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Meet the Maker: Katie Devic & Melissa Glentis Owners Of Daly St Roasters

Team Buy Aussie Now

This story was written by several Buy Aussie Now team members.

Daly St Roasters is a Melbourne based coffee company, which is sassy, pink and all about having fun. 

Their online store is filled with various coffee hits - capsules, ground coffee, beans and coffee brewing equipment. They also offer personalised coffee - customers can choose to personalise a cylinder with slogans, sayings, messages or names and we fill it with coffee.

How did you start your homegrown business?

It was an idea we thought about doing for a long time but never really pushed ourselves to start. Then the universe did it for us. As COVID-19 hit, Katie was made redundant and Melissa’s cafe sales were dropping rapidly. We knew people would be at home for a long time and would need coffee to keep them going.

So we started Daly St Roasters in the midst of a global pandemic because we didn't want to let coronavirus beat us. Melburnians love their coffee and the city is known for coffee so we wanted to ensure people were still getting great coffee - but now only at home.

What inspires you?

The colour pink  - pink is thought to be a calming colour associated with love, kindness and femininity. We all need to stay calm and be kind in this pandemic and even after as we do a huge rebuild of our city and country. The positive feedback we have been getting keeps us inspired to keep going. 

Coffee is a crowded market so want to do things differently - from our coffee blend names (Candy Shop, Chatterbox, Chosen One, Flamingo etc) to our pink packaging to how we run our wholesale business ensuring our partners get a holistic approach and we look at assisting at any area of the business to help grow it. Quite often you may even see us behind the coffee machines at customer cafes. Our pink packaging is a point of difference to all the black, brown, tan coffee bags out there.

What are the benefits of manufacturing locally?

Firstly creating jobs and keeping jobs. Full control of stock. We roast as we need to keep it as fresh as possible. We are also looking at adding Australian coffee to our product range - while it is a lot more expensive, we will have that option as we continue to support Aussie products and manufacturing.

What makes the Australian consumer unique?

Australians love coffee and we live and breathe it as many of them do too. Melbourne is said to be the coffee capital of the world and Melburnians especially are also confident in how they like the coffee. People love Melbourne’s coffee scene and we need to see it thriving. Between us we have 30 years of experience owning cafes and working for big brand coffee roasters and setting up cafes in Dubai and Singapore and now it’s time for us to make blends we know customers want.

What is the best business advice you have ever received?

Hire the smartest people you know and then you don't need to be the smartest people in the company. Invest in your team, as a strong team will determine your success with your guidance and support.

What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in business?

We originally started to be a wholesale business with the online store designed to be an addition to get our brand out there and our coffee into more people’s homes. When COVID hit and restricted our movements and ability to get into cafes, we moved more to an online store model. Overnight we became website developers and social media managers.

Photography of products was a challenge as we started whilst in lockdown and couldn’t use photographers to take images of our products. So learning how to take semi-decent pictures has been a constant battle. Sometimes they work out then other times they should never be seen.

What has been your positive takeaway from the COVID-19 pandemic?

  • More time to spend with our families and slowing down our pace.

  • Time to develop and plan a new business

  • Being thankful for those small things in life we took for granted - visiting friends, sitting down with a coffee in a cafe

What was your first job?

Katie - Waitress in a restaurant

Melissa - Hoyts Cinema attendant 

Do you keep your vegemite in the fridge or pantry?

Pantry - I do think about the option often and wonder what’s right. 

Favourite Australian film quote?

“Look at what you’ve done! Your mum’s upset.” - Chopper

Which classic Aussie song would you perform at karaoke?

Tina Arena - I’m in Chains. We love a good power ballad!

Check out Daly St Roasters for fresh coffee, gifts and brewing equipment.

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