Summary of this post before the nitty gritty details:
What - Hawthorn Common (New micro roastery and epic indoor/outdoor licensed cafe)
Who - Danny Colls (Owner), Ben Toovey (Me, head roaster)
Where - Burwood Rd, literally next door to Axil Coffee Roasters!
Why - Seeking experienced baristas that are looking to progress from the espresso machine and learn all areas of the business (Roasting, cupping, alternative brewing methods etc)
When - Soon! Interviews late this week and next week, opening shortly after that…
About Danny Colls: Danny is my hospitality hero. He has owned and operated some of Melbournes best cafes over the last 15 years, my favourites being the cycling institution Cafe Racer, Liaison, and most recently SILO by Joost. Altogether he has started eight successful cafes, but Hawthorn Common is going to be bigger in physical size and creative ambition than all of his previous venues combined! As well as focusing on the highest possibly quality of coffee and food, without the fuss, it is Danny’s personality and energy that is the reason his cafes are always winners. He has that uncanny ability to connect with everyone, remembering names and coffee orders like no one I have ever met. Himself a cyclist and well connected in the cycling world, he will bring that element to the cafe, and this space has huge potential for things like swap meets or other bike related events and parties (Did I mention yet that this cafe is being transformed from an ex restaurant, so it will be fully licensed and already has two beer lines and it’s own keg room!) He is great to work with, and you will learn a lot about what hospitality really means, which is something that I think has been a little bit lost in this “third wave” where there is so much focus on the perfect coffee with the prettiest latte art, that people have forgotten how to serve it with genuine friendliness and warmth. Of course quality is crucial, but it shouldn’t result in a sacrifice of good service (it is HOSPITALITY after all!) and combining both is something that Danny has perfected.
Briefly about me: As my username suggests, I take coffee pretty seriously! After working as a barista for years, I started working for Genovese Coffee over six years ago, initially as a rep on the road delivering coffee and servicing existing customers needs. After a year of that I moved into Barista Training, running a classroom teaching noobs how to not ruin a cup of coffee! A few years of that and I decided I wanted to move into roasting, and more in the specialty coffee (Genovese being more traditional Italian styled coffee), and I was offered a job at Coffee Supreme. The guys at Genovese presented me with an alternative: create a Genovese Specialty Coffee Division, offering customers more contemporary and specialty grade coffees, single origin, seasonal blends, filter/alternative brew methods. So I stuck around and have created and grown Genovese Specialty Division for the last three years, with some personal highlights being the privelege of roasting for the Italian Barista Champion and helping him place sixth in the World Barista Championships this year, and international travel and projects: I’m flying seasonal blends and single origin to cafes in Paris, and three in Singapore. Not trying to brag, but rather give you an idea of where a career in coffee can take you if you stick with it, and give you an idea of the experience that I will be openly sharing with teammates who work with me in this new venture!
About Hawthorn Common: Ok so it doesn’t have the hipster postcode of fitzroy, collingwood, brunswick etc, but its only a few kms from the city and the space is one of a kind. Danny’s vision for Hawthorn Common is that everything that can be, is made on premises, using local and the freshest possible ingredients. It is equipped with a multi million dollar kitchen as the venue was up until recently operating as a restaurant, so bread and pastries will be baked on site, oats freshly rolled, herbs and vegetables grown on site in planter boxes on the massive outdoor deck. It is a huge venue, spit evenly with indoor and outdoor seating, there is a large projector and screen for movie nights, tour de france sessions (its not fitzroy but it would be perfect for the Domestique TDF popup bar!) The rear is a big undercover carpark, perfect for little farmers markets, swap meets (Danny is very close with Andy White/FYXO) The whole place is being renovated at the moment, the roaster will be going in next week along with two brand new custom powdercoated La Marzocco Linea 3 group machines with Manual Paddle groups (like Slayer/Synesso) One machine will be downstairs and at the entrance, for primarily takeaway and street access, the other upstairs and on the main bar which is a massive U shaped timer bar, featuring a brew bar section for syphon, pourover, aeropress, etc etc. Other nice toys are jug rinsers, electronic grind on demand Mazzer Roburs, The roaster is inside that U shaped bar, so barista and roaster work alongside each other, enabling baristas to learn about the roasting process and be able to provide instant feedback to the roaster through cuppings etc. The initial concept I have for coffee is to feature two seasonal house blends, one for milk based coffees and one for black coffees, numerous single origins for both espresso, and rotating filtered coffee options. The green coffee is sourced through the best possible channels: The Cup of Excellence program, Melbourne Coffee Merchants (Market Lane), Lattorre & Dutch (Proud Mary), SILO (Seven Seeds), and through direct trade relationships buying straight from the source and the farmer.
Hopefully that is enough information to get your attention, email me to arrange an interview and to check out the site: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you already have a job, bail on it because this will be better! I have already got some interest from FOA members greenmachine and gink04 through a text I sent out…