“By the time I was 16, I could tell a Kenyan green bean from a Peruvian one,” recalls Peter Patisteas, Managing Director of Griffiths Bros. He’d always been a coffee man – he just didn’t know it. Peter’s family business, Griffiths Coffee, was run by his father and uncle. While Peter spent school holidays sweeping the Griffiths roaster floor in Melbourne, it was not until 2000 that he joined the business. He now runs it alongside his brother-in-law, Chris Togias.
After a London-based stint in investment banking opened his eyes to what he did not want to do, Peter travelled to Middle East and Africa for two years. It was in Africa, where Peter visited green bean plantations, that he rediscovered his passion for coffee. He returned to his sense and to Melbourne, where he began to work in the family business once again. Peter’s years of experience in the trade have given him enviable coffee expertise.
Griffiths Bros, originally founded in 1879, is making most of 21st century technology. Under Pete’s guidance, Griffiths invested $3m in a new roasting and packaging process and looks forward to a future of growth and innovation.
With a history in Finance, Chris completed long tenures with ANZ and Esanda Fleet Partners over two decades as a Financial Accountant consuming many coffees to get him through the long days.
“It wasn’t until I met Pete and was thrown into the world of coffee that I really opened my eyes to the expansive global industry of coffee,” recalls Chris Togias. It was through this partnership that his extensive journey with coffee would begin.
Joining his brother-in-law at Griffiths Bros. in 2004, Chris took on the role of Financial Controller and Director. Alongside Peter, Chris manages sourcing and procuring green beans from across the globe with a move to sustainable, fairtrade and organic coffee and management of operations across Australia.
Libby was drawn into production by her love of food, having previously worked as a chocolatier and in quality control and production for manufacturers of olives with decades of experience. Libby finds coffee to be the best product to work with.
“I’ve been very lucky. I get to work with products I enjoy eating! Plus coffee is clean, it’s natural, and I get a lot of satisfaction out of it,” says Production Manager Libby Fotopoulos. Most of this satisfaction for Libby comes from interacting with customers in the Bean Store located at the head office. Encouraging coffee drinkers to widen their coffee knowledge and experiment with new tastes is what Libby enjoys the most.
In the three years she’s been at Griffiths Bros, Libby has introduced strategies to make production quicker and more efficient, including introducing a new grinder and a canning machine. Even with years of experience under her belt, Libby says she’s never seen and enjoyed working at a facility so high-tech.
Here at Griffiths Bros. we love to work hard and play just as hard, and we are proud to put together an extensive team of bright, talented and enthusiastic individuals. With three offices in Australia (Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth) we have created a tightknit team that comprises our office and finance teams, our marketing and design department, our production crew and our operations & warehouse team.
With a collective industry experience of nearly 50 years between our 3 Sales Managers in Victoria, Adelaide and Perth, Griffiths are proud to have a team of Sales, Specialist and Support Teams that match Griffiths heritage of knowledge and expertise.
All our Coffee Specialists have an intricate understanding of the coffee industry and the roasting process with each starting out as a barista. Our Café Support Team also have backgrounds as baristas which allows them to offer personalized service and timely delivery. They are also on hand for any equipment issues, training requirements and general coffee related assistance.