Plans for another busy year are well under way for the team at Cali Press and it’s looking like it’s going to be a fantastic year too. This week, we had a chat with two of the Cali co-founders, Scott Glasson (above left) and Josh Johnston (above right), to gain an insight into what we can expect at Cali Press in 2017.
Remind us – how did Cali Press originate?
JOSH: There are five founding partners and it all started from a chat that a few of us had in the surf one afternoon about a perceived gap in the cafe market. We had all experienced a lack of quality, healthy fast food and drink options on our morning commute to our various work places. Plus, a couple of us had recently returned from a trip though California and had witnessed the transformation Cold Pressed Juice was making in the juice bar scene over there and hey presto… Cali Press was born.
SCOTT: From there things escalated pretty quickly with both Josh and I quitting our jobs to become full-time juicers.
Cali Press achieved some amazing milestones in 2016, can you tell us a bit about those?
SCOTT: One of our biggest milestones in 2016 would have been expanding from two cafe locations to five with the opening of Cali Press Surry Hills, Double Bay and Coogee in the space of three months. We’re not a franchise or anything so it was our responsibility to get each location up and running as quickly as possible… suffice to say we didn’t realise how much we had bitten off at the time! After that, it would have to be our menu re-launch that consisted of a bunch of new made to order food including açai bowls and a sandwich range. The feedback from this has been awesome… it seems Sydney siders really love açai!
The biggest reward to date?
JOSH: The biggest reward is seeing the cafes pumping with people on a hot summers day!
You guys come up with some great recipes, what does that whole process look like behind the scenes?
JOSH: It’s definitely a trial and error process but a lot comes down to how much we listen to our customers. The whole team makes a real effort get to know our regulars, what they like and don’t like, what they’d like to see more or less of. From there, we put our heads together and try to create menus that are delicious, innovative, nutritious and original, but also serve our main goal, which is to bring healthier options to the Sydney food scene.
For those who may not be so involved in the health scene, what makes Cali Press a great option for people wanting to lead a healthier lifestyle?
SCOTT: We’ve always been about making sure Cali was an accessible place for everyone and not just healthy hardcore… we do of course provide those options, but we’re also happy to serve a customer a flat white and use that as an opportunity to talk to them about green juice and superfoods. The fact that we have great baristas and use the very popular AllPress Espresso means that we have introduced a lot of people to green juice!
OK, so it seems that the last few years have kept you pretty busy. What can we expect from Cali in 2017?
JOSH: We have a few things in the pipeline so stay tuned for the news. However, in the short term you can expect to see our cafe juice fridges adopt more of a ‘wellness’ focus with addition of new juices, tonic shots as well as grab and go food options. A big focus for us is customer service, making sure that walking into any of our cafe’s is a positive experience from the products on offer to the team member who assists you.
Cali Press is now an established part of Sydney’s Eastern community. What made you select the five cafe locations and are there any plans for more?
SCOTT: We just love Sydney’s beachside culture and the active, healthy vibes you’ll find down by any of the beaches… we really couldn’t think of a more prefect place to set up camp! But after the cafe’s were so well received by the sea, we figured it’d be worth trying to cater for the more cosmopolitan areas too, hence Double Bay and then Surry Hills. We definitely have plans to continue to expand Cali, but for now we’re focusing on growing our current 5 cafes to their full potential.
One word to describe 2017?
See you all soon at your local Cali Press!
The Cali Team