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Love your local. Meet Rick Dhot from Degani Bakery Café.

August 2020 in Events & Local Area

We all know that Melburnians love their coffee!

Well, luckily for Westbrook residents in need of a little caffeine fix, Degani Bakery Café just down the road in Tarneit Central serves some of the best coffee in the Western suburbs!

A favourite with locals – and especially the team at the Westbrook Land Sales Office, Degani is our go to café of choice for its perfectly blended house-roasted coffee, not to mention mouth-watering sweet treats and light meals – just the place for a pick me up, no matter what time of day.

We thought we would take the opportunity to chat with owner, Rick Dhot, to learn a little more about Degani Bakery Café and how he is tackling the challenges of lockdown head on…

How – and why – did you get started?

Well it’s funny how things work out. When I first started working, I didn't ever imagine I would end up owning my own café. In fact, I actually started out life as a butcher and worked in the industry for over a decade. But when our second child was born, I decided I needed a change. I wanted to open up my own business and the hospitality industry really appealed to me. And because I love coffee – and good food (who doesn't!!), it felt like opening up a café was an obvious choice.

How long have you been running the Café for?

We were actually a foundation tenant of Tarneit Central. We opened up and the same time the shopping centre did back in October 2017. So, in October this year, we’ll be celebrating our third anniversary!

How many employees do you have?

Including me and my wife, there are 8 of us all up. We’re really lucky to have assembled a great team around us, and I love working with them. If you like your fellow workmates, it makes your job that much easier!

What do you love most about your job?

That’s easy! The social aspect, hands down. I really love getting to know my regulars and enjoy having a chat with them every day.

We’re also located in a great spot in the Centre, right near both Coles and Aldi, which means we get a steady stream of people stopping by all day – there’s never really a quiet moment, even now, as we are still doing takeaways. People still definitely need their COVID caffeine fix!

What is the most unusual thing that has ever happened to you at Degani?

Well nothing really sticks out as truly 'odd'. However, during holiday seasons like Easter and Christmas, Centre Management always organises for performers to come through. And it’s quite funny to be working away and minding your own business, when all of a sudden you see a Santa on skates whizzing past the Café handing out candy canes!

What is your ‘go to’ Degani coffee brew of choice?

I definitely like a strong coffee hit – a Long Macchiato (AKA a double espresso with a dash of milk for the uninitiated).

…and your favourite dish on the menu?

The Tarneit Tower! Sourdough toast, with guacamole, grilled tomato, bacon and halloumi, topped with capsicum, onion and spinach and finished with a poached egg. It’s not for the faint-hearted, but it keeps me going all day!

 

What are your 3 favourite things to do in and around Tarneit?

One upside of Lockdown is that it has made many of us appreciate things we probably used to take for granted. So right now, I am really loving the simple things like the chance to go for walks with my kids. I am definitely looking forward to parks being reopened so we can go and have a family barbecue. And I always enjoy coming to work, as I really love what I do.

What are your top tips for surviving lockdown?

Obviously, staying at home and practicing social distancing as much as possible. I’ve been keeping myself occupied – and possibly keeping my wife amused, doing chores and projects around the house. But most importantly... staying caffeinated!

Get your Degani’s Lockdown Fix…

Need a coffee fix or some delicious food to tide you through lockdown?

Well, luckily Degani is offering a range of breakfast, lunch and cakes during the lockdown period. They’re available to purchase from the store. Why not order ahead on the Degani App. Or you can order delivery through UberEats, Menulog or DoorDash.

Degani Bakery Café at Tarneit Central is open from 8am until 5 pm, 7 days a week, and the kitchen is open from 9am until 2 pm. Check out the menu on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/deganitarneit/.

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