The name, St Ali, is as unassailable as the quality of the coffee. From the cult cafe laneway location in South Melbourne, owner Salvatore Malatesta continues to push the envelope with innovative coffee environments from Outpost in South Yarra, to the re-launch of Liar Liar in Hawthorn and Café Racer in Elwood.
Sensory Lab in David Jones was launched late 2009. Unique in an Australian department store, specialty coffee and individual taste profiling is on offer from lab coated assistants. Salvatore has recently licensed the Sensory Lab concept to London. Sensory Lab and Outpost have featured in global design and trend forecasting forums including Future Laboratory, Global Design Report and Monocle.
Salvatore always works with the very best in category including St Ali’s head chef Ben Cooper and Outpost’s Paul Jewson. Most recently Salvatore has revitalized Melbourne’s iconic Il Fornaio café in St Kilda by installing Australia’s Queen of Desserts, Philippa Sibley.
Currently, Salvatore owns 12 cafes, employees 300 staff, sells two tons of coffee beans each week through his cafes and the wholesale side of the business. He has recently built a new micro roastery and increased the range of single estate coffee.
Salvatore is a former lawyer from an Italian migrant background steeped in tradition of food, wine and coffee being an integral part of any family get together. While a third year law student at the University of Melbourne he opened his first coffee outlet called “Caffeine” which changed the culinary landscape of campus life forever. Created to fulfill his own, and all the other students, desires, this recipe has been the success to all of Salvatore’s venues. Each project is borne from the perspective of the end user, as he is generally the end user.
Alongside the likes of Stumptown, Intelligentsia and Counter Culture, who have been championing the single estate coffee business for over a decade, Salvatore and the St Ali Group continues to grow as a best in category.