You probably didn’t know that this but our Flemington cafe site has been known for its amazing coffees since the late 1950s when Giuseppe La Spina bought the Atlantic Furniture Store and turned it into the Gallo D’Oro, Melbourne’s third espresso bar.
Giuseppe operated a Ranchillo espresso machine, and we're told that he was very particular about the getting just the right crema on his coffees.
But the site has never just been about coffee. It’s always been about people. This is where Guiseppe met his future wife Emily when she applied for a waitress job. It’s where their son Salvatore would fall asleep every night when they worked late. It’s where the community would gather to play cards or even see a TV for the first time.
The cafe also had some very notorious criminals as regulars. They included Fat Cat, Greedy & Mad Dog, men who ended up being part of the Great Bookie Robbery. These characters would always sit out the back and Giuseppe would always tell Emily, ‘Don’t listen to anything, don’t hear anything’ while you’re serving them.
Giuseppe sadly passed away in 2014, but Emily is still our landlord. She still gets really emotional when she imagines Giuseppe proudly standing behind his beloved espresso machine. She says, 'They were happy, happy, happy times'.
When you buy a coffee at STREAT you’re also not just buying caffeine, but helping create the community you want to live in. As a social enterprise we exist to change the lives of young people who really need a hand. We believe they deserve the opportunity to thrive, no matter what their starting point. Our goal is to be changing one life each mealtime. That’s 1,095 young people each year. Thanks for being part of this.