Rich browns and warm hues give the cafe a sense of homeliness on even the gloomiest Melbourne day. I was welcomed with wide eyes and even wider smiles when I went to meet Sam Fitzsimmons. A cool, calm and collected young man with big dreams.
Firstly, you've got a lovely team. I saw that the customers couldn't help but to join in the fun, your light hearted energy is contagious.
I could rattle off 10 things I love about this cafe (number one being the range of organic chocolate). What's your favourite thing about coming to work every day?
The best thing about coming in to work for me is the coffee! I love having a chance to do something I am passionate about every day and to get paid for it. The owners are very open to any suggestions I have surrounding the service of coffee and it's a good feeling to have your input respected and valued.
I might be making assumptions here, but has all the knowledge you've collected at Broad Bean made you a better chef at home?
Everyone in my home loves cooking and we take turns each night to cook meals for each other! We even have a monthly pie-night which happens on the 1st Sunday of each month. We take turns cooking for this and it's a wonderful affair. I've definitely gained confidence in putting fun, healthy meals together due to being surrounded by such wonderful produce on a daily basis.
Any favourite sweet treats?
I love the sweet offerings we have on display, and they're all raw, vegan and refined sugar free! I try not to indulge too often which is quite hard, but if I had to choose one, I would definitely say the raw caramel slice.
Now, you mentioned your musical interest. Can you tell us about that?
I'm very passionate about music! I love listening to music whenever I can. I also work part time for a recording studio in South Melbourne doing many different things. I have thrown my hat in the ring for different roles at music festivals too. I've managed stages, been an Artist Liaison amongst other roles. I used to also book entertainment for a nightclub in Sydney which I loved!
Who is your greatest inspiration/ influence?
I am very inspired by a man named A.B Facey. He wrote an autobiography titled, "A Fortunate Life," and it tells his story of growing up and facing wild adversity of which people in Australia rarely see nowadays. He began working at the age of eight, lent his hand to many different professions and experiences, faced suffering and outlived his wife and sons, yet always remained positive. He was asked why he named his book "A Fortunate Life," and he said "I truly believe that is what I had." I try to remember that if I'm ever feeling down about things that I have had an incredibly fortunate life, too, and I will always be thankful for that!
Any other hidden talents or interests?
I'm an avid cyclist. I ride to work every morning. Rain, hail or shine; which can all happen in one day down here in Melbourne! I love the freedom and ease of cycling and it's free exercise. I'm currently transforming my shed into a home bike workshop which is a fun side project for me.
So, whats next for Sam?
I've always got a few irons in the fire regarding my future. Hopefully there's big things on the horizon, but for now, catch me pouring hundreds of lattes a day down here in Southbank :)
Words and photography: Nogani Moore