The current COVID-19 crisis is having devastating consequences on our economy which can be felt by all businesses in every industry, and especially small businesses. Part of Bagsort’s mission is to help stimulate local economies by helping small businesses increase their income. With the tourism industry at a standstill, we want to shed light on the stories of a couple of our partners as without them we would not exist. Many of them are local businesses filled with history and culture. This is the first article of many where we will tell you more about some of our partners and their amazing stories.
Café Melbourne is an establishment located in the heart of Plateau Mont-Royal in Montreal. It is a very colourful and lively cafe serving top quality brunches made with fresh, local ingredients. The owners are passionate about their profession and have a story like no other!
When we called the owner of the cafe, we wanted to understand the essence of the business and what it offered. Sébastien Dalbo, owner of Café Melbourne, describes his Montreal-based coffee shop as a unique experience. The attention paid to customers and to detail, creates an atmosphere like no other. Dining at Café Melbourne feels like being hosted by longtime friends. You will find a warm atmosphere, delicious drinks and carefully prepared dishes. Café Melbourne is a cozy, beautiful place. You will even find paintings exposed along the walls all created by the owner. The changing decor gives a touch of sparkling life that’s a change from the usual boring decor.
Café Melbourne was opened by an Australian 8 years ago. Sébastien’s journey with The Melbourne started in 2017 as an employee of the cafe. But towards the end of 2017, the original owner planned on closing the cafe. Sébastien, who already had plans for opening a small cafe, saw the opportunity to take over the business. With the help of his partner Lili (whom he met working at the cafe), they have been running Café Melbourne for over two years now and carry on the legacy of the iconic cafe.
Originally from France, Sébastien has a story like no other. When he was younger, he studied commerce and trained as a barista in hopes of starting his own business one day. In order to gain experience in the field, he travelled the world with a particular interest in specialty coffee and cooking. Following an attempt to open a business that did not follow through in France, Sébastien decided to come and settle in Montreal for good.
But we wanted to find out a little more about the entrepreneurs behind Café Melbourne. Below are his answers to a few of our questions:
Q: What is your greatest accomplishment?
Answer: I believe that I have not yet achieved my greatest accomplishment but already, I am proud to be able to exploit and highlight my paintings in my cafe (as I am a painter). Also, one accomplishment is to have the chance to be independent and to operate my own cafe and my little kitchen, to serve a lot of people, to be confronted with all the management issues… essentially to live the life of a cafe owner! Also, having the chance to innovate and be able to share these innovations with the world and our customers. At the moment my accomplishments are due to that.
Q: What is your biggest challenge?
Answer: It’s a lot of work. As a customer you wonder what’s happening on the other side. This is what got me interested in starting working in the field. If there is one thing that I recall, it’s that it is a lot of work and is always demanding. You have to pay attention to a lot of things and think about a lot of stuff. You have to know your customers and your business. It takes time to master all of it.
Q: What are your plans for the future?
Answer: For the future we have many plans, we would like to expand, to do more things, little by little. Our main idea would be to offer what we do in other places in Montreal. We have a large clientele and weekends are full year round, which is very appreciated. We know what we are doing and we would like to be able to share it in other places. We always try to be on top with the quality offered by using local products for each dish and drink and guarantee that everything is at its best. We work with precision and make sure that freshness is there every day. It’s demanding, but afterwards the satisfaction of the customers who appreciate what they have on their plate and come back to eat again is very rewarding.
Q: What do you think is the best part of your job?
Answer: Personally its independence, being able to survive in this world by ourselves. Not being dependent on others in everyday life is nice. We can do as much as we want, even if it’s not necessarily easy, it’s a gift. Second, happy customers, we work hard, we like what we do and we like to do it well. When people leave with good comments, it’s very appreciated. People are generally quite surprised. They love the warm atmosphere and the service offered. We feel that there is something more that makes people appreciate the experience they have when they come to eat or have a drink. So it gives you the strength to keep going every day and even get through tough times.
Q: Do you have any advice for someone who wants to get started?
Answer: Good luck, it’s hard work and I think you have to know what you’re doing. It takes experience, these are traits that require experience and some common sense but it can be acquired. I think it’s good to work for others and the day you are ready, you have to give yourself the means and the tools to achieve it, it is not something that can be improved.
The Café Melbourne is definitely a must see in Plateau Mont-Royal in Montreal. Vibrant colours, delicious food and drinks, passionate owners. This is the recipe for success as a cafe in Montreal. Also, as a Bagsort partner, they will be more than happy to offer space within the cafe to store your bags. So next time you are looking for luggage storage in Plateau Mont-Royal, drop your bags at Café Melbourne. You can book storage with them here!
In these uncertain times, it is extremely important to support and encourage small businesses during and after the COVID-19 crisis. This will greatly help these entrepreneurs who are the pulse of our Canadian economy.
Check-out Cafe Melbourne’s social media: