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Luli Farrell

Luli Farrell (seated in white in middle) and her ABI Bathrooms & Interiors team

2020 was an interesting year… a lot of time was spent at home and there was no better time to freshen up your surrounds and it seems a lot of Australians had this same idea. One Gold Coast company that saw a huge surge in the home improvement space was ABI Bathrooms and Interiors. As one of the fastest growing bathroom suppliers, ABI’s aim is to bring Australia’s best prices on luxury tapware and bathroom products to you. We sat down with Co-Founder and Designer Luli Farrell on how ABI’s crazy year of growth and what’s in the works for this dynamic local company.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
Since forever! I’m GC born and bred.

What do you love most about living here?
I love all the amazing beaches and swimming spots there are. I also love the trendy cafes and restaurants that seem to be popping up everywhere. The Gold Coast has grown so much in the last few years, it’s an exciting time!

Tell us about your business ABI.
ABI is a family-owned business that was created with the mission to create high quality and beautiful bathroom and interior products that are accessible and affordable for everyone. We started out in the matte black tapware space, before introducing our rose gold finish, which was the real game changer for ABI. Since then, we have since grown our range to include seven different finishes in a wide range of products, including everything from mirrors to vanities and even baths. We have also begun expanding internationally into New Zealand and the UK which has been so exciting.

ABI Interiors & Bathrooms (image supplied)

Tell us about your career thus far.
ABI was just starting out as I was just graduating from my Bachelor of Architecture. Being a family business, I got involved and it just so happened that I found a new love for product design. During the early days of ABI, I did everything from running the showroom to packing orders, designing new products, marketing and so much more. Although it felt like so much pressure at the time, I learned so much about running a business that I am so grateful for. Since then, I’ve been incredibly lucky to work with so many talented people like Shelley Craft. My team and I have also designed so many new products and we’ve built out our new office space (that we are already outgrowing). I now help manage a talented team of over 100 amazing people. It’s been a crazy ride!

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I can find inspiration anywhere, especially when I’m not necessarily looking for it. Sometimes my inspiration comes from seeing a gap in the market or sometimes it’s finding a way to transform an everyday item into something beautiful. Other times it can be as simple as the shape of an earring I see. Customer and staff feedback also play a big part in shaping our product range.

Tell us about your new showroom.
Our new showroom was a huge project, but we are so proud of the result. Our main goal was to create a welcoming place where people can explore our range and feel inspired to create their dream space. We wanted people to feel completely at ease and confident during their ABI experience, that’s why we put so much thought into the space, from the working product displays to the smallest features and details.

What’s your proudest business moment?
I think the proudest moment for me would have to be at the end of last year, when I finally had the chance to stop and reflect on just how much we had accomplished since we started out! It’s amazing to think that this time last year we were less than half the size we are now. Also, the day we hit 100,000 followers on Instagram felt pretty surreal.

ABI Interiors & Bathrooms (image supplied)

What else is in the works for ABI for 2021?
We have so many exciting things planned for 2021. ABI will be opening a showroom and launching online in the UK early this year. We also have so many new products in the works. We have a few other big announcements that we can’t reveal just yet – watch this space!

Any advice for someone wanting to start a business on the Gold Coast?
I’d have to say don’t let fear hold you back. If you want something badly enough you will find a way to make it work. I love the quote ‘one hour of doing is better than 10 hours of thinking’. You can’t plan for everything that might happen, you just need to go for it and learn from your mistakes.

Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Café for breakfast: Refinery Coffee in Currumbin
Coffee spot: Weekdays: Next Door Espresso, our local in Burleigh and Weekends: Rafiki in Mermaid Beach
Restaurant for dinner: Definitely Eddy & Wolff
Bar or pub for a drink: A wine at home with family over a bar any day
How does your weekend usually look? It normally starts with a long walk on the beach before stopping for coffee & an açai bowl. Then I usually head over to spend time with my family and friends. It’s definitely my favourite way to spend my downtime.

