Rukus and Kingdom Roasters
Situated on the sunniest strip in town, Rukus café has established itself as a consistent player in the Newport coffee scene. ‘Kingdom Roasters’ is the latest endeavour from the boys at Rukus; a micro roasting journey that has evolved to reflect ‘relationships’ from farmer to friend in a sustainable and relationally minded way.
Head roaster Matt Whiteley says,“Coffee is about people, it’s about connecting with people. The drink is the vehicle... it should be a good vehicle, but ultimately people should come before profit. So, if you can make the two work in harmony then you’re succeeding.”
The house blend ‘Sukur Punch’ is sweet with vanilla and caramel, a raspberry acidity and a smooth, long earthy finish. Having bought ‘Unground’ coffee roaster 12 months ago, the boys at Rukus decided it was time to change the aesthetics of their branding and have since launched ‘Kingdom Roasters’. “The vision is to produce complex coffees with character and sweetness. At the same time, the balance for the roaster is to have enough body and mouthfeel without turning every blend into a dark chocolate bonanza. We also want to use a percentage of our profits to help others and so we are looking at charitable options that reach kids in need,” explains co-owner Shaun.
They currently supply the Hungry Ghost and Flynn’s Café in Avalon along with Odd Mug café in Cromer Heights.
Rukus owners Tom Morrison and Shaun Pereira are the brains behind the largely organic food menu and their Avalon venue is about to pop off for summer beers and cocktails. “It’s called Rukus by Night and we opened it last summer,” says Tom. “It’s food you just really want to eat, haloumi fries, sticky pork belly and socats...you’ll have to come in to see what we are talking about.”
Matt believes people keep returning to the café, which opened two years ago, for the food and the coffee but mostly for the great atmosphere and because “we know them”.
“I think it’s the best vibe in Newport. It’s like an English pub but people are drinking coffee and just hanging. We get the northern sun streaming in through the windows and you can sit on the lounge and read a paper and just chill. But really people wantto fit in and find community. You can go to a hundred cafés that make great coffee but if you don’t feel welcomed,
then you’ll go somewhere else. We welcome everyone.”
Rukus opens at 6am-4pm - kitchen closes at 3pm. From October, Rukus by Night will open Friday and Saturday evenings from 4pm and Sunday sessions into the night.
The food is healthy, wholesome and tasty with most of it being organic – Avalons Organics is a major supplier - and the majority is refined sugar free.
“We design the menu so that if you come in a group, you could try all the dishes and it won’t break the bank, with the most expensive dish costing $20,” explains Matt. They will be serving craft beer, wine and $13-$16 cocktails, and are sponsored by Vonu, a mid-strength Fijian beer.
Rukus has also branched out by providing catering for private functions, weddings and parties, with their grazing tables as eye-catching as they come.
The boys at Rukus are certainly making a name for themselves and stretching their influence across different platforms but their ethos remains the same. Relationships and people. Good vibes, good coffee and good food. •
5c/7 Robertson Rd, Newport NSW 2106