Coffee, Surf, Community

Coffee, Surf, Community


verb |kəmˈpound, kämˈpound, ˈkämˌpound|
to combine or bring together two or more elements

Compound Secondhand Surf and Espresso on Australia’s beautiful Sunshine Coast is not your typical coffee shop. It’s not your typical secondhand shop either. In fact, it’s a unique combination of the two, officially launched by some of the Christian Surfers Australia crew just over a week ago. They are embracing something that I have just recently come to realise, which is that surfing is not just a sport, but a way of life, and it has a unique way of bringing all sorts of different people together. I chatted with Aaron Bradley and Abe Andrews about how they are using this to serve the local community, give back, and, of course, share the stoke.

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The idea behind Compound first surfaced on a trip to Hawaii two years ago. Aaron and Abe heard about two guys who started up a surf op shop in South Africa, and the concept stuck with them. Starting up one of their own, as Abe pointed out, could create a way to help fund Christian Surfers while also providing the local community with access to surf gear and “cool clothes at a cheap price.” Aaron also loves a good coffee, as does most of Australia, so he suggested they add a little twist by combining the elements of a surf op shop and an espresso bar. That way people would be able to come in and chat over a cuppa instead of just having a quick browse and leaving without a word. Christian Surfers Australia National Director Steve Bailey suggested they take a look at the Genesis Foundation and apply for grants to launch this project, and now it has finally come to fruition.

So how did the name “Compound” come about? After a collaborative effort and a lot of brainstorming, it just seemed to fit. The word means “to combine or bring together two or more elements,” and that is exactly what Compound is doing. The mixing of a love for surfing and a love for coffee is indeed compounding different cultures, and there has already been a great response from the local community, with heaps of people jumping on board, donating, and just hanging out. It’s creating unity among all different types of individuals.

Personally, I was absolutely stoked to find a place in Australia that serves good bagels—with several varieties of cream cheese, I might add—but that’s not all that’s on offer. There is also a variety of organic, ethically traded tea and direct trade coffee for people to enjoy. Compound gets its coffee from Kai Coffee, a Sunshine Coast-based roaster that prides itself on its relationship between the farmers and the supplier. As if that isn’t enough, Kai remains true to its motto, “Specialty Roasters Giving Back,” by donating $1 to an orphanage overseas for every kilogram of coffee sold. It’s nice to know I can have a cuppa that I feel good about drinking and then help out the environment by browsing through recycled clothing.

I have been to quite a few unique little shops throughout my travels, but Compound has stood out from the rest. Perhaps it’s the way it satisfied my bagel craving, the beautiful way Aaron presented my cappuccino, or the fact that I was within several metres of surf paraphernalia at all times. It might even be the seamless combination of surfy vibes and café culture, topped off perfectly by staff who clearly love that they do and love the people they serve. Regardless, there is nothing average about Compound Secondhand Surf and Espresso.

So remember to stop by so that you too can “surf & drink coffee.”

Compound Secondhand Surf and Espresso, is located just a short walk from Coolum Beach, at 15 Heathfield Road. It’s open Monday through Saturday, from 6AM to 5PM, so early risers can stop by and get surf essentials for those morning sessions. The espresso bar closes at 1PM.

Learn more about Christian Surfers Australia.


Maddie Buresh is a writer and photographer with an unquenchable desire to explore the great outdoors, from the ocean to the mountains. She finds joy in trying new things, living in community, and crafting stories that encourage people to go outside, have adventures, and enjoy this big, beautiful world.