My Vicino owner Joe Tallarida hosted markets in the carpark of his Wembley business on Sunday to bring the community together and raise money for Helping Minds. He tells the Western Suburbs Weekly what drives him.
1. How did you come to open My Vicino in Wembley 15 months ago?
This has been a long time in the making. I’ve spent three or four years looking for a place. It’s not just the financials I was looking at, the place had to have a connection with the community. I watched this place for a long time. I had everything open when we were renovating so people could see what we were doing and that’s when we started hearing all the stories about people in the community.
2. What have you done in that time to ensure you’ve become part of the Wembley community?
We’ve spent considerable time getting to know the people in the immediate four streets in this area. We ask customers where they live and get to know them as they tell their story. It’s important they feel comfortable so I tell them my story, about my kids and how I love to cook. It’s like we’re sitting at my kitchen table together.
3. What has been the highlight of being in small business so far?
The hundreds of different stories you hear from people in the area. We’ve heard stories of peoples’ successes in the Rottnest swim, children’s sporting achievements and about things that are meaningful to them. You can’t do this just for the money, you have to be passionate.
4. How do you get through the quieter months of the year?
For us winter is busy. There could be horizontal rain outside and we’ll be full in here. We look at the trade over the year and adjust our hours accordingly and make sure we let our customers know. We also do more catering and change our menu to be in line with the seasons.
5. What is your local coffee shop?
This has become my local. When I’m feeling lazy, I’ll go to Doric St Cafe and Kitchen.