Arthur loves coffee and he loves people. That’s why so many regulars start their day with a morning brew from Cafe 2151.
Arthur manages daily operations at the cafe, which includes overseeing staff, lots of admin, making coffee, and chatting incessantly with customers.
“It’s interesting to see all the different clientele that come in and the people that I meet, and – I love to talk! I’m always curious about what’s going on around here,” says Arthur.
He was born in Hong Kong and came to Australia in 2007 to study accounting.
“And I realised I’m not the material for accounting,” he laughs.
He transferred over to cooking and became a chef.
“I like exploring. I like food, I love eating. That’s why I started as a chef.”
Arthur worked in cafes preparing modern casual cuisines, then switched to making pastries, and later added ‘barista’ to his resume. He worked as a barista in a BMW showroom and developed an interest in the car industry. That led to a short stint with BMW in office administration. Before long he missed the aroma of grinding beans and returned to his true passion.
“After trying so many things I feel like coffee could be the thing,” says Arthur. “It’s so wide, there’s a lot of science, a lot of knowledge, a lot of theory behind, to get a good cup of coffee.”
He’s been with Cafe 2151 for two years and loves being in EQ.
“This place is very energetic. Like every week, every day, there’s something going on here. And it’s so diverse – from music event to a sport event to a family show. And there’s so many people that I meet here and everything keeps moving on. I’ve never seen a place with so many different events.”
The cafe is open from Monday to Sunday. During the week it tends to get office workers and tenants from around the precinct, who prefer to just grab and go. On weekends, there are more families and visitors.
“Some come for a show, kid’s parties, movies. And then we also got people coming for sports events,” says Arthur. “This place, I reckon, is really family friendly. When I first started here, I got my first baby.”
He took advantage of the opportunity to talk to lots of different parents and get some intel on how to raise a child. He and his wife have since had another.
“I share my stories with my missus. She stays at home looking after our two babies.” Then he adds, cheekily “Two is too much!”
Arthur’s wife is from Vietnam. She occasionally makes treats to sell at the cafe. While they are both passionate about making the business work, they ultimately would love to have a retreat in rural Vietnam.
“I’m from a busy city, Hong Kong. People never sleep. Here it’s slowed down a bit, but still it’s pumping every day. I wanna slow down a little bit, try to live in the countryside with a farm. I think that would be great.”
So what does Arthur like to do when he’s not working?
“I’m hardly ever not working, there’s always something going on!” However…
“I like reading books, I like making coffee, even if I am at home, I like making coffee. And I like cooking. Reading , cooking, walking around, spending time with the kids. Perfect.”
For now, Arthur’s world revolves around a little brown bean.
“At the moment, I really want to focus on coffee. And I’ve learnt a lot after starting here. I speak to more people about coffee, like coffee suppliers, trainers…I really want to be a coffee trainer. I’m moving in that direction.”
How good is Arthur’s coffee now?
“7 out of 10,” he says with a wink. “I’ve still got room to improve.”