ABI Interiors & Bathrooms (image supplied)

Ryan Manthey, Mint Designer Kitchens

Ryan Manthey is the Gold Coast local tradie turned business owner of Mint Designer Kitchens. From kitchen renos to multi-million dollar homes (we’ve heard there’s been remote-controlled drop down bars and showstopping back-lit marble counters), Mint has been specialising in making client’s dreams a reality since 2009. Operating out of a purpose-built, fully-equipped showroom in Southport, clients can be inspired by the full range on display. The recent increase of people spending more time at home has led to Gold Coasters reassessing their living situation and turning their home into a sanctuary, leading to a very busy time for Mint. We sat down recently with Ryan to talk about the company’s success and why Mint is leading the field in custom designer kitchens and bathrooms.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
As long as I can remember. I was born in Mackay and moved to the Gold Coast when I was two. My family lived in the same house on Hillview Parade at Ashmore until I was in my 20’s and since then I’ve bounced around the GC and am now living in Surfers Paradise.

What do you love most about living here?
I love everything about the Gold Coast – the laid back atmosphere, the people, my crew of friends and most of my family are here. On the weekends, when I get any free time, I go boating on the Broadwater or jet skiing with my friends. I love that at the end of a hard day at work I can walk to the beach, put my feet in the sand and the ocean and chill out.

Tell us about your career thus far.
After I left grade 12 at Trinity Lutheran Collage, I did an apprenticeship with a shopfitting company. Following this, I worked at large commercial joinery manufacturer. I started to think about starting my own business and in 2009 Mint Designer Kitchens was born. Mint started out with just me on the tools and has grown to one of the Gold Coast’s largest bespoke kitchen and joinery businesses with a large showroom and factory in Southport.

Tell us about Mint Designer Kitchens.
Mint Designer Kitchens is a leading Gold Coast designer, builder and installer of custom made, high end kitchens, bathrooms, bars and laundries on the Gold Coast and Brisbane. We started out in 2009 as a small business and in the following eleven years, have grown both our factory and our staff to enable us to deliver many different projects per week. Our designer kitchens range from renovations to transforming our client’s homes to new builds and rolling out multiple kitchens, bathrooms and laundries per week for our builder/developer clients.

What sort of projects do you work on?
As we are a large business with salespeople working in multiple verticals, we always have a wide range of projects on the go ranging from multi-million dollar builds to large scale builders and commercial joinery. We are known for our unique and complex designs, often building solutions that other cabinet makers won’t even attempt.

What is the process of creating a kitchen/bathroom from concept to reality?
Firstly, one of our experienced kitchen designers meets with the client to help them visualise and realise the design that would best suit the aesthetic of their house within their budget. As this is what we do all day everyday, we are able to guide them as to the best concepts that will maximise their end product from both a design and functionality perspective. We draw each project up and produce a full 3D render so they can see exactly what it will look like. Once that is signed off, one of our drafters will complete the functional design and embed the drawing to our machinery using the latest technology ensuring our joinery is absolutely accurate. Once the board and stone has been cut, our installers install the finished project ensuring the client is 100% delighted before completion.

What are some of the items that I can save on in the renovation of a bathroom or kitchen? And what should you never do on the cheap?
It all comes back to design and materials. There are many ways to design a functional amazing space to a budget. We could use some standard range materials and highlight some features is a good way .

What does Mint do differently? 
Mint custom makes our clients’ projects meaning that the end product is specifically suited to their environment and style. We believe in using quality products and not cutting corners with cheap materials that save money up front but will cost more in the longer term. We only employ the best of the best, both in our showroom and on the shop floor, so whatever stage of the process, you will be dealing with people who know what they are talking about. Our designers are up-to-date with the latest designs and technologies, so we are able to offer innovative solutions that the client may not be aware exist. We also take pride in letting nothing beat us, so you if you look at our Instagram or in our showroom, you will see projects that other cabinet makers are not able to build (such as our unique drop down bars).

What can a customer expect when working with Mint?
We will not finish a job until the client is 100% delighted with their final product. Most of our work comes from referrals which tells us that our customers are very happy with our process and proud of their new kitchen.

Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Restaurant for dinner: Edgewater Dining & Lounge
Bar or pub for a drink: Northcliffe Surf Club
Café for breakfast: Koi Dining & Lounge Bar
How does your weekend usually look: Most weekends I work Saturdays and the rest of the weekend I spend as much time as possible with my beautiful one year old daughter Vivi.

20 reasons locals love Burleigh Heads

Oh Burleigh you little beauty, what’s not to love right? Since the dawn of time (or the dawn of the GC at least) Burleigh has been one of the most-loved suburbs amongst a slew of strong contenders.

Sure, the beach is beautiful and James Street boasts all the best eats and acai bowls galore but it’s more than that, Burleigh has a soul of its own born of cruisy, barefoot, salty seabreeze vibes you simply won’t find anywhere else.

Gushing aside, here are 20 solid reasons why the locals love it and you should too (or else). And yes, we understand there are many more, hold your horses for list 2.0.

Restaurant Labart
The fine dining venue is only a couple of years old, but in that time has become one of the Gold Coast’s premier dining destinations. Tucked away on West Street, the five-star, seasonal produce-led restaurant is an absolute must-visit and your dining experience there is one you won’t long forget. The produce is sustainable and the wine list is filled with some of the most stunning natural wines in the world. The service is impeccable too, but in a fun, not-too-formal way. We LOVE.
Where: 2A/8 West Street, Burleigh Heads 

Rosella’s 
It’s the good time, slightly fancy Australiana bar of your dreams and it is perfectly at home in Burleigh Heads. Rosella’s very quickly became a firm local favourite when it opened last year and with both a drinks and food menu made up entirely of Australian produce, we are in love. There are cocktails made with Nutri Grain, some of the tastiest toasties around and all the very best Aussie beers. It’s refined, beautifully decked out and created by a couple of absolute legends. Love.
Where: 6/1734 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Mr Hizola’s
Yum, contemporary Cantonese food, we love you. Mr Hizola’s is dishing up the goods in the form of tasty share-style dishes and we are here for it. Particularly the sizzling steak dish that is all kinds of delicious and an array of epic cocktails to match. Mr Hizola’s is by the gang who brought you Hideaway Kitchen and Bar, Nightjar (see below), Bine, Soho Place and Nightcap, so it’s fair to say they know what’s up.
Where: 1730 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Hill
Well hasn’t this simple little piece of Mother Nature become a local legend. No matter the day of the week (but particularly Sunday arvos) “the hill” as it’s affectionately known is packed with picnic rugs, ball games and groups of revelers basking in the sunshine. Looking out over the ocean and with the city in the distance, it’s the perfect spot for a late afternoon lemonade or early morning coffee date with the crew. If you’re feeling energetic, take a stroll around the hill to Talle Creek for some Insta-worthy scenery.
Where: The south end of The Esplanade, Burleigh Heads

Nightjar
It’s the good old-fashioned party bar Burleigh has welcomed with open arms and there’s absolutely no doubt that all the best things go down behind Nightjar’s spray painted roller door. Inspired by wanderluster Sailor Jerry and with very few rules, the back alley bar is home to epic live jams, crazy cocktails and guaranteed good times.
Where: Justin Lane, Burleigh Heads 

Iku Yakitori Bar
Yakitori translates to chicken on a stick, simple enough to describe, but much more intricate in nature. As for Iku, ask the crew when you stop in. Also found in Burleigh’s bustling back alley, Iku is even better than you’d imagine it to be. Skewers are the name of the game and no part of the chicken is left behind. There’s also veggo ones and some ridiculous edamame dip and plenty of tasty cocktails too.
Where: Justin Lane, Burleigh Heads 

