Joe Pinneri has worked in hospitality all of his adult life, but now, he’s master of his own domain in the CBD of Sydney.
Calling a slither of inner Sydney your own isn’t for the faint hearted. But Joe Pinneri took a leap of faith when opening up his own café in Kent Street just over a year ago, and he’s not looking back.
It wasn’t easy at first, he admits. “Initially, Part One Espresso was a little hole in the wall in central Sydney. I quickly learned that December is a tough time to be opening a café. It’s pretty quiet in the city, and when people started coming back from their holiday, they just didn’t seem to realise we were there.
“It was a shock to the system at first. I had come from a café that was going through 27kg of coffee beans a day and for the first couple of months, we were lucky to be going through a kilo of coffee a day.”
The fact that the café wasn’t instantly successful taught him the virtue of patience, he says.
“My advice to others looking at opening a new business is to be patient”, Joe Pinneri
“I told myself to be patient, but it’s absolutely terrifying to put your life into a business and to be sitting there for nine or 10 hours a day waiting for customers. I was questioning whether I’d done the right thing by opening a café many times.”
He decided to open the laneway next to the shop, add tables and more seating, as well as throwing an opening party to help spread the word and bring new faces into the café. “Having regular faces coming in daily has taken the business to another level. Our growth trajectory is healthy, and things are looking up.”
Part One Espresso celebrated its first birthday in December. The café has since grown into a regular haunt for local corporates seeking their morning caffeine hit, or a bite of lunch.
Pinneri’s quirky café fit-out, and clean and healthy food philosophy has earned him loyal customers, who regularly return for the home-grown herbs and produce that pepper the menu.