort of exposure does. The last six months has been a pretty amazing ride,” he added.

The exposure from the award led to a coffee loving Egyptian businessman purchasing the master franchise rights for the Middle East and Africa. Mergard helped to set up the new Dancing Bean franchise in Cairo and was stunned by the overwhelming positive response it received.

“We just blew 2000 years of Turkish coffee culture out of the water. We are hands down the best coffee in the country and only weeks later the competition are knocking on our door asking for us to train and supply them,” Mergard said.

Despite international success, Dancing Bean Espresso hasn’t lost sight of its roots and continues to focus on maintaining a high level of customer service in every outlet.

“It’s very important to me that we don’t lose sight of what got us here – our customers. We love to receive feedback from them to make sure we are still providing what they want. Without them, we have nothing,” Mergard said.

Dancing Bean currently has stores in Queensland and New South Wales, and plans to open new franchises when the opportunity arises.

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Rocheen Flaherty

Rocheen Flaherty

Rocheen is a junior reporter at Dynamic Business. She's a second year Journalism Major at UNSW and enjoys going to the cinema, reading, and wandering around craft and vintage markets.

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