June 9, 2012

A Bitesize Story

The real Bite Size story was born in a café in Europe … Any cafÉ in Europe, actually. Greece, Italy, Spain … the place is interchangeable, because what it’s really about is the European culture of hospitality, where a customer is treated as a guest entering your home. You want them to feel welcome, to feel comfortable, to return without hesitation. So you treat them to something special, something they didn’t ask for, just for the sake of giving.

 Sometimes it’s a shot of grappa or maybe a petit four, other times fresh fruit, depending on whether you have a café or a restaurant. The message however is consistent. I appreciate you and your business.  In Greek we call this kerasma, which translates to “on the house”, because that’s exactly what it’s about; reminding your customer that they are in your house and you are a good host. 
Being involved in cafés for years and of course, growing up in Europe, we understood the importance of client appreciation. In the last café we were involved in, we served a little chocolate on the side of the coffees. It was not only a nice gesture, but also a point of difference between the surrounding cafés and us. Chocolates were then the ‘in thing’ in the market and pretty much the only option when it came to coffee accompaniment.On one particular day I was sitting down going over the rosters, and I asked one of the wait staff to bring me over my standard piccolo. She was new, and I guess wanting to show me she was efficient, put one of the chocolates on the side of my coffee. I laughed when I saw it. I was so used to drinking my coffee standing, that this was an indulgence for me. In all our years serving chocolates on the side of coffees, it was the very first time that I actually had one on the side of my coffee.[nggallery id=39]

So I tried it, sucking the chocolate until it dissolved in my mouth and then taking a sip of my piccolo. I was expecting the rich flavour to flood my taste buds, like it usually did, but I was amazed to find that the coffee actually tasted bitter and nothing like what it should taste like. I couldn’t understand why. Our baristas were good, specially selected to be the best at what they do, and we knew it wasn’t them. Our coffee brand hadn’t changed, because we were drinking it every day and it tasted just as creamy and rich as ever. We checked the milk, the machine, everything and could not understand why this particular coffee tasted bitter. Eventually it dawned on me that there was still one variable left to consider: the chocolate.

So naturally, the management then tried it for themselves. We each took a sip of our respective coffees, made exactly the way we each loved them: sugar, no sugar, strong, weak, milk, no milk, and then we had a bite of our chocolates.

And then of course, another sip.

All I remember was looking around at my partners and seeing a blank look on their faces. Nino, one of the baristas, broke the silence with two words in his thick Italian accent: “That’s ‘orrible”. We all burst out laughing.

Coffee and chocolate was a terrible combination. The coffee after the chocolate tasted burnt and dull, definitely not as full bodied as the first sip. Who would have thought, when mochas taste so sweet? The espresso and the deep chocolate flavour actually worked against each other when isolated, as if they were fighting for the attention of your palate. We just couldn’t believe it. After years of serving chocolates on the side of the coffees, we had never stopped to actually try what we were serving!

We went back to the drawing board as they say, but there was nothing on the market that fit the size, taste and price requirements that we had. The problem was that we didn’t want to lose the relationships we had built with our customers over this time, nor did we want to give up on a concept we knew was working and would potentially work even better when we found the right kerasma. We had little choice, but to begin baking our own coffee accompaniments.

Luckily for me, my business partners in the café were my mother and my aunty. Trained from a young age in the art of baking, they didn’t waste much time before applying years of home schooling to developing our new coffee accompaniment. It took months and many trials of biscuits to perfect it, but we eventually developed our own Bite Size Coffee Treat to serve to our clients. It was a crispy almond shortbread made by hand and baked in my aunty’s own kitchen. It was their mother’s recipe, made the same way it had been for generations, but Bite Size.

This time we made sure we had a taste with coffee, before we started feeding it to our customers. The results were unanimous. No one could stop at one. Our coffee sales were hitting the roof, and we were doing week after week record trade.

People were ordering coffees and asking for their biscuits – a lot of regulars even opting to get a second coffee, when for years they would only ever have one. Our cake sales also increased; it seemed that people didn’t realise they wanted something sweet until they had a tiny taste. We became known as the café that gave you something when you ordered coffee and overall, our customers were very happy.

