The Dello Mano Raison d’etre ( our reason for existence) Read more…
We all love to eat, that’s a fact. These days, we don’t just eat to survive—we enjoy the food, many of us have developed discriminating taste buds for distinct flavors and we seem to be more aware about the issues surrounding food. Read more…
It’s a very humid, grey day in Beijing, China. Temperatures too are at a record-breaking high. Hot, humid conditions, however, do not stop the many hundreds of locals and tourists as they gently stroll the big open promenade in central Beijing. Called Wangfujing Street it’s a beautiful mall with a retail heritage dating back to the Ming Dynasty. Huge department stores hug both sides of the promenade as do specialty shops offering everything from matcha tea ice cream to global fashion brands.
Surprising there is no sense of rush here as we join in the long procession with the locals. Space is enjoyed by all. Equally filled with families, young couples, and friends out enjoying time together they wander talking and enjoying skewered meat delicacies from the night market snack street that runs off the main walkway. We’d imagined it to be far busier. With our Dello Mano Brisbane store located at Tattersalls Arcade we’re often in the Queen Street Mall in Brisbane and feel no more crowded and in fact quite at home here in Beijing.
The hectic Bejing road traffic would also suggest that the crowds through the promenade would be equally chaotic and yet stroll is exactly the pace of this late afternoon pleasure. The calm and gentle pulse of this crowd disrupted intermittently by the timed rhythmic march of sets of four uniformed soldiers who set a straight course through the crowd marching two abreast in a tight display of discipline. A typical sight for most and causes no stress as the strollers just seem to slip out of the way of this uniformed trajectory. Strolling and shopping along this strip is very peaceful and feels very safe.
Despite a plethora of global brands like Herme and Victoria Secrets, there are still many reminders that one is in Beijing. The splendid workmanship in Chinese traditional architecture global brands and shops that spark curiosity abound.
Always on the lookout for brownies, cakes, and confectionery of any type, we’re drawn into a store midway along the promenade. The store is called Beijing Wang Fu Jing Food Store beckons with an olde world feel. Huge red Chinese Characters high above the store entrance are the first attraction though as we peer in through the front door curiosity builds with clearly visible high piles of colourful twisted confectionery wraps everywhere.
Stepping in is like passing back in time – at least 20 separate stores most of which sell variations of the same confectionery and each with at least 3 people behind every counter. So unfamiliar to us now, each salesperson is dressed in a stiff starched white uniform complete with white peaked hat – a very conservative style reminiscent of images of the food hall at David Jones or Myers in days gone by. A wonderful display of customer service at every turn.
The store is alive and fully loaded with customers. Very noticeable is a loud backdrop of Chinese language as customer orders are called followed by vigorous scooping of the little confectionery morsels into bags to meet orders. At every counter is a person either actively recruiting customers by way of loud spruking or alternatively offering samples of what are variations of fruit jellies and high boil candy.
Fascinating to watch is this sweet heaven of mayhem juxtaposed with the quiet wanderings outside on the promenade. I find myself trying to reconcile how all these stores are able to differentiate in the same hall. At first glance, it seemed like it may be one store however it became more apparent that the stores may well be individual shops.
Toward the back of the hall, a cabinet full of traditional Chinese pastries is intriguing and interesting. No brownies in sight of course, but this refrigerated cabinet offers a comprehensive range of pastry. Quite different from our style of pastry and so very interesting.
Over to the left of the bakery at the rear of the store, a long thin glassed in area appears as another section offering Peking duck for sale. A thin petite woman in a uniform seemingly standing on a box behind the glass calls through the window to customers collecting their orders and then frantically scurrying to pack ducks into colourful bags.
This store and its many confectionery stores within a store is a mystery to us – I wonder how these stores compete or differentiate – no one appears to speak English so we’re left wondering how customers make their choices between the stores. So many of the offers seemed the same with only a few items that differentiated each store.
The stores are open till 9pm each night. Even when darkness falls, the streets remain busy however very enjoyable and quite relaxed.
If you’ve been to Beijing and have an idea of how this type of store works, we’d love to hear from you.
Recently Dello Mano was featured and highlighted in a blog post called “Enjoy the Very Best of Brisbane for 72 Hours”. This blog post was written by a leading global travel agency called Flight Network. Flight Network often writes these blog posts to recommend the best places to go in cities where they send their customers. And they said that Dello Mano is a place you cannot miss!
The past 12 years our goal has been to deliver some spectacular sweets to locals and visitors in Brisbane. It is great that Flight Network loved our brownies, and that they now are sending their customers our way.
This is what they had to say about Dello Mano:
“Time to enjoy some more sweets and possibly also find something cool to bring back home. And we have to warn you, you might just fill up the entire suitcase with this. You’re going to Dello Mano which is Australia’s leading brownie artisans. They’ve been at it for 12 years and been responsible for igniting the Australian Brownie Revolution. With two stores in Brisbane, find the closest to you. You will find a beautiful store, an amazing food experience and hospitality that is world class. Their brownie boxes will undoubtably make your packing a bit harder when you’re leaving Brisbane.”
Thank you Flight Network for the write up, we will look forward to welcoming your many customers to Dello Mano!
The Dello Mano Luxury Brownie is now on display in New York! Dello Mano has just partnered up with Abbotsford Road Cofee Specialists, an Australian-owned cafe in the heart of Brooklyn’s Gowanus neighborhood. The cafe is a 27,000-square-foot coffee roasting facility which includes seating for about 40 guests. It is co-founded by Phillip Di Bella, a good friend of Dello Mano owners Deb and Bien Peralta and founder of Di Bella Coffee, Australia’s top specialty coffee roaster and winner of the 2016 Golden Bean Competition Coffee Roaster Competition.
