When it comes to running a café, Roger El-Awar has one simple philosophy: give the customers what they want. That maxim has served him well since opening his second Fresco-Bah on Pirie Street in September.
For many people, running a café is a chance to fulfil their passion. For the owners of KOM (King of the Mountain) Coffee in South Australia, it was also an opportunity to showcase their love of cycling. Read more
After more than a decade in hospitality, two-time Western Region Latte Art and Adelaide Breezey Masters Champion Josh Rivers thought he could offer something new to the Brighton community with his café Coffee Rules Everything Around Me (CREAM).
Taking its name from a Wu-Tang Clan song, CREAM combines Josh’s love of hip-hop music with coffee, which has helped the café make an impression since opening four years ago. Read more
For many café owners, a toned-down, rustic look is a design choice made to increase the character of their venue. But for A Mother’s Milk in South Australia, it began as a necessity.
“When the original owners set up the café, they didn’t have much of a budget for design, so it was quite raw, with exposed bricks and wooden floorboards. But the concept has become more popular and it looks amazing now,” Owner Tania Basheer says. Read more
In 2011, Oswaldo and Jose Estrella channelled their Mexican heritage and more than 20 years of hospitality experience into their first café, Sazón Espresso, in Mount Barker. In 2015, the cousins added a second venue in the Adelaide CBD to their portfolio.
“We felt there were a lot of places that really had similar concepts and that we could do something different,” Oswaldo says. Read more
When the original Devour was forced to relocate, Owner Quang Nguyen chose to adjust the venue’s focus from late night desserts to morning coffee.
Devour’s reborn menu now focuses on breakfast food with an Asian twist.
“We like to do things a bit differently. Our breakfast bao in particular has been pretty popular. We do a range of them using different ingredients like egg and bacon, panko crumbed chicken, and mushroom and halloumi,” Quang says. Read more
Despite winning the Australian Brewers Cup Championship, Third Time Lucky Co-owner Heath Dalziel has kept himself grounded.
“Adelaide has a way of humbling you I guess,” he says. “But it’s great to have people come from interstate or overseas who have made a point to check out the café.” Read more
Acacia Henley Beach Director and Co-owner Elisa Mercurio has used her café’s beachside backdrop to merge her love of sophisticated city dwellings with a relaxed beach vibe.
She opened the venue on Boxing Day 2017, and it has become the local hangout for customers to enjoy high quality coffee, food, wine, and service. Read more
Things fell into place when business partners Guiliano Vello and Christian D’Angelo wanted a fresh start opening a new café project.
First, the land and venue they wanted suddently became vacant. Then, Guiliano took advantage of his long-standing relationship with George Haralabakis at Grinders Coffee and made the decision to take the iconic roaster brand with him to his new venue, Sfizio Cucina.
“I was so impressed with Grinders’ support. It took one and a half months to convince my business partners, but once I did we haven’t looked back,” Guiliano says.
Sfizio Cucina uses Grinders’ Organic Fair Trade blend on its Rancilio Classe 9. This blend is features bright acidity, rich sweetness and medium body. The aroma consists of pungent sweet fruit. The long, smooth aftertaste features notes of fruit and chocolate.
“It really does taste great. I look for a clean tasting coffee with a nice and robust after taste,” Guiliano says.
“We want our fans to be happy and we need to keep them coming back time and time again. With this blend, our beautiful food and top-notch service, there’s no reason they shouldn’t,” Guilano says.
An extensive variety of milks are available to complement the coffee menu, including almond, soy, and coconut, as well as organic tea.
Guiliano has designed an open, warm, and inviting space for families to come and enjoy, with facilities so clean he says it’d be safe enough to eat off the floor.
But rather than do that, the head chef has prepared a breakfast and lunch menu that’s full of “family classics” Guiliano says people want to enjoy when out as a family. Sfizio Cucina use a large variety of locally-sourced produce, including fresh freerange eggs for its breakfash menu, and homestyle cakes prepared from locals in the area. Must-try items include the marinara, pizzas, and risottos. Cold press juices are also available and a perfect choice of the summer months.
“The best feeling is giving someone the pleasure of good food and good coffee. When customers give us positive feedback, it’s such a rewarding feeling,” Guiliano says.
For the past 10 years Derek Crozier has been known in the Australian coffee industry as “the video guy”, carefully capturing every angle of pour and presentation for the Australian national coffee championships, from the first competitor to the last. After years of observing baristas and hearing them speak about their passion for café work, Derek has decided to join the club and call himself a café owner.
“My dream has come true,” Derek says. “We opened up in August and the progression has been fantastic. We had a great first day, on the second we doubled what we made on the first, and on the third we doubled the second. I’ve run cafés before and helped in a consulting role, but I’ve never opened my own place until now, and I love it.”
Derek looked for the perfect site for more than a year until he settled on Adelaide’s famous Bank Street.
“This area was missing speed and quality at the same go. I want people to know we can do both,” he says. “Adelaide is running just a little behind Melbourne – we’ve only just discovered the attraction to laneways, but the coffee scene is like a food court – there’s so much choice. There’s an influx of specialty cafés and franchises are closing down. Bank Street in particular is on the rise. With more quality places popping up, it’s definitely raising the bar overall.”
Derek says with all the competition, it’s his passion for customer service that shines through. “We’re serving boutique coffee in a white collar area and keeping things simple,” he says.
One of the first things customers will notice about Bonobo Espresso is Derek’s love for apes, and hexagons. On the wall is a giant chimpanzee wearing headphones and drinking coffee.
“Michael Jackson had a chimpanzee called Bubbles, and now we’ve got our own,” Derek says.
He describes Bonobo Espresso as “simple, sleek, and clean”. Move over industrial design and exposed Scandinavian wood – Derek says it’s refreshing to brighten up a dark laneway space with stark white walls and pops of green, most notably on his La Marzocco two-group Linea Classic.
Head Barista Alex Loft is the master of the machines. He takes charge of the La Marazocco and the one-group EspressoDeck, the first to be installed in South Australia. “We’ve been running our single origins through it, such as our Costa Rican, and loving it,” Derek says.
Customers can try Kommon Ground’s Monkey Magic house blend, which combines Colombian, Brazilian, and Indian beans for a “balanced blend with almond notes”. And forget beans sitting in hoppers. If you look closely, Derek has replaced coffee beans with muesli from local supplier Goodies and Grains, available on demand for a delicious breakfast option. The refrigerator and cupboards are also stocked with tasty options, all handmade off site by Blend in Catering’s Traci Aitken. Derek recommends the handmade bagels, and the Reuben with slices of pastrami.
“We’ve only just started but I’m so excited about what we’ve achieve and what’s to come,” Derek says. “My intuition was right. As long as we continue to provide great customer service and a consistent product, the Adelaide regulars will come. In fact, they already are.”