Barrio Collective Coffee

Heart + Soul Barrio Barrio Collective Coffee

A real neighbourhood coffee shop 

Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name. These may be the cheesy lyrics from the 80s sitcom, Cheers, but sometimes it’s just so true. You really do seek a place to go where everybody knows you, where you feel relaxed, welcomed and at home.

“We have so many people come through our cafe, it’s part of their day. It’s just so important that people feel they can call in somewhere, feel comfortable and feel at home, somewhere people can connect and just hang out,” said Sam Burns, owner of Barrio Collective Coffee in Braddon.

“We had this idea of creating a real neighbourhood coffee shop, and we are happy to be a part of this strong community.”

You only have to talk to the residents of nearby yoga studio to know how much of an integral part of the community Sam and the team at Barrio play in this little pocket of Canberra city. Barrio is a frequent hangout for yoga-goers seeking their morning caffeine fix.

With its team of eight employees, Barrio roasts its own coffee at its roastery in Fyshwick while the Braddon premises, which opened in 2015,  focuses on offering really good coffee and great local produce. Put simply, Barrio is just a really good quality coffee shop.

When Covid-19 restrictions hit, Sam was hoping his coffee business wouldn’t grindto a halt, pardon the pun. Thankfully restrictions were short lived.

“We definitely missed the daily connection with people, the social side of it. We genuinely missed our customers,” Sam said.

And it seems the connections Sam has made with his customers are as strong as Barrio’s coffee.

“One of the things I’ve enjoyed the most is the fact we have got to know our customers really well over the past five years now. In some cases we have known customers when they’ve been single, then coupled, onto their first child, onto their second child. That’s pretty incredible,” Sam said.

He explains he really wanted to use his strong background in coffee roasting to give Canberrans a more modern take on coffee, while making it nice and easy for people to connect with.

“We wanted to push the quality side of it more. We noticed what was missing and we’ve made it happen,” Sam said.

“We roast and brew our coffee every day. Year-round there is new coffee arriving, new ones to taste, it’s as much about the craft itself. We are constantly inspired by tasting, roasting and brewing coffee.”

This approach to coffee blends so well with the locals.

“We really are a community hub. We love this city, we love Canberra. Even though we are just on the edge of the city, it’s spacious, it feels relaxed enough, yet there is a lot going on,” Sam said.

And a lot going on there is, with a typical day at Barrio starting at 5.30am. The team makes some of its own milks and sets up and preps for the first customers to arrive at 7am. By 9.30am the team has served most of the people on their way to work, a day out in the city, or that yoga session. And you can be sure Sam knows most of their names.

It’s time to rediscover your city by supporting local businesses like Barrio Collective Coffee. You can find Barrio at 59/30 Lonsdale Street Braddon, open seven days a week, and online at, @barriocc or on Facebook.

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