“Many hands make light work” – that’s the adage at Axil – Hawthorn’s much admired and awarded coffee roaster and café. Being a lifelong Hawthorn Football Club supporter, it brought me great joy when husband and wife powerhouse Dave Makin and Zoe Delany decided to make Hawthorn their home back in 2011. Since then, they’ve opened two coffee bars in the CBD, Mayday in Richmond, and another Axil café in Chadstone Shopping Centre. During this time, they’ve also had Petty Officer in Port Melbourne; helped launch the original inception of Sir Charles in Fitzroy; supplied tonnes of coffee to cafes all around Australia, and expanded their roastery. If ever there was a coffee success story in Australia, then Axil is it. Dave and Zoe have created an empire, and every person who worked for them, with them, and proudly represents their brand – does it with decorum and distinction. The perfect example of such a person is John Abel. I first met John several years ago while we were both self-proclaimed coffee addicts on the hunt for that “God in a cup” moment, and serendipitously crossed paths at Oak Room in Ashburton. It wasn’t too long before John took a position with the Workshop Brothers when they opened their first café in Glenhuntly. That was 2013, and over the past 4 years I watched this beautiful human being flourish, and embrace not only the coffee industry, but the goodness deep within him. Watching this man grow was pure joy for all who know him, and he is nothing short of an inspiration. I don’t say this lightly, but many will agree that anyone who has met John will sincerely feel better off for having had such a person in their lives. I’ve been fortunate enough to call John a friend, and we have shared a journey together that has proven the human spirit always grows when nurtured. This genuinely kind soul is also an intelligent individuals who willingly shares his knowledge, and has an innate ability to show great regard for those around him. So you can imagine the delight I felt when he was offered a role at Axil in Hawthorn. Not only was this the dream job for John, but it’s where the man thrives. He fits like a glove into the Axil family, which ironically, takes its name from the angle between a leaf and the stem that bears it- Dave Makin chose this name to connect his brand with the where coffee all begins- the plant itself. I see Axil Coffee Roasters as life-giving as the coffee plant itself. From here all goodness flows. They have nurtured countless Victorian and Australian Barista Champions and competitors, have trained baristas who have gone on to open their own cafes, and have formed lasting relationships with coffee farmers, who are ethically remunerated for their crops.
Dave and Zoe are living proof that excellence is not a skill- It is an attitude; and it seems to be an infectious attitude at their Hawthorn flagship café, where I humbly sipped my daily cup of coffee this morning.
Being a coffee enthusiast, I will always shine the spotlight on those who make the simple pleasure of consuming my daily dose of caffeine, such a rich and memorable experience.
In my cup was Axils latest blend, made up of Red bourbon cherries from Finca Santa Petrona, which have been processed 3 ways (Washed, semi washed, and natural). Federico and Lily Pacas are the highly admired producers from this El Salvadorian farm, who are dedicated to superior quality specialty grade coffees. This goes hand in hand with Axil, and their commitment to travelling the globe in their quest to source quality green beans. As a long black, it has the perfect balance of smooth chocolate and lush red fruits, with a lingering aftertaste reminiscent of Nonna’s chocolate cannoli, which I miss dearly.
Axil Coffee Roasters
322 Burwood Rd