Jimmy Wahs
The stunning space offers incredible Vietnamese dishes inspired by Head Chef Jakes’ trip through Vietnam and a desire to eat some of the very best street food in the world every single day. Same. It’s a refined style of dining paired with mouthwatering cocktails and a sleek, paired back vibe. Jimmy Wahs is one of the Gold Coast’s most impressive eateries and we are big fans.
Where: 1724 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Sean Scott Boutique
Gold Coast local Sean Scott is a world-renowned surf and nature photographer and his gallery on James Street is filled with his stunning images and the coolest of clothing and accessories. The gallery has been open for five years and is the perfect spot to stop in for some creative inspo or grab yourself a piece of Sean’s incredible art. Read our interview with the man himself here.
Where: 21 James Street, Burleigh Heads

Rick Shores
Literally opening out onto the sand at Burleigh beach, Rick Shores is loved (not only locally) for its stunning sunset views and those tiny little taste sensations otherwise known as Bug Rolls. If you’ve never tasted one, you’ve been wasting your life, make a booking RIGHT NOW and order them all. Wash them down with one of Rick’s signature cocktails and you’re a bonafide Burleigh-ite.
Where: Shop 3, Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Bowls Club
A relaxing little beachside club loved by young and old alike, Burleigh Bowls has been around since 1937 and is certainly a prime piece of real estate these days. Barefoot Bowls roll on from 12 to 5pm every Sunday and it’s a measly $5 per person including coaching and bowls (AKA ball whipper snappers). Live music can be heard on Sunday arvos from 2 to 6pm. Get down and support your local while sipping on a schooner.
Where: Connor Street, Burleigh Heads

The Village Markets
Our beloved boutique fashion and lifestyle market, The Village Markets, is home to hundreds of local makers and has helped to launch the international careers of countless creatives. Head down for an early morning coffee and breakfast while wandering through the stalls until it’s time for lunch. Oh and there’s always live music if you need a breather. It’s the best way to spend a sunny Sunday
Where: Burleigh Heads State School, Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Baker
The baked goods that come out of this friendly little bakery are honestly something else. Owners Geoff and Lisa are passionate about baking and opened Burleigh Baker to provide us with the best tasting and most nutritious Artisan Sourdough and boy do they deliver. They use only the finest ingredients and the traditional process of fermentation. Do not buy bread anywhere else. You’re welcome.
Where: 13/50 James Street, Burleigh Heads

Freedom Float Centre
Floating in an enclosed tank of water may not seem like the most freedom-inducing activity in the world but trust us, it is. It’s the perfect place to experience the deepest of relaxation for the mind and body and literally involves floating weightlessly in a concentrated salt solution in a specially designed lightproof and soundproof pod. You’ll be shut off from the entire world. Sign us up!
Where: 105 West Burleigh Road, Burleigh Heads

Justin Lane Rooftop
Don your finest frock and rally up your girlfriends for a Sunday session and a spot of people watching on the roof at Justin Lane. With cocktails in hand and a balmy breeze blowing in through the windows, you need never go anywhere else again. After a few hours, pop downstairs for one of Justin’s famous pizzas and that’s your Sunday sorted.
Where: 1708 – 1710 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Pavilion
Absolute beachfront views and balmy ocean breezes aside, Burleigh Pavilion is a real treat. The interior is all pastel hues with greenery dotted throughout, two distinct sides including a sit down restaurant (The Tropic) and a more casual beach bar-style situation (The Terrace) for the best of both worlds. There are tasty eats on both sides and many a refreshing cocktail. Not to mention their new baked goods-filled van. Get involved in all of that.
Where: Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Pavilion (image supplied)
Burleigh Pavilion (image supplied)

Ze Pickle
The OG of giant, gourmet burgers, Ze Pickle’s Burleigh Heads store is all the best burgery things. Opened by friends Joey, Nathan and Aaron in 2012, the concept has spread around Australia and is now loved nationwide. Paired by your favourite local craft beer or a tipple of primo tequila and you’ve got yourself a good time.
Where: Corner Park Avenue and Connor Street, Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Farmers Markets
Everyone’s favourite Saturday morning market adventure. Get up early, grab your basket and set out in search of fruit, veggies and of course, your first coffee of the weekend. These days the farmers market also boast locally made clothing and homewares, flowers, meat and seafood and delicious breaky and lunch options. There’s also live music and plenty of laughter floating around. Happy days.
Where: Burleigh Heads State School, Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

