Tours of Tuscany

Tours of Tuscany
Join this small group tour and immerse yourself in the current of sensation for a week of food, wine and culture in Tuscany.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Phillip Di Bella

Phillip Di Bella

At the age of 31, Phillip Di Bella leads Australia’s fastest growing coffee company.

In just four years he has founded and built up the company in one of the most competitive retail industries in Australia. This speed of growth was recognised in the 2006 BRW Fast 100 list where Di Bella Coffee debuted at number 23.

After 11 years in the business, Phillip followed his dream and started Di Bella coffee with only two wholesale clients. As a one-man band he roasted the coffee himself in one location, drove to another to type up invoices, stored his product somewhere else and then delivered the coffee himself.

Realising this system was impossible to grow the business, Phillip sold his home and purchased commercial premises. Living in a spare office, Phillip worked 120-hour weeks to build up his client base of supplying product to retail coffee shops.

Phillip fought off a price war and the coffee “old boys club” with sheer hard work, his commitment to the finest quality coffee and high levels of customer service.

He took the business to the next level with the bold move of going to the market directly by selling coffee at Jan Power’s Farmer’s Market at the Brisbane Powerhouse.

By directly meeting the coffee lovers of Brisbane who attend the market, Phillip built the reputation of his six blends. The word of mouth method worked and coffee drinkers demanded his product from their favourite coffee outlets.

At the same time, he opened his own retail outlet at the premises in Bowen Hills where his coffee was roasted and blended. His clients would buy their grinds as well as enjoy a fresh brew.

Phillip had now firmly established a wholesale coffee business to cafes and retail supply direct from his own café and over the internet.

As his market share grew, he then expanded into the highly competitive ‘south-centric’ Melbourne and Sydney markets.

A lean operation, he was able to ensure top quality coffee at competitive prices and continue his personal hands-on approach to service.

Phillip then expanded the Di Bella experience to include all related products such as sugar and powdered chocolate, and a full range of machines and accessories.

His next step was to provide coffee training to the industry, home machine owners and coffee lovers. Barista training, master classes and workshops are conducted regularly at Bowen Hills.

Phillip then added other services, such as a full machine maintenance program and a real estate division to source suitable cafe properties.

His employee base has expanded from one (himself) to twenty-two staff including brand managers in Melbourne and Tasmania.

His investment in the company has increased with the purchase of a state of the art packaging machine that assembles, fills and dates the product. Di Bella coffee plans to invest in more advanced European technology to further perfect the art of coffee.

The growth and success of Di Bella Coffee has been recognised with a host of business and community awards. In 2006, Phillip was one of only four to have a presence on both BRW Magazine’s Fast 100 and Young Rich lists. Despite his extensive personal achievements, Phillip believes the success of his company is due to the commitment of his staff, whom he rewards with a generous incentive program.

Although his business success is a major triumph for the son of Italian immigrants, Phillip takes most pride in having the resources to give back to the community and educate others. He sponsors four children in the Philippines and enjoys fundraising and motivational efforts at disadvantaged schools. Di Bella supplies all coffee to Café One (Wickham Street, Brisbane), run by Mission Australia for disadvantaged and homeless people. Phillip also provides an advisory service and barista training to staff.

Di Bella coffee now supplies to over 600 café outlets, its own signature café Vue in New Farm, Extract in the city, and one million cups of his coffee are enjoyed each week.

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