Meet the Retailers

Meet Anthony from Venturi Café

We recently had the immense pleasure of speaking with Anthony, owner of Venturi Café to discover more about his incredible travels across the globe to make New Zealand his home.

Anthony grew up in Guangzhou, on the banks of the Pearl River in China. When he moved from this large city with a population of over 18 million to Nelson in 2009, he was overwhelmed by the fact that people would say hello to him as he passed them in the street and within a matter of days, he had developed a network of friends to help him to ‘live the dream’.

These early times in Aotearoa saw Anthony experience the warmth exuded by everyone and set him up for success in his studies. As an undergraduate embarking on a Bachelor of Commerce degree, Anthony balanced his love of learning with his work in the hospitality industry. Combining academia with extensive vocational training in baking delivered by skilled industry leaders proved to be a real recipe for success.

After graduating, Anthony was offered a position in Christchurch but following the dreadful earthquake affecting the city in 2011, the role was no longer available. Unperturbed, Anthony continued to spread his wings and, in no time at all, another role provided him with the opportunity to relocate to Dunedin and become a key store manager in the Golden Centre’s food court.

Seven years ago Anthony became the proud owner of Venturi Café and eleven years on from his first visit to the Golden Centre, Anthony is still happy to call our Mall his ‘second home’. With this back story in mind, we were intrigued to find out more about his enterprising spirit by asking the following questions:

What do you look forward to most each day when you come to work?

Anthony’s face beamed when he said that he loves seeing the same loyal customers each day and having a chat with them about how they are doing. Anthony sees his café as a destination for people to come, feel at home and build this into their regular routines. “Loyalty is everything” says Anthony and having the chance to help provide a great start to the day for someone new or someone who is an established friend of the café means the World to him.

Tell us about your Team?

Anthony is the first to go on record as saying his Team is “amazing” and we definitely agree with this sentiment. Marcus’ incredible barista excellence has even seen people move cafés as he relocated. He has a fantastic way about him to lift your spirits with his outstanding memory, attentiveness, and wonderful sense of humour. Holly is also a shining star who lightens up the café with her smile and draws on her experience of working in a small hospitality business in Balclutha prior to moving to Dunedin. Anthony, Holly, and Marcus are supported by a chef and two other wonderful part-time staff. 

What’s new for Venturi Café?

With Winter’s grip now firmly taking hold, Venturi Café is proud to introduce a new range of hearty soups. These include Thai Pumpkin and Leek, Parsnip and Potato, both served with delicious fresh sourdough. Shoestring fries are also proving to be a crowd-pleasing option for a quick, warm lunchtime snack.

In addition to tailoring the café’s seasonal menu, Anthony is pleased to announce a new supplier partnership with Hummingbird Coffee, which, after trialling for some weeks, has been granted a massive tick of approval from coffee and hot chocolate aficionados across Dunedin.

What is your favourite food served in the café at the moment?

There was absolutely no delay in Anthony confirming that the meal of the moment must be creamy style mushrooms on sourdough. Sourced from local suppliers, this flavoursome plate is also a winner with our own Centre Management Team (during lunchbreaks, of course).

In your opinion what makes Venturi a fantastic café to visit?

To Anthony, Venturi Café is the epitome of friendliness where the staff members look forward to meeting customers each day and patrons can watch the World go by, while enjoying consistently tasty food and great coffee at reasonable prices.

What is a little-known fact about Venturi Café?

When Anthony was asked this question, he laughed and said that most people simply do not believe so much comes from such a modest kitchen. This small business with a huge heart actually bakes all cakes on site and meals are cooked to order from an incredibly efficient but pocket-sized operational space. Take a look over the counter when you are next in the café, and you will see what he means!

You are currently studying, tell us about that?

As if running a business is not busy enough, Anthony shared with us that he is currently undertaking a Double Major in Bachelor of Finance. When asked his degree’s focus on numbers and accountancy, Anthony explained that rather than looking at dollars and cents per se, his course is providing hugely valuable lessons in recognising how the World is changing, thinking about the bigger picture, and using this perspective to succeed in life in general.

What is next for Anthony?

It is safe to say that the essence of Venturi Café now runs through Anthony’s veins, and he is looking forward to serving his existing customers to the best of his and his Team’s ability, inviting new shoppers to choose the café as their new favourite go-to place and evolving in a way that complements all of the good things the business has to offer.

We hope you enjoyed reading about Anthony, his Team and lovely Café. Why not drop in to meet them next time you are in the Golden Centre?