7 reasons to become a member of The Coffee Commune

Phillip Di Bella

The Coffee Commune is a world class facility designed to bring the coffee community together.

Founded by industry expert and coffee entrepreneur Phillip Di Bella and headquartered in Brisbane, it is a place where cafe and hospitality professionals, coffee enthusiasts, roasters, cafe owners and suppliers can learn from each other and accelerate their business potential.

Not sure if being a member is for you? Here are seven great reasons why.

1. You’ll get access to education and resources that will upskill you and your staff
2. You’ll become part of an expert coffee community
3. We’ll help you accelerate your business/personal potential
4. You’ll get day-to-day support when you need it, from industry experts
5. You’ll have a voice on issues that affect our industry
6. Be sustainable while still being unique in this industry
7. Because we will help increase your profits.

1. You’ll get access to education and resources that will upskill you and your staff

stock image of 3 people in casual clothing looking at laptops in office

No matter what path you are on, it is vital to never stop learning. At The Coffee Commune, members will have full access to our Learning Academy – an online education hub in partnership with Go1, featuring hundreds of courses and endless resources to help you grow personally and professionally.

Founder of The Coffee Commune and industry expert Phillip Di Bella says that people need to be more educated. “It’s no longer enough to know a little about a lot of things. Know a lot about as much as you can. Finances, products, services, people – all of these things.”

These members-only courses cover everything from the foundations of business compliance, finance and management, people and culture and digital technology to COVID-19 planning, how to design a menu for profit and more.

“We’re about progressive learning. Just the compliance suite of courses alone is worth more than the membership itself,” says Don from Go1.

If you’re a barista, the Learning Academy offers an array of courses such as levelling up your barista skills, improving your hospitality knowledge, expanding your customer service skills and learning how to promote and market your brand. If you’re a cafe owner or manager, courses like business and compliance training, and occupational health and safety courses will help keep your business compliant and your staff safe.

Members can also access a Thought Leadership Series featuring interactive workshops, training sessions, conferences and mentoring programs, hearing directly from business experts in their field.

“We’ll be running courses on a range of topics relevant to our industry. Things like, what are the permits you need before opening a cafe? What are your outdoor dining fees? What does food safety look like? For those that don’t know a lot about finance, do you know about cash flow or registering your IP? Are you paying people the right way? These are all big issues in our industry,” Phillip says.

As well as the learning suite, members will also get full training, support and education in all key elements of coffee production and operation.

“If you want to learn more about coffee roasting, our in-house experts can show you the ropes,” says Phillip. “We can teach you everything from creating a custom blend to how to read a profit and loss statement.”

Phillip says it’s about taking a proactive approach. “People can come and learn aspects of the industry before they actually do things. Opportunities come by knowing more, and knowing more saves money. You make less mistakes.”

Another major benefit for members is if you can’t attend one of our workshops, you can attend virtually – or send a staff member in your place. “It’s an opportunity to upskill your staff to deliver more value for your business,” says Phillip.

2. You’ll become part of an expert coffee community

two baristas at alta cafe in brisbane

Being in business can be isolating at times. At The Coffee Commune, you will have access to an amazing support network of cafe and hospitality professionals, just like you, who are passionate about what they do.

“Connecting and facilitating is one area that we are really passionate about. Our tagline is ‘Where the coffee community collaborates’ for a reason – being around others can help build and grow your business,” says Phillip.

Members of the Commune can network with each other and share knowledge, offer helpful contacts, join forces and do business together, learn from each other and “accelerate their potential”.

“Our vision is to create a world class facility where suppliers can talk to cafe owners and roasters, roasters can talk to cafes and baristas, baristas can talk to cafe owners and roasters, coffee enthusiasts can learn more about coffee and their passions from everyone,” Phillip says.

But networking isn’t just about learning from others – it’s about building your brand and getting in front of the right people. For suppliers, this means opening up your audience and growing your consumer database at business events, information sessions and conferences. For roasters, this means having access to more people to buy your coffee and showcasing your blends to the community.

Members will have plenty of opportunity to meet and mingle at training sessions, industry events, Barista Jams and latte art competitions, product launches and market days, as well as a closed Facebook group for members only.

By joining The Coffee Commune, you’ll have an entire community of like-minded coffee people within arm’s reach.

3. We’ll help you accelerate your business/personal potential

training room at the coffee commune

Are you a barista or roaster who dreams of opening up your own espresso bar? Or a coffee lover who has always wanted to perfect the art of making coffee? Do you own or manage a cafe but have always been curious about sourcing green beans – and roasting them yourself?

Whatever your career aspirations, joining The Coffee Commune is an excellent opportunity to expand your skill set, create your own business opportunities and grow your marketability.

“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 without the start-up costs,” says Phillip.

If you wish to generate your own income, members will have access to the Commune’s state-of-the-art facilities and training rooms – meaning you can host your own coffee making workshops or training sessions – and charge for them.

“What motivates me is seeing others succeed. Whether that’s working for somebody or owning their own business, seeing people grow their mindset, their capability, their passion. I really get a buzz out of seeing people meet their potential,” says Phillip.

The Coffee Commune is supported by International Coffee Traders, who provide a constant supply of green beans and expertise to match any blend profile, and Coffee Alliance, a roasting business that has helped many brands and cafe owners create their own blend.

With guided support, mentoring and skill development from Phillip and his in-house team of coffee experts, as well as an entire network of industry professionals and guest speakers covering all aspects of the industry, you can achieve your goals and accelerate your potential at The Coffee Commune.

