Client Story: Dawn Patrol Coffee

Client Story: Dawn Patrol Coffee

Dawn Patrol Coffee was first established in South Australia in 2014 by Dom Ossa and Nick Suggitt. They shared a passion for great coffee and wanted to find a way to buy and showcase different brew methods and share insights on coffee production with customers.

The pair set up their first tasting room in Dom’s garden shed in Kangarilla, and later moved into a location at Chandlers Hill with Watkin Wines. They added a roastery and began partnering with cafes across greater Adelaide to provide their coffees, maintaining a focus on high quality and traceability.

“At Dawn Patrol, we aim for 100% traceability, which means we want to know exactly where our beans come from and who grows them,” explains Dom. “We seek to only buy, roast, and deliver exceptional, delicious coffees sourced from some of the best coffee growers in the world, who strive to produce their coffee beans ethically and sustainably.”

The company recently opened a new location in McLaren Vale (in a former tractor shed), offering a cellar door approach with a tasting room where customers can enjoy a guided coffee experience in a range of coffees seven days a week. They’ll soon open their roastery at the same location so customers can see and learn about the entire roasting and brewing process.

Their focus and hard work have paid off. Oreon Director Tim Pullman says, “Their revenue growth between 2019 – 2022 was more than 120% in their primary business, as well as establishing a new complementary business that has tripled their revenue over two years.”

Challenges and keys to success

Dawn Patrol has faced challenges common to many small businesses, including finding and managing employees, identifying optimal locations to support their business growth, financing their operations and planning for expansion.

“We faced all the normal hurdles in the beginning,” says Dom. “Dealing with those means 15-hour days and putting everything back into the machine to keep momentum going.”

Of course, the pandemic brought about its own challenges.

“For us, COVID-19 was a lesson in being able to scale back and focus on the fundamentals,” he notes. “It was actually a brilliant exercise, but also one that no one would like to repeat.”

Dom says he believes that success comes from being able to mitigate obstacles, while focusing on humility and integrity.

“Our weakest moments are when these elements haven’t been considered,” he explains. “If your product is relevant to people, then sales should be no issue. What you do with those sales and how they are applied is what keeps the wheels moving.”

Oreon Partners’ role in the journey

Dawn Patrol began working with Oreon Partners in 2019.

“It was clear from the start of our relationship that Dom and Nick had a solid vision for their brand and great entrepreneurial instincts,” says Tim Pullman. “We provided recommendations and solutions to give them greater freedom and the confidence to explore growth opportunities.”

Some of this was achieved through changes in the business structure, advising on best business practices and developing accounting tech skills to improve efficiency.

“A key thing with this partnership is that we match their enthusiasm and energy for the business with our team’s reliability and responsiveness,” says Tim. “We’ve positively challenged their business assumptions and plans, helping them attain their potential and improve their profitability and business efficiency.”

“Oreon has helped us to grow to the next level in business,” says Dom. “Implementing applications to streamline every aspect of our accounts has been amazing and has helped us focus on what’s important, and we’ve been able fix finance issues sooner rather than later.”

Dom adds, “Oreon’s unique in the way they become involved with your business. They develop a personal relationship and understanding of what you want the business to achieve. It isn’t just about doing the paperwork – it’s about guiding the individual business owners’ M.O and helping implement it in a way that’s financially stable.”

Future of the business

Having been in business for eight years now, Dom says, “Our next big milestone will be 10 years in operation. That will come with challenges that – when met – will solidify the direction of the business.”

As they move forward, Dom says he and Nick hope to create more awareness about the origin of their products and continue the kind of consumer education that they’ve done so much of over the past eight years.

“We’re known for doing things differently and having the industry follow in our footsteps, so we’ll continue to shape that and see where it leads,” he says.

To learn more, visit Dawn Patrol Coffee’s website.