After 18 months of serving these home-made accompaniments to our clients and seeing the café go from 18 kilos a week to 32 kilos a week, we decided to sell. But in that time, a shift had finally occurred in Australia. It might have been in a handful of cafés, but it affected thousands of customers, whose expectations of their dining or drinking experience had been altered in a way that could never be undone.

They now understood the concept of value adding to a café experience: of being thanked at the owner’s expense for merely choosing us rather than our competitor; of being welcomed into our place, in the hope it will become your place.

It was a wake up call even to us, who already appreciated the idea of bringing this European trend to Australia. The success of the concept had made us realise that hospitality was an industry no different to any other, where people appreciated an incentive to pick one brand over another. Our customers were no longer just the people on table 2, but educated consumers, who were making informed decisions on where they would eat and/or drink based on what they got in return.

Atmosphere. Relationship. Value.

Traditional concepts of service, quality and reliability were proving to only get cafés or restaurants so far in our saturated hospitality market. If our experience taught us anything, it was that it’s the small things you do in business that make all the difference.

After we sold the café, my mother, aunty and I decided to go into business together again, but this time not in the café business … in the coffee accompaniment business. We actually wanted to help other café owners create a point of difference in their business just like we did. So in June 2006, we registered Bite Size Coffee Treats Pty Ltd. We started baking out of my aunty’s kitchen, with just two clients. Today, the business produces over 7.5 million biscuits a year, employs 12 full-time staff, services over 350 clients Australia wide and has won 13 Royal Fine Food Awards for best accompaniments in the country, including Champion Biscuit 2012.

The most prestigious award, however, came only a few weeks ago, when we were awarded the “Award of Outstanding Excellence”. This award is the highest accolade given out by the Royal Agriculture Society of NSW and to be eligible you must have already won a Gold and Champion medal in your chosen field. The “Award of Outstanding Excellence” is rarely given out; in fact, there have only ever been 3 other companies in the history of this award to win such a prize since its inception nearly 20 years ago – none of them, however, in the field of biscuits.

This special award is summarised in the following way: “It is awarded to a product considered by all judges to be of Outstanding Quality, well above in superiority than all others. The judges must in their professional opinion believe that this product can’t be altered or perfected any more than what it currently is”. We can now comfortably say our products have been tried and tested and found to be “the perfect coffee accompaniment” – not just by us, but by clients, customers and now by judges alike.

But the truth is that despite all the awards, the success, the fact that people now know our name, the biggest satisfaction still comes from being told that your product has helped someone improve their business. The smile on the face of a business owner as you watch them take their dreams and mould them into real places – that is my favourite part. Knowing that we assisted in creating those dreams, in increasing their coffee sales, in making them stand out against their competitors, it’s a pretty nice feeling.

Business owners in Europe had it right all along. Bring them into your home. Show them your hospitality, because that’s what this industry is all about.

MPM Advertisment


A recycling revolution is underway at Planet Ark in 2018

Save the dates as Planet Ark celebrates its 25th birthday and unveils its plans for 2018. Planet Ark, Australia’s leading environmental behaviour change foundation, has laid out its plans for 2018 and will kick the year off b...
by Cafe Culture Mag


Almond Breeze wants to know what makes you froth

Almond Breeze Barista Blend, Australian baristas’ almond milk of choice, is giving baristas, roasters and cafes the opportunity to decide its new packaging design. By deciding what makes you froth, you could win $20,000 – t...
by Cafe Culture Mag


Are you struggling to understand your business tax obligations?

Find out about free assistance to help you understand your business tax! Last updated: 6 March 2018  If you’re new to business and confused by your super and tax obligations, why not sign up for the Business Assistance Progr...
by Cafe Culture Mag



Introductory Espresso Machine Technician course

Do you have a handy team member in your coffee business that is repairing your espresso equipment but needs some assistance in understanding the technical side of being a coffee technician? This two-day course is designed for n...
by Cafe Culture Mag


Coffee is the hero of the Australian Food Service Industry

Coffee is the hero of the Australian Foodservice Industry… however cafe owners are telling us that they are more focussed on improving their food offerings in 2018. It’s all about getting the formula right and the smart ope...
by Cafe Culture Mag



Countrywide Distributors can help you!

