A Letter from the Editor
Article by Sean Edwards
I can’t believe we have achieved 50 issues, wow! I did not think we would ever get there after making the decision to go digital during the last two years when Covid hit the world.
Fifty issues is a major achievement over the last 10 years for the Café Culture team and we have seen thousands of people involved in the process of creating a café trade journal. Personally, I have written hundreds of stories – which is not too bad for someone who endured the cane and detention for avoiding creative writing at school.
Writing became interesting to me when I saw the enjoyment on readers’ faces when we told their stories and shared their successes. Telling the real story at times isn’t easy as a journalist because the people we speak to often highlight the good parts of their journey and forget the struggles.
However, by reporting the complete success processes, including the challenges, helps others on their business path and hopefully assists them in avoiding the speed humps.
Our coffee industry has been influenced and communicated to by a broad cross section of people from entrepreneurs, educators, corporates, story tellers and trendsetters.
I love the huge range of content our fun industry generates, and I am constantly reminded why this is why I do what I do, and I love to share successes to help newcomers jump the hurdles that they face.
A big thank you to all the team behind Café Culture Magazine as sponsors, writer, graphic designer, proof editor and importantly the reader.
Talking about hurdles, it’s time now to reset your business and embrace the after-effects of Covid.
We have been very lucky in Australia to have had lots of Government support, with JobKeeper and many business grants and funding which helped so many hold on to their businesses albeit in a smaller modified model. Hopefully you have been left with the framework of your business which now can be adapted to the café business of today.
Things have changed, and how you run your business won’t be the same. As an example, a busy corporate city café won’t have the same volume of people they used to experience, so to lure back their customer base different methodology needs to be applied.
Concepts we have seen as a result of Covid are focusing on stronger digital angles to the business, like cashless systems and paperless QR code menus.
More marketing online and social platforms to promote all sides of the business. Café owners now need to step up and train staff as the pool of hospitality workers has shrunk. You can’t expect new staff to have the skills of past workers, so time needs to be invested in training to secure a team of regular employees.
I am seeing more cafés offer traineeships to younger workers, locking them in for longer employment periods, also offering full time work will help our industry become less transient.
Take away coffee systems have been a major part of the Australian café structure and many businesses have fine-tuned their speed of service in this area. Automation has helped here and some investment in this new technology has proved to add more revenue into the business.
There are many new innovative products available like auto tampers, milk delivery systems, auto steamers and super automatic coffee machines that make an amazing espresso.
A big congratulations to the Golden Bean team for putting together another great event during these challenging times.
It was a three times success for two coffee businesses in taking the winners’ podium. Coffee Snobs for overall grand champion and Black Bag Roasters for large chain store.
This year Golden Bean will be expanding into a larger global format and plans are underway for the USA and UK events.
I would like to offer my condolences to two industry friends who have passed in the last few months. Ross Bright who was an inspiration to many of us who travelled throughout south east Asia over a period of 15 years.
Ross had an exciting coffee journey heading up coffee programs in Singapore for Dome Coffee and Spinelli Coffee before starting his own business Bright Coffee.
Another shock to us was the passing of Jim Elliott from Little Big Dairy Co who we had the privilege of spending a few days with at Golden Bean, the week before being tragically killed. Our heart goes out to both these men who were still very much in the prime of their lives and had young families.
Please enjoy our fiftieth edition of Café Culture magazine and stay positive about the future. The nice thing about owning your own business is you have control of your destiny and you make the rules in your kingdom and glass ceilings only exist if you let them.