Padre Coffee was born in Brunswick East in late 2007 where the team started small, roasting, brewing and selling coffee under the one roof in the heart of the community; making friends, having fun and learning as they went.
Ten years on they have three beautiful stores selling coffee beans and brews in Melbourne as well as a stunning roastery-cafe now open in Noosa and has also grown to include to include a handful of special cafes & venues in Victoria, including us at Leaf.
At the same time, not much has changed. Padre is still a small, owner-run business that prides itself on exceptional products and outstanding service. We love making coffee.
We caught up with the Padre team to find out more.
Who are the team behind Padre Coffee and what made you launch?
We’re a small team, from diverse backgrounds, many of whom have been a part of the business since the very early days. Marinus, who founded the original café, was looking for a better work–life balance and a chance to work and learn alongside friends, in a community of like–minded people. We started roasting for ourselves in order to go deeper into the process of making coffee (it’s addictive stuff!) and eventually became wholesalers because, well, people kept asking.
What does a day in the life of the Padre Coffee team look like?
The roasters get in early, share a coffee and plan the day’s roasts. We roast every day - blending and packing as we go - and after cleaning down and running maintenance on the equipment we do testing, quality control and R&D in the afternoon. For the rest of the crew, it’s taking and delivering orders, running our webshop, training and product development – and everything else that comes with running a small business.
What was involved in developing the Padre Coffee blends and do you have any plans to expand in the future?
Creating a balanced, versatile and tasty blend with a distinctive flavour profile is hard work, and what a lot of people don’t realise is that the work is ongoing. As the small lots of coffees that make up each of our blends run out, our roasters sample, plan, secure and exhaustively test their replacements, all year round and often months in advance. For our customers, this means a consistent profile that is made up of an evolving selection of that season’s best beans, each roasted to suit that blend’s purposes.
What sets Padre Coffee apart from other coffee roasters out there?
Coffee is such a complex product – every roaster is different, and the differences reach all the way from the green beans your buy to the way you brew. I like to think that at Padre our point of difference is a balance of quality and approachability – we are perfectionists, and always pushing to get better and better coffee in the cup, but we also make decisions with our customers in mind. We aim to be as transparent and open about the process as possible, and are happy to share what we know. An interest in sharing information and in growing the community has been a cornerstone of the business from day one and it’s still a big part of the way we run our business. Making coffee is only part of what we do – sharing it, and everything we know about it, to help other people drink the coffee they love.. That’s the other part.
What has been Padre Coffee’s greatest achievement to date?
That is so hard to answer. While every refit, café build or roaster install has been hard work (and opening a roastery in Noosa last year especially so!) it’s the Padre team that have made it all possible. We’re very proud of our people. To see the way that the core crew has developed and grown over the years is really special, and the company has grown organically out of our shared drive to do better. We’re all motivated by the same things. Every time a customer comes back to say that one of our coffees made their day better – well, that’s it. It’s the everyday achievements that give us the greatest satisfaction.
When you’re not busy with Padre Coffee, what do you like to do in your spare time?
Mostly we spend our weekends just like everyone else does; with our families and friends, playing sport, going camping, in the garden.. Of course, you probably wouldn’t be surprised to hear that as hospo lifers, many of us also spend a little more time than is normal checking out cafes, restaurants and bars, and we’re all pretty obsessed with coffee, and brewing. In that sense, we’re always busy with Padre Coffee.
If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only take three things, what would they be?
Pourover coffee, a kindle, and a dog.
Sounds great, actually.