One of the endearing qualities about us Melburnians is our love and support of the suburbs we live in. Historically we frequented the corner milk bar, the greasy fish & chip shop, not to mention the fruiterer and the hot bread shop, but slowly these places have disappeared, replaced by big supermarket chains and franchises. In the meantime cafes have popped up everywhere and we have naturally transferred our patronage to this new kind of small local business. It’s the place we meet our friends, see the neighbours, and often have a special relationship with the owner or barista who prepares our daily hit of caffeine. Regardless of where we live, we all have our local hangouts and love them.
A few months Arno opened its doors Collingwood and for those who live and work around Cromwell St, this is their new local and it’s already a big hit. Run by Léon Dalle Nogare who had long stints at DOC Espresso, Sarti and most recently 5 Lire, this is his very first business which he loves and cares for like a tiny baby. Emphasis on the word tiny, because it’s literally no bigger than a residential galley kitchen. Focusing on panini and some salads, plus rotating warm dishes like minestrone, polpette or pasta, there’s also an assortment of freshly baked pastries, taking you back to Italy with every bite. Named after the river Arno that runs through Florence, Léon’s cafe is about his passion for good service, consistency and simple Italian style without the wank factor. He’s not about taking over the world, he just wants to look after the people who support him every day. It’s how Italians do local and that includes the coffee that comes from his neighbours at Locale Espresso across the road in Abbotsford.
The blend that Léon uses is No.141, a mix of three natural Arabica beans from Brazil Santa Lucia, Tanzania Tarime and Ethiopia Limu which combine to produce a brew that is full bodied and rich with notes of dark chocolate, praline and a lively edge that is a touch fruity without the acidity. For Arno, this allows Léon to give his customers an Italian espresso experience with a very Melbourne feel using a roast that is not too dark and definitely not bitter. Born in September 2015 not long before baby Arno, the concept behind Locale is to source premium coffee, roasted weekly to order and delivered around the country. It’s all about being there for the cafes, supporting them, training them and making sure the coffee they choose is right for not only the venue but also the people who will drink it. They’re all about being personal and engaging, the one on one relationship and giving the cafe that good old fashioned hospitality that they in turn want to provide to their customers. That’s why their name is Locale, and you can’t get more local than that.
Already supplying over 100 venues in Melbourne, here is just a taste of where you can enjoy No.141 –