Coffee Chats: MILKLAB x Roasting Warehouse

Roasting Warehouse shared some massive news about their latest roastery opening in Greece, and more, with MILKLAB in this Coffee Chat. Read now!
Coffee Chats: MILKLAB x Roasting Warehouse
March 29, 2024

MILKLAB Coffee Chats: Roasting Warehouse

For our latest Coffee Chat, we caught up with one of Melbourne’s most beloved premium coffee brands, and MILKLAB partner of over five years, Roasting Warehouse.

Alexander Paraskevopoulos, Head of Marketing, talked us through family, international expansion, creating a sense of community, and much more.

Tell us about your experience as a MILKLAB partner?

Being a MILKLAB partner since 2018 has given Roasting Warehouse scope to enhance their business. Alexander explained, “It has allowed us to give additional value to customers and become more than just a coffee company.”

“We have also collaborated on events like MICE and barista competitions, which we look forward to doing more in the future.”

Both MILKLAB and Roasting Warehouse place an emphasis on collaboration, which helps to ensure a harmonious partnership, Alexander said. “MILKLAB representatives have the ability to create relationships with cafés and baristas, and they offer ongoing support through their marketing.”

Creating impactful activations through colLABoration

At MICE 2023, Roasting Warehouse helped bring MILKLAB Lane to life by running the Oatstanding Café which featured Roasting Warehouse’s house blend, Evolve, paired with MILKLAB Oat with delicious results!

“We love working with MILKLAB on these events because they allow us to showcase our coffee when paired with various alternative milks, while continually meeting new people in the industry who are of interest to our brand,” Alexander said.

Tell us about your new roastery!

Never known to do things by halves, the Roasting Warehouse crew planned something truly epic for their next location, which takes the brand global.

“Our new café roastery is opening in the heart of Athens. It’s gone from a dream to a reality, and we have partnered with the two-time Hellenic barista champion and his wife for our first international location,” Alexander said.

While there’s been a massive sense of excitement for the launch, there’s also been plenty of graft too, including “Eight months of construction, six flights to Greece and an uncountable number of late-night and early-morning calls.”

“It’s always been a dream to return to our Greek heritage and create an environment where customers can engage with our passion and our philosophy –specialty coffee.”

Though the Athens roastery may be all-new, having consistency across all Roasting Warehouse locations is equally important. To ensure Athens will achieve the same unparalleled experience the three Australian locations are known for, there will be “a consistent flow with familiar sounds from Marshall Road – the Roastery humming with fresh coffee production, shared laughter, and the kitchen bell ringing with each expertly prepared meal.”  

“In our venture into Greece, our aim is to replicate the same philosophy and consistency that has defined our brand in Australia. Our roastery in Athens will be more than just a coffee shop; it will be a vibrant hub where locals gather throughout the day, whether it's for a morning pick-me-up, a leisurely brunch, or a brief respite during their travels through Greece.”

The family’s continued success in Australia has paved the way for their Athens aspirations, which they will approach with the same community-centric culture.

“As we embark on this journey, our unwavering commitment to our core values and vision remains unchanged. We eagerly anticipate seeing our vision come to fruition, creating a welcoming haven where everyone feels a sense of belonging and connection.”

So, what are some of the big goals when opening a new Roasting Warehouse location? Alexander explained part of the strategy, which was grounded in a simple, powerful objective:

“To create a place where people feel at home. A place where they can enjoy the best coffee, have the best meal and share experiences together.”

It’s about providing more than hospitality, more than just a space. “We seek to foster a vibrant culture that sparks conversations among friends and family. Ultimately, we aspire to create a destination that captures the imagination and enthusiasm of all,” he said.

Can you share some insight into running a successful family business?

The key to running a successful family business? Sharing the load, as Alexander explained, “Everyone in the family has a different set of skills, allowing us to cover all areas of the business.”

Each family member plays a distinct but critical role, starting with George, who oversees the entire business as Director. Wholesale growth is taken care of by Jamie, Head of Sales, while Jonathan oversees production and the growth of the café business as General Manager and Head of Operations.

Alexander oversees brand awareness, social media and e-commerce in his Head of Marketing role, an area in which the business is seeing tremendous growth in the past year since its marketing team was introduced.

Is it possible to keep business and family life separate?

“No, unfortunately not; the family is super passionate about the business, and it becomes your life. With running a business, you have to be on 24/7, and with the introduction of Roasting Warehouse Athens, we are now in a position where we get to work all hours of the day. We are super lucky that we have such a great team around us that cares for the business like it’s their own.”

How coffee enriches communities

One of the beautiful things about coffee is its ability to unite people, as Alexander explained, “As a brand, we have always focused on the importance of specialty coffee in bringing communities together to make one.”

Roasting Warehouse has a diverse community of customers, which means on any given day, the team could be chatting to people who live just down the road, as well as those who are located more than 40 minutes’ drive away.

Discover your perfect coffee, pronto, with Roasting Warehouse’s new quiz.

“We know how important good coffee is, but it’s also critical to match people with their perfect coffee blend,” Alexander explained.

So now, on the Roasting Warehouse website, customers can take a super convenient quiz to find their ideal blend – it takes just a couple of minutes.

“With eight main blends, we’ve always wanted to give our customers plenty of choice, while also giving ourselves the best chance of offering something that becomes part of their daily life. Now, with the introduction of the quiz, we have made the discovery process much more convenient.”

Take the quiz now or scan the QR code at your local Roasting Warehouse!

How are things in the Melbourne coffee scene? Anything exciting coming up?

“We’ve been working on something special for the Australian coffee scene for the last few months, with plans to start rolling it out to the public in late March!”

While specifics for this campaign are under wraps for now, Alexander assured us it will “Emphasise self-expression, relatability, and personal connections – inviting people to define their unique daily experiences in our cafes or at home.”

“We aim to foster a sense of belonging and emotional connection within each person. Encouraging social sharing through dedicated videos, imagery, and testimonials, we are seeking to create a community story around shared experiences to help better connect our people,” he said.

Do you have any favourite MILKLAB products to use?

“The almond milk is simply unbeatable and is a customer favourite; in particular, it pairs super well with our house blend, Evolve.”

Head to your nearest Roasting Warehouse to taste stunning coffee blends in spaces that feel like home, and be sure to follow the journey on Instagram.

MILKLAB featured colLABorator

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