Veneziano Coffee Roasters opens new flagship café

Veneziano Coffee Roasters has opened the doors to its highly anticipated flagship café in Melbourne and invites the coffee community to become part of the specialty coffee experience.

It’s been four years since Veneziano Coffee Roasters closed the doors to its dedicated Bond Street Café in Melbourne. 

Since then, the brand has put its focus on growing and training its customers to embrace the Veneziano wings and flourish in their skills and businesses. Behind the scenes, however, the Melbourne-based roaster has been slowly progressing on the ultimate specialty coffee experience.

First came the roaster installation in the huge empty warehouse in River Street, Richmond. Then came the office space, state-of-the-art training rooms, micro-roastery, and cupping labs. The final piece to the puzzle is Veneziano’s very own café.

“Back in 2014 it was just a great big empty warehouse we thought we’d never fill, but we finally have,” says Veneziano Coffee Roasters Managing Director Craig Dickson. “We always had this vision it would become the ultimate, all-encompassing space that showcases the entire production process from bean to cup, and that’s exactly what it’s achieved. All our services, training facilities, and production are now housed in the one building and it’s a functioning space that customers can be part of.” 

Veneziano worked with Technê design to create the open and interactive space. Transforming an old industrial warehouse to a specialty café has been no mean feat, with the plumbing, bathrooms, electricity, windows, and kitchen facilities all installed from scratch. Large windows have been cut into the brickwork at street level to let natural light in and give the outside world a taste of what lies beyond the glass, including a glimpse of its Diedrich roastery operation. A giant six-metre wall-to-ceiling window spanning the building’s two storeys has also been added for customers to peek into the inner workings of one of Australia’s top specialty roasters. 

“There’s not too many venues like this where you can have a quality coffee experience while seeing green beans enter the building, roasters in action, forklifts moving about, and the packing line in full swing. Veneziano has always been transparent in its processes but this opens it up on a whole new level,” Craig says. 

The 80-seat dining space is surrounded by a five-metre circular brew bar where Veneziano’s signature Bond St blend is served alongside a seasonal rotation of micro-lots. Veneziano will also use the space to experiment with specialty drinks that mimic signature beverages seen in competition. 

The kitchen offers a contemporary menu, managed by Head Chef KaiKai Yan, with a strong focus on seasonal and local suppliers, and nutritious options.

Look closely and you’ll notice a talented line-up of Veneziano Coffee baristas behind the counter, with Jade Jennings, and Jack Allisey dropping in from time to time. Todd Souter will take the lead as the café’s Head Barista.

In terms of Melbourne culture, Thandi Stirling of Technê Architecture and Interior Design says the design of the new Veneziano café will contribute to the city’s vibrant coffee culture. 

“The key with the transformation was to utilise the large space to focus on the coffee and allow patrons to engage with the production process. The first thing we did was get the brew bar right, one of the most prominent features when you step in the door,” Thandi says.

“Materiality was important to get right too. We’ve used a brushed stainless steel bench top in direct reference to the refined industrial look we wanted to achieve. It features curved and radius corners and makes service for baristas easy, and allows for direct engagement with customers.” 

Technê has kept the existing concrete floors of the warehouse which is complemented by the addition of steel and timber. 

“We want the customers to feel that they’re part of the warehouse experience. They are the end result of Veneziano’s production process so to have them feel like they’re immersed in the experience was important,” Thandi says.

Craig adds that Veneziano has always celebrated people development. Veneziano baristas have competed in ASCA competitions for the past 15 years, and with the completion of this all-encompassing venue, he’s excited to welcome new talent, trainers, and passionate customers through the Veneziano doors. 

“We don’t just see ourselves as a coffee roasting business but a company who helps individuals become successful in café ownership, training, skills, and workflow,” Craig says. “We hope customers will enjoy their experience here and most of all, that Veneziano Coffee Richmond becomes a destination café like some of Melbourne other iconic venues.” 

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