Combining their extensive experience in the coffee industry, Stan Bicknell, Matt Hampton and Joe Molloy joined forces to start their very own roasting business in 2014. Feeling a little feisty, they wanted to create winning coffee that would knock out the competition. With a punchy logo of two red boxing gloves, it’s no wonder they called themselves Rumble.
In a city that lives and breathes specialty coffee, it’s hard to be different. Most roasters offer everything but the kitchen sink, so it’s not easy to command attention, especially if you’re the new kid on the block. Some very cool packaging both for wholesale and retail, together with strong branding helps to convey the message that these guys mean business.
Perhaps most importantly, Rumble understand this is a tough industry to survive in, both for themselves and their clients. Cafes open and close often mostly because of poor planning and implementation, and in many cases, when the owners have never worked in hospitality. So with Stan and Joe having run their own cafes and espresso bars and Matt an ex-chef, they have expertise in all aspects of the industry, from layout to fit-out; and they can assist their clients with machinery, training and service. In their minds, if the customer’s business is a success, it’s a win-win situation.
Rumble’s ethos is about keeping specialty coffee simple, approachable and not over-informing customers about flavour profiles that won’t show up in the cup. This is what attracted Evan Lindau and his partner Georgie Bott to the roaster when they opened Staple in Fitzroy Street St Kilda in late 2016. At Staple, Lindau and Bott highlight good quality produce and offer uncomplicated classic food. The couple decided to go with Rumble’s Shadow Boxer, an old school espresso style blend, perfect for milk-based coffees and a combination of washed beans from PNG and a pulped natural from Brazil.
The coffee is also available to take home from the providore section of the cafe, alongside other tasty products. Atmosphere-wise, the space has a beautiful open feel, overlooking the park with views across to the city. The couple have made sure the place doesn’t feel sterile despite its apartment block location – on the contrary, Staple is warm and inviting.
Lindau believes too many cafe owners have forgotten what the word hospitality actually means: that you need to look after your customers, so that they in turn will look after you. Giving them awesome coffee, while important, is only one part of a much bigger picture. This is a perfect example of a symbiotic relationship where cafe and roaster support each other, and proves that the new kids on the block can fight and win.