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January 10, 2018

A Glamorous Di Bella Farewell

Di Bella

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 combined, to thank all of the couples past acquaintances who joined them over the fifteen years of the Di Bella Coffee journey. Phillip and Gianna sold the business to the Retail Food Group some time back and Phillip stayed on to support the change over but is now stepping back from operations and will stay in an advisory position at RFG.

I personally have a close working relationship with Phill and Gianna over the life cycle of the business and have always been in awe of the energy the couple has put into this amazing coffee business. Di Bella Coffee grew at enormous speed and the couple pushed their energy into creating a family orientated business where their customers were always first and a big part of the Philosophy was helping all involved share the financial success and high growth benefits. Phill discovered early in his business career it was more than just about a great cup of coffee it was about relationships and how to maintain them and he did both very well.

Phill has always been the face of the business and Gianna was always the loyal back end of the business operations. She was always the silent achiever putting together the pieces of the business operations that needed completing. Not too many people from the outside world will get to experience such a high growth business and it was great to hear her take on what it took to be part of the controlling side of a fast growing business with the ups and downs of running a coffee company. Gianna took the microphone for the majority of the speech time and it was a pleasure to hear her commitment to her husband, family, staff, the brand and her customers. Not too many couples can work together successfully and this to me is an amazing achievement in itself. Gianna is a very strong woman, who took on the huge commitment of running a family and a successful business.

We did get to hear the famous Key Note speaker Phillip Di Bella give his send off to the crowd, and like always his passion and story of Di Bella coffee was amazing and inspiring. I always feel a bit underwhelmed on my own achievements when I hang around too much with Phill. What Phill and the business achieved in 15 years people would not achieve in ten lifetimes. Phill talked about the journey and his new life adventures he can now share with his young family. He is definitely not going away for long and I know, as a personal friend, a man with this energy can’t rest too long.

One segment of Phillip’s speech that hit a note with the celebrating crowd was…

The night was full of amazing food, drink and a very spectacular fireworks display on the Brisbane River in front of the Moda Event centre at Portside. We were entertained also on the night by glamorous stilted ladies in luminous white gowns and a cabaret singer that belted out classic songs that got the crowd in the party vibe. It was a spectacular event that will be well remembered by all the friends and colleagues that were there, but in my mind it was chapter one of the Di Bella story, as it’s a big world out there and conquerers are always after a new quest!

by Sean Edwards, Cafe Culture International





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