Intersection – a cafe venture launching next week in the recently resurrected Lion Arts Factory – is a new project by some of Adelaide’s most forward-thinking young food entrepreneurs.

The cafe is the face of Intersection Traders, an organisation formed by Monastery Coffee’s Adam Marley, Sunlight Liquor’s Eddy Collett, and Daniel Gregg and Randy Stringer, who both work in the Centre for Global Food and Resources at the University of Adelaide.

Since getting the green light, progress has been swift. The coat-check is being converted into a coffee station, and both the front room and mezzanine will be open to patrons from next Wednesday. The final few details – and suppliers – are still being nailed down, but the operators promise brews from a roster of Australia’s best roasters, and some light snacks.

The coffee program will be curated by Adam Metelmann, “a multiple ASCA [Australian Specialty Coffee Association] barista regional champion”, says Marley. “[He’s] also a wonderful human! As is everybody involved.” The cafe will be managed by Celeste Aerilyn-Rose, who also works in the wider business.

A full menu will be developed in the coming months. They’re taking their time, in order to do it properly. “Central to our brand are ethically sourced ingredients,” says Collett.

On a basic level, the cafe is a place to grab a coffee and pastry, and chill during the venue’s otherwise dormant daylight hours. But it has a larger role – one that’s currently being referred to as the “food innovation hub”. The goal is to host masterclasses and workshops for small food, beverage and agricultural businesses. “We’re looking at ways to get the creative industries involved, in creative ways, in the food supply chain,” Marley explains.

“We want to show people you can be profitable and ethical at the same time – if you’re innovative,” adds Collett, who has experienced firsthand the “unique challenges” of launching a new food business. Expect tastings and meet-the-maker events, too.

“The cafe is kind of the ‘foyer’ for this stuff,” Marley says. “[We] will be using service as a way to connect consumers to producers.” He wants to ensure that credit, as well as profits, are paid where they’re due.

The back end of the business is focused on establishing economic sustainability for coffee producers. Its first program is currently underway in Uganda, “empowering [coffee] farmers to produce a higher-quality product [and] access a high value market that will pay a premium for the quality difference”, according to Marley.

Following a number of reconnaissance and relationship-building trips, Intersection leased a small parcel of land on which it will establish a coffee-washing station. The station will be owned by local communities, and the idea is that the group will hand it over to them to run once it’s established. “We’re helping mitigate the barriers to entry the farmers face, but they’re the ones with the potential,” Marley says. “We’re just helping them unlock it.”

Intersection will open on Wednesday April 10.

Intersection at The Lion Arts Factory
68 North Terrace, Adelaide
Mon to Thurs 7.30am–2.30pm