Armidale was saddened and surprised to learn that popular barista and businessman Michael John Morley passed away last month on Sunday May 23.
He was just 39 years old.
Michael was the chief barista and owner of Westside Espresso, the busy morning coffee sport for tradies, university types, and all people wanting an excellent coffee before tackling the day.
Michael was born in Armidale in 1981 and educated at Armidale High School.
He took to business early working variously at Knight's Store and Filling Groovy, before moving to promote his career as a district manager at Subway Northern NSW for 8 years.
Michael returned to Armidale to briefly manage Hungry Jacks, then made a huge positive impression on travellers at Pembroke Tourist Park before venturing into the Westside Espresso business.
At that time the Girraween location had a reputation as ' the graveyard for good business ideas'.
Michael was undaunted, and with the assistance of a caring landlord set out to prove the reputation wrong.
Michael had just celebrated 9 successful years at Westside Espresso.
Michael always had a cheerful, welcoming, smile and caring demeanor and told silly jokes that made him many firm friends.
At weekends the cyclist peloton, walking groups and cross country motorcycle enthusiasts would recover or charge up at Westside, while many family groups enjoyed his breakfast spreads.
Michael dreamed of establishing a chain of coffee outlets that he could manage from Burleigh Heads with many supervisory visits in a high-performance car.
Then there was an underlying passion for a VW Kombi van to tap the events market. he always lived life to the full as if every day was his last.
Michael is survived by his parents Fred and Elizabeth, and brother Chris.
We lost one of our best characters and successful businessmen to young.
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