Expat. Roasters and the family behind this successful coffee business in Bali
Profile: Shae, Jess and children Lennox (7), Hartley (3) and baby Valentina (1).
Originally from: Sydney, Australia
Arrived in Bali: We first moved to Bali full-time when our oldest son was 18 months old in 2016. Then we went back to Sydney early March 2020 for family events and found out Jess was pregnant with Valentina and we ended up staying in Sydney again for 16 months until we could get the right visa and return to Bali in 2021.
What made you decide to MOVE TO Bali?
We moved to Bali purely for work and when I was doing some consulting, I saw a gap in the market for a wholesale coffee roasting business. It would be a business that could do cafes, wholesale, training and education (ak.a Expat. Roasters). I thought we were young and adaptable, so let’s give it a shot and see how it goes. Now there is definitely a lot of good coffee in Bali and good barristers as well.
Where is home in Bali and why did you decide to live there?
When we first arrived in Bali, we stayed with a friend for a month in the Umalas (closer to the Kerobokan side) and really loved the area. Ended up moving to Bumbak. We also lived in Ubud for a few months to open up a restaurant there. We have also stayed in Kerobokan for 18 months, but we do love the Umalas because you are still close to Canggu, Seminyak and you can access the airport easy enough.
You have a very successful coffee wholesale business, expat. roasters. Any tips on setting up a business in Bali?
Setting up a business in Bali can be hard. If you have to set up a foreign-owned company, there are different implications for the business, different laws and taxes and things you are always trying to keep up to date with. If you are like me and you are setting up an Indonesian company, Indonesia focused, which will sell to Indonesians (that is brick and mortar as well as online in Indonesia) , then to do it properly there are definitely a lot of challenges but if you have the right people around and get the right advice things can happen. It is not impossible, that’s for sure. If you have a small business, you could set up an off-shore business and get a visa for that so there is easier ways to do it.
You have three beautiful children! where do they go to school? And why did you choose that school?
When we first arrived in Bali, Lennox started childcare around 18 months and originally went to the Sunrise school and then when we came back after COVID, Lennox goes to ProEducation in the Umalas and Hartley goes to Little Trees in Kerobokan.
We sent Lennox to ProEducation in the Umalas because they were doing face to face teaching when we came back to Bali and they had a similar curriculum to what we were used to. It is a super easy commute to school with us either on the bike or car. It is also nice that ProEducation have a high school so all our children can eventually go through the whole way.
What is it like raising children in Bali? Do you find it safe in regards to medical care for your family?
It is one of the biggest challenges when you come from Australia where there is such a good medical system. There is a fear with what happens if kids get sick but there is a good Balinese hospital system and good chance that it will all be OK. However there are stories that you hear that it hasn’t always been the case. There are still good doctors here for the everyday sort of thing.
what do you like to do as family?
You have to be more planned here because Bali doesn’t have parks like we have back home. However, there is plenty of things to do and at a reasonable price like waterparks, surf lessons, sporting events, beaches and lots of active activities. Plus right now it is a great time for family weekends away, they are super accessible and affordable. Like the other weekend, we were in Kintamani in a homestay, rugged up a bit, toasting marshmallows amongst the mountains. Then before that, we are at a super kid-friendly resort where we can ride bikes, go to the beach, and enjoy kids clubs. I love that our kids are exposed to such a mix of religions, all the different public holidays and the associated cultural celebrations.
What is the worst living about living in bali?
The single hardest thing is the distance between family and friends. Using Facetime to see the grandparents is not great.
What advice do you have for other families making the move to Bali?
Bali can be anything you wish it to be. Have an open mind with what your expecting from Bali – there is something for everyone. You can have any experience you want, so if you want the super luxury lifestyle with everything – ie. eat at top restaurants, stay in an amazing villa, abundance of staff. You can come here looking for outdoors and surf, hike mountains etc Then you can get budget accomodation and eat budget food. Then you can come here for the creative space that there is for entrepreneurs and the co-working spaces where you can meet people from all around the world and network with. You can do all of it in one day too – have the beach, then be cold in the mountains the next, eat street food and then high end food the same day! Stay open and enjoy all that Bali has to offer!
Is there anything else you would like to share that I haven’t asked?
I think it is nice to see other parts of Indonesia as well as it is an amazing country.
Please understand that is still a developing nation and with that there is poverty. However, there is so many ways to give back and make a real difference. For example if you want to make a difference in someones life in Australia it is hard, it takes money and time, but here in Bali, you can make a difference in someones life everyday if you like. There isn’t the healthcare and government support that you can get in other countries around the world. For example, if you gave a Balinese person $5, they could feed themselves for a couple of days. I guess if you also get house help (dont have to cook, clean, wash etc), you end up having more free time to do things to make a difference. The sustainability movement in Bali is also amazing, they are really trying to make difference in so many ways. You can come to Bali and make an impact.
Expat. Roasters is a specialty coffee producer driven by desire to produce an exceptional, unpretentious brew, from the ground up.
As residents of “the island”, Expat. Roasters works closely and respectfully with Balinese farmers and producers to source finest local product to compliment their nomadic collections of beans around the globe.
If you live in Bali and would like to join our interview collection please feel free to reach out to me anytime.
Do you want to live in Bali?
Our Year in Bali is a worldwide consulting service, so no matter where you are in the world, we would love to hear from you. If you are keen to move to Bali and want to know more about the cost of living and how to live your best expat life, read about our consulting offers and book a free 30 minute initial call.