Phillip Di Bella, Founder, Di Bella Coffee

Surround yourself with the right people ...

What was meant to be a part-time hospitality gig to pay the bills while studying at university was the catalyst for what is now one of Brisbane’s most recognised coffee brands. Phillip Di Bella started pulling espressos at Cosmopolitan Cafe – the first local cafe to also roast its own beans. From this passionate environment and his studies in commerce, Phillip Di Bella founded his own roastery and cafe Di Bella Coffee. Celebrating the ten-year mark this year, Di Bella Coffee has grown from a small roasting venture to having roasting warehouses in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne and supplying cafes beans to cafes the country over. Passionate about coffee, entrepreneurship and marketing, Phillip is also a director at Brisbane Marketing and Queensland Tourism and Events, wanting to contribute and help shape our local culture. Next month, Di Bella Coffee will launch Australia’s first premium coffee in a can, dubbed Espresso Kick. A cold beverage invented by the Japanese and popular in America and Italy, canned coffee will soon be available to the Brisbane iced-coffee seeker. The Weekend Edition caught up with Phillip to discover his weekend essentials.

How do you like to start your weekend?
I love to start the weekend with my children running into my bedroom and giving me a great morning hug. There’s nothing more energising than that.

What’s your favourite thing to do on a Saturday morning?
We love to have breakfast at our local cafe, and then we work off those breakfast calories by taking our children to gymnastics at the YMCA.

How do you like to unwind?
Over a glass of red wine on our balcony with my beautiful wife where we recap on the highs and lows of our week.

What are your essentials for a well-spent weekend?
A balance of family time, me time and being able to read the newspaper without interruptions – a rare luxury with children!

What’s something you’ve been meaning to do on the weekend but haven’t got around to yet?
Events Queensland has some great offerings happening through September so I’m really keen to go to Brisbane Festival to enjoy the light show. We hope to get there soon – I hear it’s amazing.

What’s your favourite thing to do on a Sunday evening?
We walk to the Merthyr Bowls Club and enjoy a casual dinner overlooking the view the river has to offer.

What are you looking forward to next weekend?
I actually have nothing planned. I’m looking forward to being idle. My weeks are so jam packed that it’s nice to not have to be planned and organised on the weekend.

What are you reading at the moment?
My wife has given me an interesting book to read called Jack and the Team That Couldn’t See, which is a fictional tale about leadership and managing teams for high performance.

What inspires you?
Watching how my children are learning and growing as individuals. I find it inspiring how they get joy from the simple things in life. They remind me each day to keep it simple and stay grounded.

What was your childhood dream?
My childhood dream was to create a legacy – something that would be remembered today and into the future. That dream has become Di Bella Coffee – that’s what I try and create at Di Bella each day.

What has been your greatest achievement?
My aim in life is to reach my full potential, to keep evolving and be better tomorrow than today. I’ll only know if I’ve achieved that in years to come.

What is success to you?
Success is achieving goals in family, professional and personal areas of my life.

What are your words of wisdom?
Surround yourself with the right people. I believe you can only achieve great success if you have the right partner in life and a great support network to guide you through the highs and lows that come with both your professional and personal life.

Only a local would know … what a great lifestyle comes with living in New Farm. Only those that have moved away from the area truly realise this. We did that once but we were fortunate enough to be able to move back.

Perk up …
at one of the many wonderful cafes in the area, such as Vue, The Little Larder and Buzz
Relax … a picnic at New Farm Park
Dine … at Ave Cucina – the owners were the first winners of My Kitchen Rules. They’ve recently started doing dinners too.
Indulge … Tapas at Ortiga, Fortitude Valley
Shop … James Street shopping precinct
Catch-up … at Emporium Wine Bar
Be inspired … by visiting The Lightworkers Cottage. The people are peaceful and very Zen – something I aspire to be.


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