Lobby cafés can have a reputation for being basement fillers, but not Batch 383 – it’s the foundation to adjoining businesses and the one retreat customers can rely on for a quality coffee and an escape among the concrete jungle.
Co-owners Jayden Rommeni and Mouhamad “Mo” Elbadar joined forces in October 2017 to create the office retreat and give office workers a reason to come down the elevators and take a seat at their ground-floor café.
“Generally, everyone in the building goes across the road to get a coffee, and everyone across the road comes to us. Most people want to get out of their building for a break, but we’re trying to keep them in,” Mo says.
Mo is no stranger to hospitality. For years he worked as a fruit and vegetable supplier and Jayden spent the past six years helping set up 54 Soul Origin stores in New South Wales.
Their focus now is on producing a memorable café experience for their customers. To create a point of difference, the pair have done a great job pumping out consistent coffee, and presenting Instagram-worthy food at a great price point. After all, Mo says, “everyone eats with their eyes”.
“Who we are is how we stand out,” he says. “We give extra service and form relationships with our regular customers. We have their coffee ready before they come to the counter.”
The menu is a twist on cultures – Middle Eastern and Australian influences thanks to Jayden and Mo’s heritages. An on-site baker fills the café with the fresh aroma of homemade gluten-free sourdough, while an all-day breakfast means breakfast bagels are a favourite all day long. Come lunch time and salads are a crowd favourite. Try the duck salad, crispy chicken salad, or an eye fillet steak sandwich.
Coffee is the café’s biggest seller. It serves Campos Coffee’s Superior blend and runs a rotating list of single origins on the shop’s two Sp9 Marco filters built into the counter top. Memorable favourites include beans from Peru and Tanzania, Campos’ Blade Runner Blend, and the 2017 Burundi Cup of Excellence winner.
“We’ve put a lot of attention into our coffee range because this part of town was lacking in a good coffee experience,” Mo says. “The response we’ve had has been incredible. We have customers lining up at the door before we’re even open.”
Mo says the previous café owner sold between 50 to 55 kilograms of coffee a week, and since taking over the site, Batch 383 has upped the volume to 80 kilograms per week.
“Where the café was to where it is now is a total 360-degree change,” Mo says.
“Campos has been there every step of the way. They talked us through the initial start-up process and helped us with our machines (two La Marzocco three groups, an FB0 two group, Mahlkonig EK grinder). They’ve just been amazing. We have a great relationship,” Jayden says.
Each shot is weighed and customers are encouraged to try new things, such as coffee of the month, a different single origin or a retail bag to try at home. If that’s not enticing, Batch 383’s word of the week is: coffeegasm (noun) – that little rush you feel after that first sip of good strong coffee.
To try that rush, Batch 383 is ready and waiting with open arms.
383 Kent St, Sydney,
New South Wales, 2000
Open Monday to Friday 6am to 4.30pm
(02) 9262 1717