This year, the Cafetto Hall of Fame recipient was an obvious choice – not as an individual award, but an acknowledgment of a third generation family business that has become an outstanding example of Australian coffee roasting.
It all started in the early 1950s, when Alfio Genovese, like many Italians, immigrated to Australia, first living in Perth, then moving to Sydney, and finally settling in Melbourne. He became a partner in a major importer and national distributor of Italian foods. The Melbourne branch was opened to specifically roast coffee for the Victorian market, which suited Alfio, who had learned the coffee-making craft back in Italy.
In 1970 A. Genovese & Sons was established, with a goal of roasting the genuine Italian style coffee that he knew and loved from his homeland.
A. Genovese & Sons began roasting in a small factory on Lygon St in Brunswick. Not long after in 1975, Alfio’s Italian espresso style had established quite a following, and it was time to move to a larger site in East Coburg. This would become the home of Genovese Coffee for the next 40 years, albeit with two major expansions along the way.
Today the Genovese facility is made up of the roasting plant, quality control laboratory, showroom, warehouse, training facility and offices. No longer only sticking to the traditional Italian style of coffee, the Genovese brand now offers a broad range of coffee styles with distribution all over Australia, as well as internationally, with cafés using Genovese Coffee as far away as Singapore and Paris.
Anyone who is anyone in the coffee industry knows the Genoveses. They have embraced their traditions and know where they came from. They believe in their product and stand by it with conviction.
It has become a true family owned and operated business, with Alfio and Maria’s children, Daniel (Danny), Ray, Eleonora and grandchildren Adam and Christian actively involved in the company.
It was fitting then that Danny, Ray and Eleonora accepted the Cafetto Hall of Fame award at the Compak Golden Bean Awards evening, in front of many of their friends and colleagues from the close knit coffee industry.
The Genovese family was visibly moved by the acknowledgment of their father’s hard work and the commitment it takes to keep a family legacy alive and thriving in an ever competitive market.
References: “Espresso: Melbourne Coffee Stories” author Andrew Brown-May