Adam’s history in cafes and coffee roasting began in 1998 working for Maz and Kem at the pioneering cafe/restaurant, Milano’s at The junction; working as both a waiter and barista.

A move south to Melbourne in 2000 saw Adam take up a position as the head barista at leading St Kilda venue, The Coffee Machine, with owners and brothers Darren and Andrew – a relationship which continues to this day. Upon the sale of that business, Adam moved into the Crown Casino Complex to manage Cafe D’oro on behalf of the restaurateur, Adrian Alexander.

In late 2001, Adam once again joined Darren and Andrew to help establish their CBD venture, Cafe 396, a city Bodega on Lt Collins St focusing on the weekday corporate trade, managing stock, staff and accounts.

In 2003, Adam moved back to Newcastle and began roasting coffee in the Hunter Valley with husband and wife team, James and Lynn Couchman-Frame. Their operation, Bliss Coffee was an award-winning coffee roastery and espresso bar in the Hunter Valley Gardens originally established by the Roche Group.

Adam gained the basis of his green bean knowledge from James whose family owned coffee plantations in PNG and from Lynn who’s Father, Andy managed coffee farms and production facilities in India. Andy would later go on to start Campos Coffee in Camperdown before selling to current owner Will Young.

To this day, James is currently working for Will as chief procurement officer heading up the buying team at Campos and Adam and James remain in close touch sharing coffee knowledge and industry insight.

In 2006, Adam was approached by Newcastle roaster Peaberry’s to come on board as the head roaster, a role encompassing green bean acquisition, blend development and roasting volumes on a commercial level.

In 2012, Adam and Trent started working on what would eventually become ‘Darks’ and in 2014 registered the business and set up our roasting lab and warehouse which brings us up to this date.

Call Adam Hills on 0403 367 473 or send him a message.




With 20 years of hospitality experience, Trent has managed a multitude of popular venues including cafes, cocktail bars, pubs and fine dining restaurants. Beginning his hospitality career in Newcastle before then moving to Melbourne in 2001, Trent worked at Bars and Restaurants in the CBD being exposed to the Melbourne hospitality scene and furthering his career rapidly.

On his return to Newcastle Trent began working in the Hunter Valley at Cypress Lakes Resort and Harrigan’s Irish Pub where he was the Bar Manager for 3 years until moving to Vancouver, Canada. In Vancouver Trent took on the position of Manager at Caffe Sette, a specialty coffee venue during the day and cocktail bar during the evening which he ran successfully for the 1 year he spent living in Vancouver.

On returning to Newcastle once again, Trent helped to open and took on the Manager role at Bacchus, a fine dining Restaurant awarded a Chefs Hat by the Good Food Guide and under Trent’s direction as Sommelier was also awarded 2 Wine Glasses in the Wine List of The Year Awards.

After many years at Bacchus he moved over to The Landing Bar and Kitchen in the Honeysuckle precinct taking on the Beverage Manager role and working for the well-known Margan family of Margan Wines in the Hunter Valley

In early 2014 after deciding to get back into the Coffee Industry Trent teamed up with long-time friend Adam Hills to create Darks Coffee Roasters. In a little over 2 years Darks has grown to incorporate 2 café sites and a roasting warehouse selling wholesale coffee beans to a large number of local cafes and restaurants.

Call Trent Alder on 0422 210 535 or send him a message.




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