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Adelaide coffee pioneers forced into liquidation, owing millions

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  • Adelaide coffee pioneers forced into liquidation, owing millions

    Just picked up on this.

    "The company that led Adelaide’s specialty coffee movement has been forced into liquidation, leaving behind unpaid employees, debts totalling millions, and questions over whether director Ian Callahan – who now styles himself as a “hospitality, business and marketing consultant” – used any company funds for personal benefit."

    https://indaily.com.au/news/2019/11/...wing-millions/

  • #2
    Fantastic. Just the sort of consultant you'd need.

    Sorry guys, nobody's getting paid because I'm either stupid or too self-centred to care.

    As director, he signs ASIC paperwork each year to state that his is solvent.

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    • #3
      Ill never understand why creditors give so much credit? And why these directors who fail seemingly get off scott free?

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      • #4
        At one time Ian Callahan and his Bar 9 establishment were very highly regarded in Adelaide, seems the wheels started to fall off around early 2017 when he closed the Glen Osmond Rd cafe, promptly followed by the Parkside and Whitmore Square locations, this quote from indaily,

        "The image of success was dented when the Parkside location closed suddenly in January 2017 and the Whitmore store quickly followed suit, shutting down in April 2017. Callahan said the business was forced out of both premises because of unpaid rent."

        There are also references to an association with 5 Senses in Melbourne, cant post a link as its a commercial site.

        Coffee joints in Adelaide, particularly the trendy places seem to come and go with monotonous regularity, the exception being the Italian family owned places (and there's heaps of them) for some reason they seem to endure.

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        • #5
          As I moved to Adelaide in 2017 the coffee scene was already well-established. I understand that Coffee Branch in Leigh Street was one of the early pioneers and that suddenly shut down for months earlier this year, later re-opening with different management.

          It appears that Fiefy's have taken a sustainable approach to their business - all three cafes operate within a pretty small pocket of the CBD, so resourcing & staff sharing wouldn't be too difficult (e.g. if one is running low on stock another shop is only a few minutes walk away), plus having a good idea of their target clientele.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by CoffeeHack View Post
            It appears that Fiefy's have taken a sustainable approach to their business - all three cafes operate within a pretty small pocket of the CBD, so resourcing & staff sharing wouldn't be too difficult (e.g. if one is running low on stock another shop is only a few minutes walk away), plus having a good idea of their target clientele.
            Funny, as I was reading the above posts I thought about Fiefy's too.

            Fiefy and Tim are rocking it although the original shop lost 10 floors of customers above it when they moved out and hopefully a new tenant moves in soon.

            What they have done well is to not grow too fast, take your time, build a great cafe before moving onto number two and three. They also use great coffee (self plug here) instead of trying to sell a "sour trendy" that people try once and don't come back for. They also don't do complicated food offerings, instead wraps, toasties, homemade fruit salad (in summer) and cold case items that are easy fast to toast/serve can be prepared out of peak times and don't require a full kitchen (nor kitchen/wait staff). Keeps the staff level tight but always busy and you don't have people camping on your expensive rent real estate for hours on a single cup of coffee.
            Go in, get what you need and out with a smile!

            I think of Fiefy's as an example of how great a cafe business can be when done right.

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            • #7
              For some reason we tend to ignore the Italian influence when discussing the coffee scene in Adelaide, there are quite a few cafe/restaurants in the city established by Italian families as very modest establishments in the late 50's early 60's that are not only still around but have flourished and evolved.

              One of the earliest was Lucia's (1958) in the Central Market, established over 60 years ago and is still being run by family members, I worked with Peter Rosella (Lucia's husband) in the early 60's and became a regular customer, this was probably the beginning of my love for Italian food and coffee.

              Originally little more than a hole in the wall, Lucia's is now a thriving business offering all things Italian as well as running their now much different from the original cafe/pizza bar.

              I think the term sustainable could be applied to these businesses as well.

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