Countrywide Food Service Distributors are the largest group of independent wholesale Distributors in Australia. From Kalgoorlie to Toowoomba, Darwin to Hobart and everywhere in between, our Distributors span the country to deli...
by Cafe Culture Mag


DIGITAL ISSUE 1 – Out now!

You are going to see a lot more from us in 2018! Cafe Culture International are pumping up our digital presence. Via this NEW monthly digital magazine we’ll keep our content fresh and we endeavour to keep you informed and abr...
by Cafe Culture Mag



Piccolo To Go

E. F. I. Established in 2007, Piccolo To Go has evolved from coffee carts, cafes, catering at large events & festivals to ...
by Cafe Culture Mag


Cultured Products – Puqpress Automatic Coffee Tamper – White

Puqpress Automatic Coffee Tamper is the latest precision tamping technology that is taking the Australian specialty coffee industry by storm. Our newest self cleaning model eliminates the need for daily cleaning which reduces d...
by Cafe Culture Mag


Castaway Packaging – Helping Roasters Build their Business

The specialty coffee industry has continued to grow, creating more competition and specialised approaches to not only how coffee is sourced and served, but also to how it is packaged. Your packaging is more than just a vehicle ...
by Cafe Culture Mag



Contact Us

Mailing: PO Box 5728, Port Macquarie NSW 2444 Australia Phone: (02) 6583 7163 Fax: (02) 6583 7169 Email:    
by Cafe Culture Mag


FIRESTARTER: A Day of Roasting Lectures with Rob Hoos & Roastress Coops

Equilibrium Master Roasters is proud to kick-start your week at MICE with an Inspirational Day of Roasting Lectures presented by SCA Roasters Guild Education Committee Associates Rob Hoos & Roastress Coops at Proud Mary Cof...
by Cafe Culture Mag



Golden Bean Hall of Fame 2017- Fulvio Pagani of Rio Coffee

The hall of fame is all about acknowledging people and businesses which have made a significant contribution to making our industry what it is today. This year accolades go to Fulvio Pagani of Rio Coffee who is such a deserved ...
by Cafe Culture Mag


Record keeping systems: digital or manual?

Having a good record keeping system for receipts and record keeping is vital…   Just starting out in business and trying to decide whether or not to invest in record keeping software? It’s crucial to have a strong record k...
by Cafe Culture Mag



Sean Edwards discusses the Top 10 Global trends in the Café Industry

I personally get to see the best of the best traveling the world visiting thousands of cafés yearly in my role of Head Bean at Café Culture International. I spent several months this year in London, New York and San Francisco...
by Cafe Culture Mag


Cultured Products – Cappucine – Smartfruit

Smartfruit is an all-natural fruit smoothie concentrate. Shelf stable and non-GMO, they can be used to make juice or healthy smoothies. Being 100% natural they contain no added sugar, preservatives, or artificial colourings at ...
by Cafe Culture Mag


What receipts should you keep as a small business owner?

A good record keeping system can make tax time much easier!   Is that shoebox marked ‘receipts’ under your desk beginning to overflow? Keeping and managing your receipts can be tedious, but as someone who’s self-employed...
by Cafe Culture Mag



Zest Coffee: Flavour creation in PNG turns to Golden Bean Success

Sitting amongst the anticipative crowd we listened attentively as the medal winners of the 2017 Golden Bean Awards were ceremoniously announced. You see, of all the coffees we submitted, our Project Raggiana Lot 1 was a very sp...
by Cafe Culture Mag


Tilly Edwards

Media  The youngest member of the Cafe Culture team, Tilly has been learning and growing within the company for a decade, and is now officially full time. She is a very vibrant and driven professional, with her lifetime of exp...
by Cafe Culture Mag


Cultured Products – Ordermentum – Online ordering on time

Ordermentum is a complete business tool for coffee roasters that handles everything from orders to payments and production. Ordermentum helps thousands of businesses get their orders and payments in on time, every time and elim...
by Cafe Culture Mag