David Fleays Wildlife Park
Nestled in the heart of Burleigh Heads, David Fleay’s is a wildlife park with a difference. Stroll through the tranquil surroundings to experience some of Queensland’s most iconic natural habitats and meet the resident wildlife — all in just one day. Explore the park solo or join the dedicated Park Rangers at the daily wildlife shows.
Where: Corner of West Burleigh Road and Loman Lane in West Burleigh

Burleigh Brewing Co.
If there’s one thing Burleigh deserves (the big legend), it’s a brewery and Burleigh Brewing Co. certainly delivers. After opening in 2006, Burleigh Brewing Co. has produced nine delicious drops with delightful names such as ‘My Wife’s Bitter’ and ‘FIGJAM’ – perfectly Burleigh. Get a sixer for Netflix and chill or head into the brewery from Wednesday to Sunday afternoons to get amongst it. There’s live tunes too, what a combination.
Where: 2 Ern Harley Drive, Burleigh Heads

Lockwood Bar
A somewhat hidden little speakeasy in the heart of Burleigh Heads, Lockwood Bar specialise in all of the very best varieties of whiskey along with many a local tipple transformed into tasty cocktails. It’s a laidback, jazz bar kind of vibe, low lit, often with live music and once you’re inside, you likely won’t want to leave. We dig it.
Where: Justin Lane, Burleigh Heads

Words by Kirra Smith

12 places for coffee in Burleigh

Cold Brew, BunLee Bun & Brew (image supplied)
Cold Brew, BunLee Bun & Brew (image supplied)

Imagine a life without caffeine. Horrible, right? How would one get through the day? Unthinkable. Let’s all take a moment to be grateful for caffeine.

Luckily, we locals need never think about a lack of caffeine ever in our lives because the Gold Coast has abundant options for exceptional brews.

One such neighbourhood forever capturing the imagination of coffee drinkers and lunch-goers is Burleigh. Be it a quick coffee catch-up or a grazing-style brunch with special people: you’re covered. Here’s a list of the twelve best spots to get your caffeine fix when you find yourself in one of the city’s favourite suburbs.

Bunlee Bun & Brew
Between munching down some epic rice paper rolls or a stacked-looking banh mi, we suggest you take a try of their cold drip coffee on tap here at BunLee. If you’ve ever had iced Vietnamese coffee — or cà phê đá, as it’s known — you’ll know how tasty it can be. It’s up to you what milk to splash into it, or if you prefer, just take it black: perfect for when you need to put that pep into your step.
Where: 2/26 James Street, Burleigh Heads

Dover's Drop (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Dover's Drop (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

Dover’s Drop
Take an award-winning local barista, throw in some fantastic coffee from carbon-neutral roasters Locale Espresso, and place it conveniently just off Reedy Creek Road and you’re looking at the exact blueprint of Dover’s Drop, a prime industrial district coffee location in Burleigh. The perfect place to pull a pit stop when you’re going about your day, but be careful: their loungey outdoor space with beanbags may keep you longer than planned, not to mention their Sourdough Crumpets!
Where: 9 Dover Drive, Burleigh Heads

Magnolia Lane
A newbie to the bustling beachside locale of Burleigh, Magnolia Lane is sandwiched between the beach and the GC Highway, meaning whether you’re zipping about town or lounging beachside, these guys have you well and truly covered for your caffeine needs. The unwavering attention taken to dialling in their machine and weighing each and every shot of coffee shows right through from your first to last sip.
Where: 6/1863 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Crew
Aptly positioned in the heart of Burleigh Heads, this is the early morning post-workout/dip in the ocean hangout spot of the ages. Crew showcases Sunshine Coast Tim Adams specialty coffee with exceptional barista skills and a cheat meal-inducing menu you cannot say no to. Hinge all of this on one hell of a people-watching location, and you have a mighty fine place to slurp your morning cup of motivation.
Where: 3 Connor Street, Burleigh Heads

All Press Coffee, Sparrow Coffee Co. (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
All Press Coffee, Sparrow Coffee Co. (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

