01/04/2010 - 00:00

Kesic sticks to her guns in coffee crusade

01/04/2010 - 00:00


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Exclusively imported Italian beans are one part of the reason The Little Pantry is making waves in Shenton Park. Emily Morgan reports.

Kesic sticks to her guns in coffee crusade

THE $2 coffee may be a thing of the distant past but one businesswoman is challenging the status quo – one latte at a time.

When Aleks Kesic returned to Perth in 2008 from an eight-year stint working in Sydney’s hospitality industry, she had planned to stay for 12 months before moving to Europe.

But her frustration with what she considered Perth’s meagre yet expensive restaurant offerings led her down a different path, and she opened the doors to Shenton Park’s The Little Pantry last November.

Ms Kesic says she felt that, despite the large number of coffee shops in Perth, quality is often low and the prices are too high.

“The big problem in Perth is that people are now so jilted about being charged so much money for a substandard product,” Ms Kesic told Gusto.

“There is no reason why people in Perth can be charging $4 for a coffee when in Sydney and Melbourne you charge between $2.50 and $3 and it is consistently good.

“Perth is now ready for someone to shake it up a bit, push the boundaries and challenge what is happening in the industry,” Ms Kesic said, commenting on her vision for offering high quality produce at a more affordable price.

Ms Kesic says The Little Pantry’s prices have caused a stir in the local area, with business owners telling her that charging $2.50 for a coffee will send her broke – statements she says come from “challenging what they have been able to get away with for so long”.

But Ms Kesic stresses the importance of keeping the quality of produce and a community value in her business.

Her partner Manuel Goria is the resident barista and her mother and aunt share the home-cooking duties with Ms Kesic.

The business model has proved viable with the help of what she calls a simple marketing strategy.

“You have your main product, which is fantastic and at a reasonable price, and then you on-sell everything else,” Ms Kesic says.


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