There’s nothing pretentious about Happy Days, which comes with a sigh of relief in the ever-expanding Byron hospo scene. Food and coffee are kept simple: the intention is to let fresh ingredients from the region shine. A selection of breakfast plates, sandwiches made with house-baked sourdough and hot cups of coffee made with local beans are up for grabs in the no-fuss cafe where customers are encouraged to kick back, relax and pretend they’re perched at a friend’s place.

The concept was dreamt up by two couples: Hamish Boller and Ebony Robins, and their long-time mates Reece and Stacey Cooper.

“We had talked about opening up our own place together for ages and finally decided to do it,” Hamish tells Broadsheet. “There are still moments where I just think ‘Wow, we did it and it’s working’ – it’s kind of surreal.”

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In the heart of Byron’s Arts and Industrial Estate, colloquially known as “the Induzzy” by locals, Hamish and Reece worked together on the pared-back fit-out, only employing tradies for electrical and plumbing work. There are a few tile-topped tables and bench seats inside the light-filled space, and a colourful counter made from hemp, which was sourced from a local building site. A walk-up takeaway window makes quick ordering a cinch. There’s a chalkboard of specials on the wall, while all eyes are drawn to the impressive 1991 maroon-coloured vintage La Marzocco Classic on the counter.

The goal of the design was to make customers feel connected to the food and coffee by allowing them to watch the whole process, rather than have a team working behind a kitchen wall.

“Customers can wander through and talk to the roaster and see the whole process,” Robins says. “We bake our own bread fresh daily, as well as our sweets and pastries.”

Hamish bakes the sourdough every morning, then slices the loaves and jam-packs sandwiches with the best local ingredients. Some of the top options include the Colo Cuts sandwich, where crisp cos leaves add freshness to mortadella, salami and house pickles. House-made herby mayo and mustard bring the cream and tang. For vegetarians – who are many in this locale – the classic salad number is the go-to, with house-pickled beets, carrots, greens and parmesan. The Happy Days Plate – house ferments, gruyere cheese, boiled egg and avo with toast – is the top choice for those dining in.

The Cooper half of the Happy Days team also owns the next-door Beam Coffee, which provides the beans seen at favoured spots across the Northern Rivers – think Ciao Mate!, Harvest and Barrio. Customers can watch as their coffee beans are roasted, before sipping on a freshly brewed cup at Happy Days.

Reece and Stacey have been in the coffee game for nearly 12 years, establishing Beam in 2020 in nearby Mullumbimby. They made the move to Byron when the space next to Happy Days came up. The combination of freshly roasted coffee and sourdough in the air is already drawing in crowds seeking a semi-secluded spot to refuel.

Happy Days
17 Banksia Drive, Byron Bay

Mon to Fri 6am–2pm