At Commonplace Coffee Brewers in the Melbourne CBD, Owner Nicholas Ma says the customer experience comes first.
“We try to add value and give back to the community rather than only focusing on business and making a lot of money,” Nick says. “Even in our name, we wanted to create a ‘common place’ that was welcoming and grounded, not too pretentious. Read more
With two hole-in-the-wall stores in the CBD and a larger venue in the Docklands, Saluministi brings an authentic Italian experience to Melbourne. Visitors to the cafés can expect rich Italian-roasted coffee, good old-fashioned customer service, and its signature panini.
“Every single panino on our menu has a story behind it. Our salsiccia panino is based on our homemade salami recipe. Our melanzane parmigiana (eggplant) panino is my mother-in-law’s recipe,” Co-owner Peter Mastro says.
“It’s about really connecting with people, putting our story on a plate, and seeing people’s faces when they eat food they recognise. It brings back memories.”
When it came to sourcing coffee for Saluministi, Peter says Lavazza was the only option he considered.
“[Lavazza] is something I associate with myself and grew up on. I love the product, its style, what the brand represents, and the culture,” he says. “I’ve been good to them, but they’ve been amazing to me. I’m Lavazza for life.
“We try to do coffee consciously and the way we grew up with it: consistent, old-school Italian roasts.”
Saluministi prepares the Lavazza Super Gusto blend with La Marzocco espresso machines at its Docklands and Flinders Lane venues and a smaller Wega machine at its Causeway café. As well as espresso, Saluministi offers traditional stove-top caffettiera coffee, which Peter says elicits strong responses from guests.
“We’ve refined [the caffettiera] a lot, and made it more elegant. There’s some steps and procedures we’ve implemented to keep it consistent and offer a better product, but it’s essentially what we grew up with,” Peter says.
“People come in, see the caffettiera and go ‘oh my god, you do that here?’ They try it and say we’ve done it justice. It’s given the respect it deserves.”
Peter says in hospitality, though it can be hard to operate a business on your own terms, Saluministi has been true to itself since day one.
“The food we want to do, the way we want to do it, for the people we want to do it for, when we want to do it,” he says.
“There is a market for everything and there’s an opportunity for us to really own that old school coffee style. Simple, basic coffee, when done right, is all you need.”
Saluministi 892 Bourke St Docklands, Victoria, 3008 Open Monday to Saturday 7am to 3:30pm (03) 9088 2999
Chris Henry and his business partners Nev Juric and Ross Wilson each had 20 to 30 years of experience working in the hospitality industry as chefs before opening The Good Food Collective. It is through Ross’s prior café experience that the men became acquainted with the café’s roaster Mocopan Coffee.
“It’s a very easy company to deal with,” Chris says. “Mocopan provides a fresh product, roasted regularly, and great customer service.” Read more
Before even stepping inside Veneziano Coffee Roasters’ new café, those familiar with the roasting headquarters would recognise significant changes: a six-metre floor-to-ceiling window carved into the walls, and the brand’s iconic wings symbol inviting passersby to step inside the huge River Street Richmond building and explore.
From the moment you open the door, the café layout takes you on a journey. Upon entry, Veneziano’s roastery is in full view with workers operating the large Diedrich roaster. Continue walking and see the roasting and green coffee buying teams tasting new roasts in the cupping room. Look to the right, and an interactive micro-roastery delivers small batches of roasted coffee. Look overhead, and you’ll see Veneziano’s barista training studio. It’s at this point the large café space greets you straight ahead.Read more
The timber decking and pergola stretched alongside Intermezzo Café is the perfect Australian setting for the countryside café. Located in rural Wangaratta, Intermezzo Café is a flourishing business, which is well known by the locals for its coffee, food, and service.
Manager and Head Chef Dameon Holmes took over Intermezzo Café in August of 2016 and has witnessed the café bloom.Read more
Both qualified chefs, Brad and Kylie Delacey have spent decades in the hospitality game.
Joining the industry in their teenage years, it has become a lifelong passion. They opened Eating Station in May 2016 in the suburb of Ravenhall in Melbourne’s outer west. This is the couple’s fourth café in the area, and they have gained a loyal following, with many of their customers happily following them over to their latest business venture. Read more
Melbourne’s Italian pasticceria institution, Brunetti, has opened the doors to its new city store in Flinders Lane.
Brunetti closed its City Square store due to the Melbourne Metro Rail Project and has taken the opportunity to open another that celebrates a full dining experience and brings an “Italian wow factor” to the street. Read more
Grocery shoppers normally venture indoors to purchase a coffee, but Age of Sail Coffee Brewers is asking Tooronga Shopping Centre visitors to step outside the building in the pursuit of quality coffee.
Customers often tell Andrea that her café has the “quality and trendiness of an inner city café but with the friendliness of a favourite local hangout”.
“It’s exactly what we want to be,” she says. “We’re a home away from home. We want to get to know our customers and bring a modern feel to the outer suburbs.”
Located in the leafy green suburbs of Greensborough in Victoria, Urban Grooves Café Owners Emmanuel Tsesmelis and Andrea Fragiadakis have transformed their café into a local coffee destination.
With no previous café experience – Andrea in marketing and advertising, Emmanuel in fashion retail – the couple took on the challenge of operating their own business six years ago, and haven’t looked back. “We’ve really built it up to be a bustling café. We don’t have tourism or walkthroughs, so we have to rely on regulars and providing something new all the time, which means rotating menus and offerings,” Andrea says.
Urban Grooves Café offers a full breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu, with an extensive range from pizzas to seafood share plates, and steaks to smashed avocado on sourdough. The idea to keep things “fresh and relevant” has led Urban Grooves Café to start a partnership with Grinders Coffee, which Andrea says is just another step in offering customers quality coffee from one of the finest master rosters in Australia.
“We chose Grinders’ Brazil Style blend because we believe that this represents a classic coffee that our customers prefer. The smooth, well-balanced style of the Brazil blend has been really well received. It’s a medium roast with a smooth finish and fruity notes, which we love. Plus the support from Grinders has been fantastic,” she says.
“We really value a consistent product, and it’s something we value in Grinders Coffee. We guarantee a smile every time a customer walks in the door, we guarantee good food, and now we’re excited to guarantee great coffee.”
Andrea welcomes her customers with open arms and hopes they enjoy their casual, comfortable dining experience. It seems they already do. Urban Grooves were finalists in the Banyule Business Awards in August as voted by customers.
“A café is a part of a community,” Andrea says. “I see the same people every day. I get to see couples have their first date, then one day become parents. The best part is that we become part of people’s lives.”