Bite Size Coffee treats is Australia’s market leader in the field of coffee accompaniments. Jeremy Dakis, MD of Bite Size,set out on a mission to transform the coffee experience in this country and throughout the years that cafe culture has known him, he has done just that.
Born in 1977 in Sydney, the first 12 years of Jeremy’s life were spent between Greece and Australia, until his family finally returned to Sydney for good when he was 12.
Jeremy started working in hospitality very early in his life. At the ripe old age of 10, whilst living in Greece, a very small Jeremy was hired by a family friend to wait tables at their local tavern because he could speak English to the tourists.
During early adolescence he was involved in family businesses spreading from North Sydney to Sydney’s West, from gourmet delis, to bakeries and cafés, where his love for quality food and coffee really took a turn.
Jeremy says, “I really enjoyed interacting with people. I knew that a desk job would never really be me – being hands on was far more engaging. Then I started really developing my barista skills, and in a time when coffee art was really unheard of, I was surprising clients with what could be done with a latte. It was new for them and I was fascinated by it, the same way I became fascinated by the differences between hospitality in Australia vs Europe.”
A string of hospitality jobs ensued, from barista, to barman, to café manager, for a range of prominent cafés and bars. To put time frames in perspective, Jeremy managed the second store for the group Crystal Carwash at the age of 19.
“In my 20s I spent a lot of time in Europe, and each time I returned it became more evident that Australia was years behind in regards to customer service and client offerings. This is where things started to turn for me, because I started to really understand the impact that service could have on a business’ success.”
Aside from his love for hospitality, marketing and business were always a passion for Jeremy, and a multitude of successful pop-up businesses also occupied him during his early 20s.
The role that really cemented his relationship with the hospitality industry was working as a junior sales rep selling POS solutions to cafés, restaurants and bars. His organic understanding of how these businesses worked allowed him to tailor systems to the exact needs of each business. But the fundamental selling point, Jeremy says, was his commitment to providing superior service to his clients. Sales rose each year, and Jeremy was promoted to National Sales Manager and then secured a position as partner soon after. His 14 years at National POS provided a wonderful foundation to the next step of his life.
During his time in sales, Jeremy found a new passion: marketing. He attended a range of world renowned marketing seminars, the best of which was headed by the likes of Jay Abraham, the world’s number one marketer during the ‘90s.
“These courses really revolutionised my ideology about what business is about and what it takes to get ahead and stand out. At the same time, my mother owned a café that really started to take off. It was great watching it grow, but it meant seven days and long hours for her, so I got involved on weekends to give her a break.”
Combining his industry experience and new marketing knowhow, this business became a prototype for a new way of client engagement in hospitality. Who knew that this one site would be the beginning of a much bigger story about completely revolutionising the way Australian cafés approached clients. Anyone who knows the Bite Size story, knows what happened next …
Today, Jeremy’s baby, Bite Size Coffee Treats, is Australia’s market leader in the field of coffee accompaniments, specialising in the manufacture of award-winning European style Bite Size biscuits designed to complement the taste and presentation of coffee. The company set out on a mission to transform the coffee experience in this country, and it has done that, providing cafés with a delicious tool to add value to their offering and create a point of difference between their business and that of their competitors. The concept rests upon an appreciation of client value, Jeremy explains. “If you know your customers’ worth – their lifetime value to your business – then you also understand that you must do whatever it takes to impress them and secure their loyalty.”
Bite Size Coffee Treats is in its 9th year now, seeing Jeremy busier than ever as Managing Director. The business has gone from height to height, evolving alongside Australia’s fast paced hospitality industry. “It’s fair to say that the gap between Europe and Australia regarding service standards is minute these days. In fact, when it comes to consumer choice, health and well being, Australian cafés are leading the way and acting as a benchmark for the rest of the world to follow.”
Who is Jeremy outside of Bite Size? He describes himself as a young man who played professional soccer and considered himself the king of street fighter and handball. These days he plays soccer, but only socially, enjoys tennis with friends and poker with enemies.
Sports and work aside, Jeremy’s largest passion by far is his young family: his ever supportive wife, Katerina, and two young boys, Anthony and Dimitri, aged 2 and 7 months. Jeremy says,“In a few years, I see them heading the business.”
Thanks Jeremy; Café Culture looks forward to a time where we can welcome your boys to the industry.