Coffee, it’s the cornerstone of any working day and Seb Lentini, the owner/operator of Caffe Incontro, has over 20-years experience easing the North Ryde community into their day with caffeinated beverages. He and his team of baristas use only the best quality coffee beans from Di Stefano and with a range of milk including lactose free, almond, soy, skim and full cream they’ve got all your dietary needs covered.
Seb, who has been involved with the Cox’s Road Mall for close to 35 years, starting with the hardware store (now Thrifty Link) and the cellar (now BWS) was destined for the restaurant trade. After managing a small cafe in neighbouring Eastwood, an opportunity presented itself in the Cox’s Road Mall which he and Caffe Incontro have not looked back from.
But it’s not all about coffee at Caffe Incontro. Some would say the most important meal of the day, breakfast, is served until 4:00 pm making sure no matter what time you rise there’s always a bacon and egg roll or a full fry up to satisfy your cravings. Lunch isn’t neglected either, with a wide range of salads, soups and sandwiches providing the fuel that gets you through the rest of your work day. With indoor and outdoor seating, you can enjoy an alfresco dining experience or warm up with a bowl of tomato, bacon and mushroom soup inside out of the cold.
It’s the village atmosphere Seb credits with the return of so many customers to the Cox’s Road Mall. After years of involvement, Seb has witnessed many customer fluctuations, but says there is the potential for greater footfall. “It’s surprising how many people don’t know we are here.” Considering the mall has been part of the community since the late 1950s it is surprising, but the changing suburban demographic throughout the years and the opening of larger, competitive malls book-ending Cox’s Road has meant a downturn in local patronage.
However, Seb believes the trend of buying locally will continue to gain momentum thanks largely to the personal touch many of the businesses in the mall offer. “We’re on a first name basis with a lot of people which is always good.”
When the wall of anonymity is broken down by great customer service and community involvement, shoppers can’t help but rally around a business. It’s something Seb hopes freshly made coffee and sweet treats will entice the locals within walking distance back through the door. And with such a great range what better way to walk off an indulgent raspberry friand and refreshing iced coffee?