Sparrow Coffee Co.
Laidback and easy-going Sparrow offers you a prime opportunity to get yourself a quality coffee on the go with little fuss. With another three locations across the country and their roastery of choice being Allpress, you’re guaranteed a quality cuppa every time. It’s also the perfect spot to fuel up before a workout if you go to nearby Elevation Fitness or Jetts!
Where: 2/151 West Burleigh Road, Burleigh Heads

Tarte
Where do you even begin with a place that literally falls over itself with excellent house-made food, great-tasting coffee, and a great location to watch life go by. Chloe Watt‘s creation Tarte is one of the finest cafes on our coastline: period. Give yourself some slack and indulge in any one of their off-the-charts pastries/baked goods with a perfectly poured cup of coffee as dappled light from overhead trees sprays across the pavement of Burleigh Heads — our idea of bliss.
Where: 2 West Street, Burleigh Heads

Next Door Espresso
Touted as not your average coffee shop, this aesthetically pleasing venue is awash with white and is nearly always an afternoon suntrap that, to us, screams brunch with close friends. Northern Rivers’ Moonshine Roastery are the foundation of an always great-tasting coffee served in the cutest looking handmade clay cups. Be sure to bring your credit card, as adjacent homewares store St Barts is always worth a look in also!
Where: 24 Junction Road, Burleigh Heads

Next Door Espresso Burleigh (Image: © 2019 Inside Gold Coast)
Next Door Espresso Burleigh (Image: © 2019 Inside Gold Coast)

Commune Espresso
A kickstarter in the Burleigh coffee scene, Commune Espresso has been around for as long as we can remember, and in this chasm of lost time, they’ve been serving up some of the tastiest brews around. The space itself is epic, complete with lots of outdoor relaxing areas and a ping pong table to use up that caffeine-induced energy. They also make their own almond milk; that’s how dedicated they are to delicious coffee.
Where: 1844 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Canteen Coffee & Kitchen
A firm favourite in the coffee game, Canteen has been lauded as one of Australia’s premier espresso bars. They brew their own blends, sourcing in-season beans and roasting fresh daily on demand. They offer a Signature Espresso Blend with notes of chocolate, berries, toffee and spice and Single Origins, which change weekly. They certainly know their stuff, highly recommended.
Where: 23 Park Avenue, Burleigh Heads

Nook Espresso
So good they’ve got two locations in Burleigh; Nook offers little spaces with a big passion for coffee. They’ve been slinging tasty brews since 2008, and for this, the local community loves them! Nook offers a smooth cuppa that’s consistently delicious, and the crew are stoked and always smiling to be involved in your morning coffee routine. Plus, if you head to their beachside location, you can sip away whilst overlooking world-famous surf.
Where: Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads and Stocklands Burleigh Heads

Nook Espresso, Burleigh (Image supplied)
Nook Espresso, Burleigh (Image supplied)

Quest Coffee Roasters
The smell wafting out of Quest alone should draw you in and, once you’re in, you may never want to leave. The space is half micro-roastery, half sitting-down-to-enjoy-your-coffee space, and it’s an absolute must-visit if you’re a lover of excellent brews. They roast premium Arabica beans on James Street, and if you’re in the market, you can purchase their green and roasted beans or a blend. Make sure you have a chat with the team; they love to discuss all things coffee.
Where: 20 James Street, Burleigh Heads

Seadog
The original Seadog emerged on the local coffee scene with a bang and is an actual hole in the wall, which was once an ATM. Stop by and let affable owner Brodie Green and his gang serve you up their very own roasts; one going by the name Sunrise Blend – with tasting notes of Milo! When they’re not actively supporting charities with free coffee giveaways, you’ll find them at their second venue beside Burleigh Bowls Club, eternally bathed in sunshine and salt air. Two great locations for coffee in Burleigh!
Where: 50 James St, Burleigh Heads or Burleigh Bowls Club — entrance via Memorial Park

Words by Alex Mitchenson.

Seadog in the Park (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Seadog in the Park (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
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