I happen to live in one of Sydney’s most competitive café markets – Bondi. Four years ago, one of my favourite cafés changed hands and it went from a booming business that used to have people lining up outside, to empty tables. The new owner went bust in less than a year and the site was abandoned.
A few months later, Bobby took over the site. He didn’t renovate or change anything physically inside or outside the café. He opened his doors, and he focused on two things: service and good coffee.
By our third visit, Bobby knew us by name and knew our coffee order off by heart. He took a genuine interest in us and shared his vision for his business openly. He took feedback on his coffees and made small adjustments until within a few months, he literally has the best coffee, not just in Bondi, but anywhere in Sydney (in my humble long black opinion).
He knows our kids and loves our dog. He’s expanded his offering and runs amazing collaborations; our personal favourite is him selling Iggy’s Bread – yum! When we had to isolate when one of our kids got COVID last year, he had his team deliver coffees to our door every day and we just paid him after the isolation period was over.
And Bobby’s team are just as engaged and mirror Bobby’s passion for personalised, caring and proactive service, so even if Bobby isn’t there, you get the Bobby experience every time.
Bobby’s Corner is pumping every day, filled with locals who adore Bobby and his team and love his coffee. In the last few years Bobby didn’t do anything fancy, he just focused on the basics, awesome service and good coffee.
In the overcrowded café marketplace in Bondi, every day we choose to buy at least two coffees a day from Bobby’s. Even if we happen to pick up another coffee from somewhere else at some point during the day, we still make sure we come back and grab a coffee from Bobby’s.
And multiply us by hundreds of locals and you’ve got a strong, sustainable business based on good old-fashioned service.
Nic McClanachan, January 2023