Our First Year: Celebrating 12 Memorable Months of The Coffee Commune

external view of The Coffee Commune building entrance
The Coffee Commune

It was Phillip Di Bella’s dream to create a revolutionary, Australian-first coffee concept that offered a way for the coffee industry to come together – a place where suppliers, roasters, baristas, venue owners and coffee enthusiasts alike could unite to share knowledge and create memorable coffee experiences.

Fast forward twelve months and The Coffee Commune has now built an incredible membership and events program, and helped dozens of coffee professionals run their businesses sustainably and efficiently – all the while having to navigate the many challenges that the past year has presented.

“It’s been my proudest moment to see this vision come to life and be executed so well,” Phillip says. “It’s one thing to have a vision, but it’s something else to see people emotionally engage with it.

“We’ve set up some really solid foundations within our first twelve months of the business. From International Coffee Traders to Coffee Alliance to our membership program to our online store and the cafe, everything has been rolled out by our amazing team and we are getting great traction.”

As we approach our one year anniversary, let’s take a look back at The Coffee Commune’s inaugural year of operation.

Our coffee community has grown tremendously

Since launching in March 2021, The Coffee Commune has brought together 160 members from all walks of life – from those who specialise in coffee roasting and day-to-day cafe operation to backend operators who provide exceptional commercial advice enabling others to maximise their potential.

“We would also like to say a very special thank you to each of our foundation members who have been with us from the beginning,” says Phillip. “Without your belief in our vision, our success would not be possible.”

Not a member? Join today and see how we can help you and your business accelerate your potential.

More local roasters have gotten into the game.

Over the past year, Raihaan Esat, General Manager of International Coffee Traders, has welcomed a new generation of coffee roasters into the industry.

“It’s great to see more people interested in the sourcing process and building relationships with the farms themselves,” Raihaan says. “This has been great for the farmers because they know who their ultimate customer is.

“Many of our roasting clients have needed to stay flexible in terms of being able to source coffees that were not necessarily in their ballpark before, whether through availability, changing prices or shipping delays. Where someone may have been using a Brazilian coffee for the last ten years, now they might use an Indian coffee. In the last twelve months it has been great to see flexibility in changing how the buying process is done and how coffee roasters buy coffee.”

Phillip says another highlight of the past year has been seeing how quickly the roasting community has come together to support and work in collaboration with each other.

“Prior to The Coffee Commune this was unheard of, and it didn’t happen anywhere,” he says. “I’m very surprised and of course very happy as to how everyone has come together to collaborate in the space of coffee roasters.”

But Phillip says one of the key challenges was to make sure that people knew The Coffee Commune was not a competing coffee brand.

“We don’t produce coffee to supply direct to cafes,” he says. “We are a neutral facility which means roasters and cafe owners can hire and use our equipment and packaging machines for their business without compromising their individuality and the uniqueness of their brand.

“Anyone that wants to own their own brand of coffee, whether it’s for their own cafe for home or to build a full-scale ecommerce business, can do it all at the Commune.

The Coffee Commune is currently working with more than 50 local small and medium roasters to produce coffee that can be found in more than 800 sites across the nation. Learn more about how we can help your roasting business – or ask us for a free feasibility study.

We’ve built an events program from scratch

Despite the many challenges that COVID has presented, our events program has been a huge success, with over 140 events held in our cafe and retail space in the past twelve months.

“It’s great to see so many members take advantage of our incredible space and hosting their own events,” says Annaliese Jackson, Event and Commercial Manager.

“We’re super proud of our Emerging Leaders Breakfast Series which has been incredibly popular since the beginning, and our new Women in Business Breakfast Series.”

Want to host an event at The Coffee Commune? Enquire with our team today!

We launched a Support Program for those who need it

The last twelve months have proven to be a tough year for businesses and individuals alike. With the ongoing pandemic, as well as the February floods, it was inspiring to see our Coffee Commune members come together to so generously lend a helping hand to those who are struggling.

Our COVID-19 Support Program launched last year, with members providing special discounts and assistance to help the wider community recover from the impact.

Download the COVID-19 Member Support Program.

We launched our online store

In August last year we brought The Coffee Commune online and into the homes of coffee lovers around the country. Our online offering includes seven signature blends that make up our Private Coffee Collection, as well as guest roasters that rotate regularly.

We’ve also made accessing our specialty micro-lots of green beans easier, with raw green beans from around the globe ready to go for home-roasters or wholesale.

Get freshly roasted coffee delivered to your door.

Looking ahead to the next year and beyond

Over the next 12 months, Raihaan would like to see more roasters embracing new ideas around running their businesses more sustainably and efficiently.

“It’s great to see many roasters get into the industry because they have a love of coffee and want to share wonderful coffee experiences, but I’d love to see them get the financial and efficiency side right,” he says. “There’s a lot of solutions that can come from The Coffee Commune in doing that.

“If the businesses we are selling to aren’t happy and healthy, then we aren’t happy and healthy. We care for our client’s overall business health, so that we can continue selling them green beans.”

Phillip’s aim is to be the go-to facility “for advocacy, support and acceleration of potential in the hospitality industry, and more specifically the coffee industry. We are here to help.”

“This was a year filled with many lessons, and has most certainly prepared us to overcome any hardship that may surface in the future. With such a tough economic climate at the moment, we are really looking forward to helping those in our industry be the best versions of themselves they can be and accelerate their potential, whether it’s through education, support or advocacy.”

We look forward to further building The Coffee Commune community over the next twelve months, and bringing suppliers, roasters, baristas, cafe owners and coffee enthusiasts together to collaborate.

Thanks to the whole team, our members and the wider community for your ongoing support in our inaugural year. We look forward to seeing what 2022 has to offer and hope to continually help businesses and individuals accelerate their potential!

The Coffee Commune