Wendy Jepson operates a coffee-roasting business from a
converted garage at her Outram home. Photo by Gerard
When Outram woman Wendy Jepson was looking for a name for
her blend of roasted coffee beans, she could look no further
than Sunday Drive.
For Outram was a place that people came to on a Sunday drive,
to have a coffee or ice cream, buy berryfruit or go to the
The founder of the town's Wobbly Goat cafe, Mrs Jepson now
operates a coffee bean-roasting business, Fat Cat Coffee,
from a converted brick garage on the street frontage of her
Skerries St home.
With a lifetime involvement in the food industry, she started
The Wobbly Goat in 2007.
She wanted to do everything herself, from making all her own
food to roasting her own coffee beans, giving her control of
her own destiny.
She had always loved coffee and spent time watching a coffee
roaster, before buying a drum roaster imported from Turkey.
Then came plenty of ''trial and error'' and drinking copious
amounts of coffee, until she came up with what worked.
She had since ''pretty much stuck'' with that same blend,
Sunday Drive, which was described as a rich full-bodied
coffee with chocolate and caramel notes and made up of four
In the Huhtamaki 2012 New Zealand Coffee Awards, Fat Cat
Coffee won a bronze medal for the second time in the best
flat white blend category.
After five and a-half years at The Wobbly Goat business, Mrs
Jepson decided it was time for a change and time to focus
solely on coffee. She had no regrets, although she did miss
the cooking aspect.
She took her roaster with her when she and her husband
remodelled a ''dingy, divey garage'' into a roastery.
She came up with the name Fat Cat Coffee ''just because I
couldn't have anything ordinary after being the Wobbly
She still supplied The Wobbly Goat with beans and also made
coffee and sold beans at the Otago Farmers Market at the
Dunedin railway station on Saturdays, and she was also at the
Sunday market at Forsyth Barr Stadium. She also made coffee
sack cushions and coffee soap.
She roasted beans about three times a week, in batches of
between 3.5kg and 4kg.
People could buy direct from the roastery, where she was
every Tuesday and Thursday between 10am and 2pm. Otherwise
people could press a buzzer on the wall of the roastery and
she would ''come running down the driveway''.
Mrs Jepson sourced her beans from a green bean supplier in
Auckland, as her business was too small to justify importing
her own. They were derived from Sumatra, Guatemala and
She likened coffee to wine, saying beans from different
regions tasted different, as did grapes.
She also likened coffee beans to fresh fruit and vegetables,
saying customers should buy small amounts often. They should
buy enough beans to last a maximum of 10 days, preferably
She had no plans to greatly expand the business, saying she
wanted to be a small, boutique roastery.
As for her own coffee preference, she preferred a long black,
of which she could drink up to eight or nine cups a day.