Harsh Mehta spent seven years treating his caf shifts like business owner bootcamp. He used those years as a training ground, learning and growing as much as he could in preparation for the caf he knew he would open one day. He developed skills in every area of hospitality but it was behind the coffee machine that he felt the most at home.
His hard work paid off. In 2014, Harsh opened Coffylosophy, Hutt Streets first caf with a focus on specialty coffee. While he was proud to own his own business, Harsh says thats not what he was most excited about in the early days.
Coffee was my passion. To have an actual shop front and spread my passion for coffee to other people and make them aware that theres great coffee available and they dont have to go far for it opening Coffylosophy was like a dream come true, he explains.
And Hutt Street locals were more than happy to be part of Harshs dream. Coffylosophys clientele grew quickly and the caf became the nieghbourhoods go-to for a beautiful coffee. Today, many of those first customers are still regulars partly because theyre hooked on Coffylosophys cuppa and partly because the caf quickly starts feeling like a second home to customers.
Harsh explains that Hutt Street is already a tight-knit community. People that live and work locally get to know each other and theres a supportive neighbourhood feel to the area. Its so welcoming, supportive and encouraging, Harshs enthusiasm for running his business hasnt wavered in the slightest.
He says, I love that I wake up in the morning and I want to go to work. I look forward to seeing all the friendly faces again. My days are filled with happiness and banter and people leaving the caf with a smile on their face.
Genuine, casual customer service has become a given at Coffylosophy. But Harsh believes that even the most foundational values of his business need to be acknowledged day after day, in everything he and his staff do. Every day, Harsh challenges himself to meet his customers expectations and make each time the visit better than the last.
And he does. Most importantly, hes worked hard to create a positive environment for his small team of long-time front-of-house staff. In the back-of-house, Coffylosophy chef Drew Akin, keeps customers well-fed with a menu that marries classic Aussie eats with a hint of Southern American flavour. Originally from Alabama in the USA, Drew develops Coffylosophys ever-evolving menu with this cross-cultural influence. Harsh gives Drew creative freedom in the kitchen, encouraging him to put himself on a plate and change things up as often as he likes.
Harsh explains that another crucial part of meeting and exceeding expectations is professional development on his part as head barista. When Coffylosophy opened, Adelaides coffee scene was a bit behind some of its capital city counterparts. Over the last few years, as the city caf culture has grown and evolved, Harsh has managed to stay ahead of the curve.
Like his early days working in the hospitality industry, Harsh continues to treat every day behind the coffee machine as training. While he finds the gorgeous Melbourne-roasted Veneziano four-bean blend he favours to be fairly inspiring, that level of conviction could be difficult to maintain. To keep it going, Harsh regularly enrols in the countrys top barista champion competitions.
It forces me to put myself out there. When you have a competition coming up, it makes you work harder and try to become better. It forces you to find new ways to highlight the coffee youre making at the caf every day, he says.
Not only does Harshs commitment to professional development result in excellent coffee, its also led to innovation. Coffylosophy has perfected four different brewing methods, including the popular cold-drip method that brews coffee over a period of 15 hours.
Harsh has built a place that people can rely on. No matter how easy he makes it all look, everything from Coffylosophys consistently excellent service to the constantly evolving offering is the result of hard work. Day in, day out, cup after steaming cup.
198A Hutt Street, Adelaide SA 5000 |(08) 8227 1860