WORD of mouth was behind Bake, Table & Tea being voted as serving the best cup of coffee in Bathurst, owner Mel Kelly says.
Western Advocate readers nominated 36 cafes for serving up the best coffee in the city, and a huge 4942 votes were received in the online poll that put the venues up against each other.
In the end, Bake, Table & Tea was crowned the winner by Advocate readers with 1475 (29.85 per cent) of the votes.
Some people on social media claimed that one cafe had “bought” votes by offering free coffee in exchange for a ‘like’ on Facebook, while others said cafes were using automated voting systems to gain votes, but the first and second place cafes said they relied on old-fashioned customer loyalty.
“We sent it [the poll] out through Facebook and messenger and we had posters up in the shop,” Ms Kelly said.
“I was excited to see my staff involved and they were excited and the ones driving it.”
Bake, Table & Tea serves up Will & Co coffee in fine bone China to customers dining in store, as well as accommodating a busy trade of takeaway coffees.
“It’s actually quite a smooth blend and it’s quite unique compared to a traditional Italian roast,” Ms Kelly said.
It’s actually quite a smooth blend and it’s quite unique compared to a traditional Italian roast.Bake, Table & Tea owner Mel Kelly
“There wasn’t anything in Bathurst quite like Will & Co. A lot of people love it because of the smoothness.”
Coming in second place was Gloria Jean’s Coffees Bathurst with 1212 (24.52 per cent) of votes.
Owner Andrew Camilleri said he did not use any automated voting system and said the cafe’s success was due to customers who shared the poll far and wide on social media.
“I wrote up a post and said ‘please click on the link and vote for us’,” he said.
“A lot of my customers just shared it; it got shared 30 times. We think it went viral.
“In nine years [of owning the store] we’ve had a lot of people come through the doors.”
Fairfax Media digital specialist Ben Palmer said the poll highlighted the power of social media.
“All it takes is one person to share a post and it begins a chain reaction that can spread around the country,” he said.
“Social media allows people who are passionate about something to share that with others and the amount of votes the winner had shows how passionate its customers are.”