4. You’ll get day-to-day support when you need it, from industry experts

two roasters at the coffee commune

The Coffee Commune is a facility that provides support for the entire coffee industry. As a member, you can discuss and find ways to approach any issues that arise in your business with people who can really help.

“It’s a one-stop shop. Anyone that’s in any level of the industry can make one phone call or send one email to the Commune. Whether you’re looking for a plumber or a shop fitter, are wanting to start your own cafe, need to get in touch with council, looking for support in handling legal and financial issues, looking for baristas or temp staff – any facet of the industry,” says Phillip.

And it’s not just any old contact that you will be connected with.

“The group is vetted so that they will deliver value. It consists of the best trades people, distributors, green beans…come to us and we’ll put you in the right direction.”

For cafe owners and roasters, the ability to hire and use state-of-the-art roasting equipment in an emergency means not missing out on a delivery if your coffee roaster goes on leave or your machine breaks down.

“Companies or individuals can use our roasters to fulfil their orders so that it doesn’t impact or delay their customers,” says Phillip. “It’s piece of mind that you have a safety net to meet your commitment to customers.”

Members will also have access to a dedicated call centre of qualified Industrial and Employee Relations specialists, helping business owners stay compliant and avoid the costs, fines and penalties that come from managing people and the complexities in the workplace.

“There’s a big issue in our industry about underpayments and overpayments. It’s quite complicated. For example, after 7pm at night there’s a different rate. People get caught up in mispayments that they don’t even know.

“Before, you relied on your accountant. That area will change. I’ve seen baristas opening their own cafe but have no idea how to read a P&L statement. For first time business owners, this sort of knowledge will be invaluable.”

5. You’ll have a voice on issues that affect our industry

five people with laptops having a discussion in casual clothing

The Coffee Commune aims to give the coffee and hospitality industry a voice at the highest levels of local and state government. Joining up means you’ll be part of that.

“We can now see the lack of advocacy in the industry,” says Phillip. “When governments make decisions and pass laws that affect us – whether this is increasing wages, planning taxes or handing out benefits to the industry – our views must be taken into consideration.”

He says that when laws get passed down, you can see when the industry has had the opportunity to contribute, and when it has been left to somebody behind a desk who thought their decision was best practice.

“What they don’t see is the filtration of that decision down to the cafe owners, the roasters, the industry suppliers, the workers and, eventually, the customers themselves.”

Government bodies need to make the right decisions, and hearing the voices – and real-life examples – can help them get there.

“The decisions made without us pick away at the viability of our businesses and erode the livelihoods of the people within them.

“What we want to create at the Commune is an advocacy stronghold where we’ve got local, state and federal government, contacting us for our views on what needs to happen. Whether that’s increasing wages, handing out benefits, tax planning laws etc. That’s something we’ve really learned. Advocacy is so important.”

By bringing the industry together, The Coffee Commune gives all members a voice.

“As a collective, we will be a strong body that comes together to educate, support and advocate for our colleagues across the coffee industry.”

6. Be sustainable while still being unique in this industry

roaster showing two people around at the coffee commune in brisbane

Are you already using a roasting facility for your business? Consider joining an independent facility that does not have its own coffee brand. The Coffee Commune does not compete with any other coffee company in its own right, which is what sets it apart from the rest.

Cafe owners and roasters can hire and use the roasting equipment to support their business, while maintaining their individuality.

“It’s a neutral territory, so there is no competition,” says Raihaan, General Manager of International Coffee Traders.

Members will have access to a variety of coffees, from “workhorse” green beans through to exclusive and exotic offerings. And if you create your own signature blend on site, you’ll own it. “Other roasting facilities have a model where they own the IP. Here the IP sits with you – it’s your recipe.”

The Coffee Commune is also unique in the way that it is completely transparent. “We don’t care if you bring your own green beans,” says Phillip. “You don’t have to buy your green beans from International Coffee Traders to use the Coffee Alliance and be a member.”

He adds, “We don’t have an agenda. Everybody can still be unique but share and learn from each other without losing what’s special about their business.”

7. Because we will help increase your profits.

close up of coffee held by a barista wearing the coffee commune apron

While The Coffee Commune is focused on delivering value to their members through education, advocacy and support, perhaps the biggest reason for joining is that it will save you money – in turn making your business more profitable, efficient and sustainable.

“The hospitality industry has always been quite segmented, with people viewing each other as competition,” says Phillip. “But a lot of small businesses are hurting [after covid-19] and people need to see where the cost savings are in their business.”

Commune members will benefit from buying efficiencies across the board. For cafe owners, this means they can come and get the best price possible for direct trade coffee, regardless of whether they own one coffee shop or one hundred. “Group buying power is key in sustainable thinking,” he says.

For coffee roasters, the concept means you can have many roasters working out of the Commune’s facility, eliminating the need for individual roasting premises around town. “There’s also savings of $100-$250K a year for the average coffee roaster per annum.”

For new coffee brands, this also means no start-up costs. “We’ve helped people build a coffee business from scratch who are now making great money in a short period of time. Without the overheads, they have saved on warehousing, inventory, staff, machinery, utilities – and are now profitable because they didn’t have any start-up costs,” says Phillip. “Plus, they get all the support, education and help that they need.”

He adds, “It’s about less risk, more efficiencies, less expenses and more time to work on their business.”

Members are also entitled to a range of discounts in our retail hub, online and selected products.

We are driven to accelerate your potential and create exceptional value in your membership at The Coffee Commune. It is an investment in your future.

Are you ready to be part of our community?

For any questions you may have email us at [email protected] or call 07 3569 5500.

If you are ready to join, choose your membership and sign up today.

Phillip Di Bella