Bear Boy Espresso is the answer to a question: ‘Where can you get a great specialty coffee on the northern end of the Gold Coast?’
Of course, the answer is ‘At Bear Boy Espresso’.
Eager to bring their love of a great cuppa to a new audience, Brodie Howard and her husband Andy secured the lease on an espresso bar shopfront in the new HomeWorld complex in 2019. Born and bred on the Gold Coast, the couple were disappointed by the lack of quality coffee and food offerings in northern Gold Coast suburbs, a challenge they were eager to take on.
With Andy’s skills and connections as a builder, a new venue posed few problems. Andy and his co-workers have created a very chilled indoor-outdoor space for ninety diners, the walls and benches in musk pink with copper accents, scandi furniture and tan banquettes.
From where Andy left off, Brodie has taken up the reigns. With the already successful event-catering business Guilty Pleasure Platters in her business portfolio, Brodie expanded her experience, choosing staff, facilitating training, and cultivating a culture in the café espresso bar that’s to be admired.
With a strong focus on coffee, ‘Single O’ is the brew of choice, with ‘Killer Bee’ their signature blend for white coffee, house black being ‘Paradox’ by Single O. Black, filter, iced filter and pour over coffees are available, and there’s a Feature Roaster who changes monthly.
Taste is the focus, the coffee machine backwashed every hour, and training and coffee tasting taking place on a regular basis out of hours, leading to a consistent standard of coffee delivery.
With a focus on organic and ethically produced products, the café’s aesthetic is further enhanced by stands of plants, dried flowers, coffee keep cups and pour over equipment for sale in the shop.
The kitchen, on show near the rear of the space, produces an all-day menu ranging from eggs to burgers, and açai bowls to French toast and more. Açai bowls are, in fact, a crowd favourite, together with the Big Bear Benny, Chicken Lickin’ Burger and Chicken & Waffles. GF, VO, GFO and N (containing nuts) are all clearly marked on the menu.
There are homemade cakes in the cabinet as well as pastries and cold-pressed juices to go.
With coffee already a noted standout, what else makes this café different?
Staff say that they are focused on service. You can order and pay through ‘Mr Yum’, but there’s also a lots of interaction going on with customers, staff giving fast, consistent customer service with an insistence on quality.
‘Part of the Pack’ is the slogan that features on staff uniforms and the menu board. When asked how that translates to real life, I’m told that staff are happy to socialize together, celebrate birthdays as a team or take up the supportive shoulder offered by Brodie. It’s a rarity to hear so much talk (rather than hype) about being part of a happy team.
The team is also happy to repeat their foundation story: from the couple who met in a café and decided to open their own, Bear Boy is a great addition to the northern Gold Coast. For its coffee alone, plus it’s contented vibe and delicious food, Bear Boy Espresso is a great place to hang out. It’s like a bear hug for the boy – a bit warm and fuzzy.
Bear Boy Espresso, Shop 66, HomeWorld Helensvale, 502 Hope Island Road, Helensvale, Open: Mon – Sun 6am – 2pm
NOTE: Good Food Gold Coast was a guest of Bear Boy Espresso.
When in Brisbane, check out their Windsor café at Shop 8/180 Albion Rd, Colwill Place, Windsor.