Connor Fox

Business Development Manager Connor is an energetic café industry professional who has worked on the front lines of the coffee industry in the United Kingdom for several years. Constantly striving to find the next BIG thing i...
by Cafe Culture Mag


Australasian Cafe School Upcoming Roastery Cafe Model 5 day course

THE AUSTRALASIAN CAFÉ SCHOOL Gain a comprehensive understanding of the retail café industry and the confidence to open your own successful café. The Australasia Cafe School offers a 5 day course for new and existing business...
by Cafe Culture Mag


Get Roasted Coffee – Online store – Featuring award winning ONA Coffee Finca Deborah

Cafe Culture International are pleased to announce the launch of #GetRoasted coffees. This new addition to will feature award winning and outstanding coffees from the Pentair Everpure Golden Bean Coffee Roaster...
by Cafe Culture Mag



Justin Metcalf explains how to keep your cold brew safe

Whether its microbial or pathogen you need to know what this all means to the safety of your cold brew. The sources of microbial contamination can be your water, the containers you are using, your equipment that you’re br...
by Cafe Culture Mag


Cultured Products – Nuvia – A natural sugar replacement

Nuvia Sweetener is a sugar replacement created with the extract of the naturally sweet stevia plant. We source pure, high-quality stevia which has a clean, sugar-like taste. Our delicious, signature sweetener has been specifica...
by Cafe Culture Mag



Leading Japanese food retailer, Sushi Sushi has today (11 Jan) announced it will again be available for players, media and tennis fans to enjoy at Australian Open 2018. For the third year in a row, Melbourne’s favourite sushi...
by Cafe Culture Mag



Pimpin’ Profiles with Anne Cooper

So. you’ve read the books, the websites, tried to follow the information & example profiles presented, & you still can’t produce the results you’re after! Having the awesome opportunity to regularly visit roasters...
by Cafe Culture Mag


Cultured Product: Uniwell4Cafes

Uniwell 4 Cafes Uniwell POS Australia has been providing high quality, purpose built Point of Sale terminals to Australian hospitality venues for over 15 years. The Uniwell4Cafés system combines the latest compact ePOS technol...
by Cafe Culture Mag

Di Bella

A Glamorous Di Bella Farewell

Café Culture International had the pleasure to attend the farewell of Di Bella Coffee creators Phillip and Gianna Di Bella in Brisbane in November this year. The night was a magnificent display of emotions and gratitude combin...
by Cafe Culture Mag



Cultured Product: Bondi Chai

Bondi Chai… Bondi Chai, Australia’s most awarded chai latte, cuts through the frustrating “chai haze” for cafe owners and chai drinkers alike. It’s quick and easy to prepare and its award-winning taste and tex...
by Cafe Culture Mag


China Cafe Study Tour 2018

Attend the #1 Largest China Cafe Expo Over 6 halls of business and competitions Cafe Culture International and Cafe Culture China present: The Expanding Chinese Cafe Market Study Tour Shanghai Hotelex Coffee Expo Where: Shangha...
by Cafe Culture Mag


Issue 47 now online

Cafe Culture Issue #47 Featuring: • The Pentair Everpure Golden Bean wrap up • Product Showcase • Global industry trends • Origin Stories We know our online flipbook is great, but if you prefer a hardcopy in your hand t...
by Cafe Culture Mag



Issue 46

Cafe Culture Issue #46 Featuring: • Australian Cafe Supplier Directory • On the plate recipes • Coffee Origins • Cafés abroad  
by Cafe Culture Mag



Capturing the attention of restaurant-goers is difficult in a crowded market, but keeping that attention and building a loyal customer base is even more of a challenge. We spared five minutes with founder of online hospitality ...
by Cafe Culture Mag



Sometimes, you walk into other people’s venues and think: how are their staff so well behaved? Why is the place so clean? What are their secrets? Managing a bar isn’t easy. Among juggling stock, budgets, customers a...
by Cafe Culture Mag



TRENDING CAFES Brisbane & Beyond

Ever been desperate for a good coffee and didn’t know where to go? As a newbie in town or a local who’s in an unfamiliar ‘burb, this can be a serious problem, if you’re the slightest bit fussy about your coffee. Your pr...
by Cafe Culture Mag


Freezoccino – The Trendiest Summer Drinks.