Headquarters of Abbotsford Road Coffee Specialists in Gowanus, Brooklyn, NYC
The cafe opened in late 2017 and with so much competition already present in New York’s coffee scene, Abbotsford Road Cofee Specialists came up with a different approach. The company established the business as a wholesale brand with the goal of providing the finest coffee to help other cafes in New York and beyond become profitable coffee destinations. It is not only a retail establishment, but also a complete wholesale service and training facility for prospective clients and consumers alike. It is a one-stop shop for a brew, supplies, and comprehensive coffee training sessions.
Cafe Supplies for Sale at the Abbotsford Road Gowanus Headquarters
The relationship between Dello Mano owners Deb and Bien Peralta and Phillip Di Bella began when Dello Mano was just starting and still in the process of being set up. Back then, Dello Mano didn’t have a store front to serve coffee. Instead, Deb and Bien approached Phil in while looking for the best coffee to use in creating the now popular Dello Mano Espresso Walnut Brownie. The Dello Mano Brownie philosophy has always been to use the very best ingredients to create their brownie flavours. To create the most amazing brownies, they needed the best coffee they could get their hands on and the concept was to use Di Bella coffee extracted from an espresso machine. Despite being a very small family business and still attempting to introduce brownies in Australia, Deb and Bien approached Phil. It was a brave move from a small unknown brownie company down at Breakfast Creek. Though the business was small, that didn’t stop Phil from supporting the passion and belief the couple had in their dream. Phil loaned the couple an espresso machine. Shortly after, they launched their delicious Dello Mano Espresso Walnut Luxury Brownie with extracted Di Bella coffee. Over a decade later, Dello Mano continues to create the Espresso Walnut Brownie in exactly the same way. They also now serve Di Bella coffee at both Dello Mano stores.
Abbotsford Road Founders: (From Left to Right) Karl Jameson, Phillip Di Bella and Logan Kedwell
Another proud Austrailan behind Abbotsford Road is Logan Kedwell. He is one of the co-founders and the Director of Sales and Business Development in the company. He started working in the family wholesale fruit and vegetable business where he learned the importance of consistently high quality produce and exceptional client relationships. Managing all four locations of Buzz Bistro, a flourishing chain of cafés in Australia, Logan developed specialized knowledge of the coffee industry. Eager to improve his knowledge about the roasting/wholesaling end of the business, he went to work for Di Bella Coffee, where he was involved in managing corporate accounts, café performance analysis, coffee bean sales and brewing methods. With Logan Kedwell working behind the scenes and the experience he is bringing to the table, Abbotsford Road is on its way to achieving great things.
Coffee Roaster Inside Abbotsford Road Headquarters in Gowanus, Brooklyn, NYC
The Dello Mano dream all began when Deb and Bien Peralta decided to go on a life changing family trip to Italy together with their two daughters. Before the trip, they took a pact and agreed that whatever they would decide on doing in the future during their trip, they would definitely go home and do. Sitting in the Campo dei Fiori in Italy, the family was captivated by the Italian ‘food-love’ culture. They saw how even the smallest serve of Prosciutto was so lovingly and carefully hand wrapped as if a gift, and then passed to the customer. It was the beauty of this exchange that inspired them to open up a food business revolving on real handmade food. With Deb’s background in Food Science, Marketing and Chocolate Product Development, the once forgotten Australian brownie concept seemed like a great place to start.
The Dello Mano Espresso Walnut Brownie With Coffee Pot
Over a decade after igniting the Australian Brownie Revolution and becoming a Brisbane icon, Dello Mano is set on entering the international scene to bring the goodness of luxury handmade brownies to the world. When Phillip Di Bella, co-owner of Abbotsford Road Coffee Specialists, offered to put the Dello Mano Luxury Brownies up for sale in their café in Brooklyn, Dello Mano owners Deb and Bien just couldn’t resist. The partnership between Abbotsford Road Cofee Specialists and Dello Mano is indeed quite perfect. Abbotsford Road believes that the only thing better than a cup of coffee is a delicious treat to go with it while Dello Mano believes that there is no better treat than the Dello Mano Luxury Brownie. This is a significant step for Dello Mano and a great start in achieving its dream of international presence. Who knows, we might be seeing a Dello Mano café in New York very soon.
Our kitchen in the morning offers the very sweet welcome of Brownie Love. The waft of baking chocolate brownies is the first sign that we’ve arrived. Already the promise of great baking and delicious little brownie morsels everywhere. It’s so wonderful to be with the kitchen team as they now take the daily lead in pursuing our dream to protect the handmade and make the world’s best brownies. Read more…
Australian Christmas is all about adaptation. Grilled prawns and fruit salads grace our lunch spreads alongside — or in place of — the roasts and bread sauces of colder climes. Among all the ancient traditions that we’ve shed, one remains firmly in place: the Christmas pudding. The intensely rich, suety dessert was obviously designed for a world in which December is the dead of winter — not that that has stopped us from enjoying slice after slice every year. We love the harmoniously layered flavours of the classic pudding, but being the Brownie Pioneers we decided many years ago that it was time for some Aussie innovation. Inspired by memories of Christmas past, we’ve developed a line of Dello Mano Luxury Brownies that incorporate our favourite elements of this timeless treat.
Ever wondered about the history of some of our beloved festive foods? Christmas Pudding is such a part of our festive season yet with years of history behind it, not many of us know where or how Read more…