We have been Piccolo’d
May 23 2015
Well we have been, but only as far as through picture exposure. I guess that does not count? This amazing coffee shop concept based in Sydney, Australia has redefined the word ‘creativity’ in terms of gastronomy. Prepare to get Piccolo’d!
Have you ever stumbled upon some Piccolo Me pictures from their “Instagram Menu” (normally you would call it a feed)? Then you must be familiar with a few of their craziest food combos- Esprookie, fried ice cream, and a cheeseburger in a croissant. Piccolo Me is not a regular café from your neighbourhood for sure. Lets talk about their name: “The first Piccolo Me store was quite tiny. As it was getting built, we were there thinking about a name while both drinking Piccolo Lattes. Then it hit us – Piccolo (meaning small) reflecting the actual size of the stores we wanted to open and then of course our favourite coffee, and Me, to have a store that would show everyone what we love to do,” says Roy, one of the Hachem bros.
In a country famous for their coffee culture, it must be really challenging to succeed despite the lack of creativity and innovation of their competition. “With the success of the first Piccolo Me store we decided to open up another store in an area that was already heavily populated with cafes as we believed our Piccolo Me store had potential. After a few weeks and then months, business was improving yet not as fast as expected.” With this in mind, the Hachem brothers spent sleepless nights analysing what cafés don’t offer anymore. And they discovered the secret (or not so much a secret) – “SERVICE & EXPERIENCE”. “The next day I bought a whiteboard and put it in my room, drawing up different products and combinations, which I would then try out for the store. Before you knew it, I had created a whole line of crazy products. Seeing the amazing response from our customers fuelled my passion and kept us going.”
At this moment, you can find 8 Piccolo Me stores in Sydney. A near future might hold an opening of 3-5 stores. The amazing response from their customers is pushing the Hachem brothers further: “We also have big news as we are considering making Piccolo Me into a franchise.” Does that mean we can expect some Nutella Whip or fried ice cream in Europe or USA? “We are currently looking at moving to other states in Australia. We have been offered opportunities to expand in Dubai, but for the time being we believe that the other states in Australia should be ‘Piccolo’d first’," states Roy.
Let’s drown our (Piccolo virginity) sadness in the mouth-watering description of their creations. “At the moment, the latest thing available is “The Nerdtella Whip” (a block of hazelnut chocolate topped with nerds, dunked into a hot cup of steaming milk, then topped with whipped cream, more nerds and chocolate flakes). My favourite is our made in store “Malteser& Hazelnut Chocolate Fried Ice cream” served with hot salted caramel sauce, a product that sells itself. The most enjoyable product is our exclusive “Esprookie Cup” (choc chip cookie cup coated with hazelnut chocolate, lined with crushed hazelnuts and served with a hot espresso in it)… Do I need to keep going :D?” laughs Roy.
All of these products sound super delicious, but how central is the coffee itself in their concept? Isn’t it a bit overshadowed by the Roy Wonka kind of fantasy? “The way we see it is that we don’t want to be like every other café that brands themselves as “try our best coffee in Sydney”etc. We know we have good coffee and we don’t need to promote it. We want people to know we are not your typical coffee shop; we invite people to come and see what we can do with coffee and how far we can push the boundaries with coffee related products!” People seem to love it!
Keeping a close relationship with customers is the key. So is the exclusive membership in Roy’s confectionary club where all members can try crazy creations before releasing them into production. “Our customers love how we aren’t trying to be like cafés and how we are setting a new standard in the café industry. They don’t call me ‘Roy Wonka’ for no reason.” Even the greatest and coolest ideas get copied every day. And we know that overcoming yourself is harder than beating the competition. How does Piccolo Me manage to stay ahead of copycats? “Every day, I visit all 8 stores and try a Piccolo Latte at each to ensure that coffee quality is consistent and up to the brands expectation! We have people copying our work every day. If anything, it fuels us to do better and helps me to create even more crazy things! We are recognised in the café community as “The Willy Wonkas of the café industry” and we plan on keeping that name and expectation. With that being said, Have You Been Piccolo’d Yet?”
We definitely want to get Piccolo’d! Do you?