The Grumpy Barista resides in the close-knit Sydney suburb of Alexandria – and there’s only smiles on the faces of its Owners Carlo Ianni and Carmelo Tripodi, who say providing friendly and personalised customer service to this diverse community is essential.
“Whenever you come to Grumpy’s, you find either Carlo or myself here, so there’s a bit more of a personal connection. A lot of the customers that we met here are now our friends,” Carmelo says.
Carlo adds that the customer base is diverse, from all walks of life. “We get all kinds of people from young people to business-people, to older retirees,” he says.
Integral to this culture of relationship-building and community at the café is the life-long story of friendship between Carlo and Carmelo, whose families migrated from Italy together. Together, they share more than 20 years co-working in various hospitality settings. “The café feels like home,” Carlo says.
Against a colourful, summery backdrop of soft pink walls and custom Terrazzo detailing, Carlo says The Grumpy Barista offers “smooth and tasty coffee” using Paradox Roaster’s Penny Lane blend via a La Marzocco machine.
“Penny Lane has flavour notes of salted caramel, dark chocolate and cinnamon, which we chose because it works really well with milk, but it is also quite tasty as a black,” Carmelo says.
Further elaborating on their choice to use Paradox coffee, Carmelo says “we couldn’t speak highly enough” of Paradox’s national sales manager, Nicholas Naso. “We know that we’re always getting excellent service and excellent coffee.”
One of The Grumpy Barista’s most popular menu items, The Will Walker, speaks volumes about the culture Carlo and Carmelo have nurtured in their café. “It’s a fried chicken wrap with red cheddar, avocado, rocket and spicy mayo,” Carmelo says, explaining that the wrap was invented by regular customer Will, who would come in and order it every day. It sits alongside menu classics such as Eggs Benedict with house-made sauce, and its famous Magic Mushrooms.
This ethos of inclusivity is at the heart of what Carmelo and Carlo celebrate at The Grumpy Barista, and it’s all part of their aim to keep customers happy. “We want to create an environment where you’re happy, and they’re happy,” Carlo says.
The Grumpy Barista
34 Henderson Road, Alexandria, New South Wales, 2015
Open Monday to Saturday 7am – 2pm and Sunday 8am – 2pm
(02) 9690 1791
This article appears in the August 2022 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.