As Joseph Nohra’s third café, there is nothing conventional about Coffee Trad3rs, the impressive business he’s set up in Ryde, New South Wales.
From the wee hours of the morning at 630am, the café is pumping with coffee-loving customers, some of whom stop by a few times a day. The business stays busy with an impressive food offering, as well as a retail operation where customers can pick up Monin syrups, sauces, chai teas and accessories.
Joseph’s workday doesn’t end there. As the sun sets, Coffee Trad3rs turns into an evening wine bar, thanks to its liquor license, friendly atmosphere, and 11pm closing time.
“I always thought there was a market for a café that stayed open late, and I hadn’t really seen it before,” says Joseph about first opening up the operation. “I’ve seen good cafés, and I’ve seen good wine bars, but I’ve never seen them together.”
The result has attracted a mature age customer, with their youngest patrons starting at around 22 years old. They’ve adjusted their offerings as such, including a popular weekend high tea.
Whatever the age of their customers, Joseph says loyalty seems to be a common thread, with many regulars coming in several times a day to a place they feel comfortable.
“We try to create a home away from home, we like to be a central gathering point for the community,” says Joseph. Coffee Trad3rs supports the local school and community groups, and the café is a popular gathering spot around local events.
Coffee Trad3rs has a dedicated shop roaster that provides coffee for the operation.
With a history of self-employment, Joseph has long enjoyed the lifestyle of being his own boss. His coffee experience stems back an impressive three generations.
His grandfather was a fruit and vegetable trader, who dealt a little in coffee in Lebanon. His father took up a similar trade, although with an increased interest in coffee.
Joseph now works with local green bean traders in Sydney, sourcing anywhere from 50 – 150 kilograms a week of green beans for his one-site operation.
To complement the great coffee, Joseph has attracted a strong following of customers thanks to the café’s variety of Monin syrup offerings. The café regularly serves special flavoured coffee, in what Joseph says is an important part of the business.
With the bar operation at night, Joseph says he was likely more adventurous than most when it came to flavouring their coffee. Customers can either choose their own flavours from the wide variety on offer, or go with the latest Coffee Trad3rs creation. The almond latte is currently a crowd favourite.
While almond might also be his own personal syrup of choice, he says the classic caramel latte is probably the most popular flavour, followed closely by hazelnut.
As flavoured coffees have only slowly made their way into the Australian market, compared to the United States and elsewhere, Joseph says their offering has given them a big advantage in attracting repeat business.
“We have a wide range of syrups available, and when customers come in, that’s what they’re looking for, because they know they can’t find those flavours elsewhere,” he says. “Having that specialty flavour really helps new customers come on board.”
Joseph says that selling all the syrups in their retail operation has helped bring in an additional stream of income.