The importance of diversification and the $6 latte question with Nick Mastro, owner of Adore Coffee Roasters
Australia’s coffee industry is one of the most competitive in the world, but one of Fine Foods’s long-term exhibitors, Adore Coffee Roasters, takes everything in its stride. We spoke to owner, Nick Mastro about the past two years, the importance of diversification and the question of the $6 latte.
Over the past 25 years, Nick Mastro has been through a few economic coffee cycles, and this experience has allowed Nick to steer Adore Coffee Roasters through the past two years with minimum drama.
“When I started roasting, coffee prices were pretty similar to what they are today, so I’m used to the ups and downs of the market,” said Nick. “When prices go up you need to shield your customers as much as you can and when they go down, you need to save for a rainy day,” he said.
With talk of cafes needing to increase prices to $6 for a latte, Nick explains the extreme competitiveness of the market makes increasing prices very difficult.” Relationships are key in our businesses and we need to keep price increases low to support our clients who have already gone through a couple of extremely challenging years,” said Nick. “We look for other areas of our business where we can make savings first and take a more conservative approach at this time,” he said.
With relationships at the heart of the brand, the Adore team can’t wait to get back to Fine Food and connect with friends old and new. “We’ve exhibited at Fine food over the past 20 years, and we enjoy the show because you can connect to all the sectors in the hospitality industry. You get to expose your brand, introduce new products and inspire cafe owners to try new things,” said Nick. “It will be great to meet people opening new cafes who want to try something different and learn new techniques. Innovation is key in our industry and that’s why we always experiment and try to be first in the market with something special,” he said.
With his long-term view of the coffee market, Nick expects more mergers and acquisitions such as Padre Coffee’s recent sale to private equity firm, Liverpool Partners. “We’ve seen this cycle before where prices go up and smaller roasters either merge or get acquired so expect more of that in the coming years,” said Nick.
Another change in the market over time has been the importance of quality equipment to keep up with the maturing taste of the market. Adore offers La Marzocco equipment as a solid and reliable machine to deliver excellent coffee. As equipment has become more expensive, and with the fluctuating nature of coffee businesses, the lease of equipment has never been more crucial. “This is where relationships are so important,” said Nick, “it’s a side of the business that needs careful attention”.
A trend Adore is seeing in the market is a move towards more sophisticated specialist coffee training. According to Nick, general barista training and knowledge has lifted over the past decade and now cafes are seeking education on other brewing methods. “We are seeing more interest in pour-overs, cold brews, single origin and filter styles however the shortage of staff and the time it takes to service these styles is currently very tricky,” said Nick.
While Adore can’t reveal the details of its Fine Food 2022 stand, the brand intends to unveil something that is true to its innovative core.