Ready to take advantage of Australian Summer? Here’s the truism- as the outdoor temperature rises, the temperature of what’s in your coffee cup must fall. A flat white at 3.30 pm when the temperature peaks at 35 deg. C ...
by Cafe Culture Mag


The perfect condiment for your café

Caramelised Balsamic Vinegar Family owned condiment manufacturer – The Food Company, have recently released a 100% Australian Premium Caramelised Balsamic Vinegar to the foodservice market. Using Dark Balsamic Vinegar sou...
by Cafe Culture Mag



Red Roasters – Cafe Review

How refreshing is it to see an amazing cafe when you are travelling that reminds you of back home. Great coffee, amazing food and smart on trend design and a slick fit out. We did not hesitate to enter this vibrant Brighton caf...
by Cafe Culture Mag


Freezoccino – Keeping up your Summer Coffee sales.

Here’s the truism about the Australian Summer – as the outdoor temperature rises, the temperature of what’s in your coffee cup must fall. A flat white at 3.30 pm when the temperature peaks at 35 deg. C doesn’t e...
by Cafe Culture Mag


Changes are coming to GST

Make sure your business is ready from 1 July 2018… From 1 July 2018, the goods and services tax (GST) will apply to retail sales of low value physical goods ($1000 or less) that have been imported to Australia and sold to con...
by Cafe Culture Mag



Water – the mother of tea

I came across a beautiful quote while visiting The China National Tea Museum which is located on the Jilong Mountain in Hangzhou. “Water is the mother of tea, the teapot is its father, and fire the teacher”. Sometimes the r...
by Cafe Culture Mag


Stoddart – Functional Storage Solutions

Simply Stainless is the world’s leading range of quality modular stainless steel sinks, tables, benches and stainless steel shelving which covers a whole spectrum of industries – from commercial kitchens and laundries for h...
by Cafe Culture Mag


Free online courses to help Australians boost their digital skills

Is there someone in your business who’d like to get better at using computers and technology? Tell them about Be Connected! Be Connected is a new program to help all Australians increase their skills and confidence with digit...
by Cafe Culture Mag



Bare Witness – Cafe Review

Do yourself a favour and check out this new #nicespace located across the bay from the Sydney Olympic precinct. Barista & Cupping champion Franki Shi and John Suh have teamed up to launch this outstanding full service cafe ...
by Cafe Culture Mag


7 practical tips to help you save water and money in your business

Every drop counts – it’s time to be water wise. Most Australian businesses use water in some form or another—from a Melbourne café washing dishes in the kitchen to a farmer in rural NSW watering their crops. But with wat...
by Cafe Culture Mag


Super Matcha Green Teas – Add health to your menu

Enjoy our exiting new range of four super-healthy Matcha Green tea combinations. Original Organic Matcha Blueberry Matcha Turmeric & Ginger Matcha Vanilla Matcha. Made with the finest shade grown green tea leaves, handpicke...
by Cafe Culture Mag



The 2017 Pentair® Everpure® Golden Bean Competition Champions

That’s a Wrap Last week the coffee Industry judged and awarded Australia’s and New Zealand’s best coffee roasting business at the 12th annual Pentair Everpure Golden Bean Roaster’s Competition and Conference. The co...
by Cafe Culture Mag


A chapter from Adore Estate

Above being able to share our blends with more and more people, the café sites we roast coffee for always seem to have a great story to tell, from the time they approach us before opening, to when they come to us and to say th...
by Cafe Culture Mag


Cappuccine introduces Smartfruit – 100% Real Fruit Purees Smartfruit Mellow Mango + Immunity

Cappuccine Australia would like to introduce you to the Smartfruit™ range of all-natural real fruit purees. Brand new and one of a kind, Smartfruit™ mixes were uniquely formulated to perfectly capture the authentic taste of...
by Cafe Culture Mag