Small steps towards quality coffee culture

14/09/2015 - 11:12

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Christian Simone’s small business often has people queuing for service, but despite the month-old cafe’s popularity, he hasn’t let a single patron inside.

Small steps towards quality coffee culture
GETTING DOWN TO IT: Boo Espresso’s Christian Simone has embraced the ‘small’ in small business. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Christian Simone’s small business often has people queuing for service, but despite the month-old cafe’s popularity, he hasn’t let a single patron inside.

That’s because, at just four square metres, Mr Simone believes his Northbridge hole-in-the-wall is part of a growing trend of micro cafes.

Mr Simone, who opened Boo Espresso on the corner of Fitzgerald and Stuart streets a month ago (and now divides his time between the popular spot and his business development role with Northbridge Coffee Roasters), said he had noticed bigger cafes closing down and smaller shops popping up.

“There are a lot of small businesses coming in. It looks like ... the big chains are moving away and you’re getting a lot more small entrepreneurs,” Mr Simone told Business News.

Other tiny coffee shops in Northbridge include Ristretto on Aberdeen Street, across from the Central Institute of Technology, and Bookend on William Street, which is located across from the State Theatre Centre of WA.

Mr Simone said the advantages of the small set up, which is usually manned by just a single staffer, included minimal labour and fixed costs and offered him the chance to exercise total authority over the fledgling business.

“It’s picking up well, the margins are high and the overheads are not too high,” he said. “If I had an opportunity to grow bigger I wouldn’t get a bigger site, I would rather get five small sites (because) I think you get better control. ‘

Mr Simone said Perth’s coffee culture was improving as businesses became more discerning in picking good locations and producing quality coffee.

“The coffee scene in Western Australia seems to be picking up. I think we’ve gotten to a stage where we’re just as good as Melbourne,” he said.

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