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.
It’s got all the intricacies of a specialty coffee shop you would expect, including a large brew bar with a Modbar unit for baristas to showcase special brews and indulge customers in a competition-like experience.
Staff operate like clockwork, pumping out coffees, taking orders, and delivering service with a welcome smile.
One only has to look around to celebrate the immense undertaking of this project thanks to designers Technê Architecure + Interior Design and two years of planning.
“The industrial look of the café is deliberate. Behind the walls is a functioning roastery and we want people to know that. You can hear the sounds of the machinery, smell the roasted coffee, and then enjoy a cup of coffee that’s been through the whole production process onsite,” says Veneziano Coffee Roasters Managing Director Craig Dickson.
The industrial looking space – with purposefully left imperfections – is complemented by soft pendant lighting, open windows to embrace the natural light, handmade crockery, and splashes of greenery against the white walls.
It’s been four years since Veneziano left its dedicated Bond Street venue. But now, there is a renewed place to share Veneziano’s love of specialty coffee with the community.
“This space provides the perfect opportunity to connect with people who care about the industry as much as we do,” Craig says.
The epicentre of the 80-seat flagship café is a five-metre circular brew bar which features a Marco Sp9, a Modbar unit, and a white-panelled La Marzocco machine. Veneziano’s signature Bond St blend is served alongside a seasonal rotation of micro-lots and experimental drinks.
Head Barista Todd Souter says three espressos are offered at any one time, with favourites including beans from Ethiopia and Kenya, frozen and put through the Mahlkönig EK43 grinder.
“The Kenyan coffee is lighter but really well developed,” Todd says. “We freeze it at minus 20°C and the result is delicious notes of blackcurrant and apricot with sweetness and acidity.
“The goal is to introduce people to our top coffees without being prestigious. The opening night was a chance for the industry’s who’s who to celebrate, but now it’s about building up our daily volume and encouraging customers to have more confidence in trying new coffees. That’s the best part about this space – customers are free to get involved and celebrate coffee with us.”
Veneziano Coffee Roasters Richmond
16 River St, Richmond, Victoria 3121
Open seven days 7am to 4pm
(03) 8326 5100