Discovering Espresso Moto and The 9 Ingredients to a successful small business

Hmm, opening a coffee shop in an area where on every other corner is happening cafe. Risky? You bet. And for every success story I’d be happy to bet there are a dozen struggling.

So to get it right, you can’t just wing it. Some not only get it right, some smash it out of the park. In my opinion, you are about to read about one such business.

The other day I had the pleasurable experience (the food and coffee was second to none) of going to meet the partners of a not only a very cool café but a great business “Espresso Moto”.

A business that’s recipe for success is proving to deliver the goods.

Incredible food with a diverse menu, friendly service, exceptional coffee and unique experience that no other café (as far as I know) offers…

Whilst enjoying the fresh aroma of coffee and feasting on pork belly and poached eggs (you have to try this) at the back of the café is a glass wall. Why a glass wall?

Well, that’s where the mechanics are going to be working on or building classic motorbikes. What’s that you say, yes you read right. A retro, old-school mechanic shop in a café in down town Palm Beach.

Now I’m no bike aficionado but there is a definite magical lure to classic bikes. Deep down maybe I dream of being Denis Hoper in Easy Rider, until my kids yank be back to this universe…

Anyway, back to what makes this business so good. You can tell it goes way beyond what’s on the surface.

So when I sat down with the partners Jordan Stubbs and Shannon Baier-Dry I had to find out what’s the story behind their business.

The result? Well let’s call it “The 9 ingredients to Espresso Moto’s Success”

Step 1: “Have A Vision and a Story”
This is your difference, create your story, know why you are doing what you’re doing and develop a passionate vision. The guys have even got a mechanic that is coming from Italy, whose family builds motorbikes. It is the perfect match to their vision for the brand.

Step 2: “Be Brave And Take Massive Action”
Most of us have ideas or dreams of working for ourselves. But the missing ingredient is often the simple step of making the big decision to actually just do it.

Step 3: “Research, Research, Research”.
The guys could not reiterate enough how important this step was. Due diligence can be the difference between success and failure.

Step 4: “Know Market Expectations and Exceed Them.”
Both partners have a background in hospitality and know that fresh produce; a great chef, diverse menu, consistent good service and coffee at reasonable prices are key success factors in this industry.

Step 5: “Flexibility”
Some ideas you’ve just got to let go of. An example of this was they were going to target mainly adults and had no high chairs. On the first weekend people came in asking for high chairs. So don’t be too rigid and listen to the market.

Step 6: “Go The Extra Mile”.
They guys and their partners knew the look and feel they were going for. There was to be no short cuts and no cutting costs. An example of this is they drove to Brisbane to get chords for their lights. Most people wont notice but it’s the details that can make the difference.

Step 7: “Measuring Results”
Keep an eye on the numbers; know your finances and every week keep a track of them. Set benchmarks and goals and constantly revisit them.

Step 8: “Delegate, pay well and Empower Staff”
Hats off to these guys. Their staff philosophy is spot on. They pay their staff well which helps keep moral high and in turn customer service. Also from day one they employed a manager and made all the staff answer to him. This gives them the power to work on the business and not get stuck working in it.

Step 9: “What’s Next”
In order to stay current to your audience, you have to be thinking, “what’s next” for your business. Don’t let your audience get bored with your business. The guys have a custom made classic motorbike line on the horizon and already looking at next venues. They know the next moves way before they need to actually make it.

So if you feel like feasting on cutting edge delicious meals and great coffee head down to Espresso Moto for an experience beyond your normal café.


Espresso Moto, 2/1389 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach QLD 4221

Interviewer: Rich Muir & Matthew Denehy, Aug 2015