The Fetch Blog

Curated reads and events for professionals

Product Review: Three Thousand Thieves coffee subscription — June 23, 2013

Product Review: Three Thousand Thieves coffee subscription

This week, latte drinker Kat Loughrey, trialled the new coffee-driven startup, Three Thousand Thieves, to discover the joys of quality artisan coffee being carefully selected and delivered right to your door.

An insight into a Three Thousand Thieves coffee box
An insight into a Three Thousand Thieves coffee box.

You’re not Melburnian if you don’t drink coffee, right? I’ve always enjoyed a coffee from a cafe, however the notion of making coffee at home or the office had always been lost on me – that is until I brewed my own high quality coffee, courtesy of Three Thousand Thieves, causing a stir around the office with the alluring smell wafting down the hall, and in return brought many interested faces to my door.

“We are a service that compliments your existing coffee habit, not competes with it.”

Three Thousand Thieves is a monthly coffee discovery subscription, best described as a wine club for coffee. Every month, they hunt down and curate Melbourne’s best artisan roasters, and then deliver it straight to your door – either as coffee beans or ground coffee. Most roasters offer subscriptions of their own brands, but what makes Three Thousand Thieves unique says founder Athan Didaskalou, is that they are the first to bring them all together and offer something different each month in your delivery.

The experience: The moment the box arrived at my office, the tantalising smell of the coffee beans was the first thing you notice. Once the box was opened, your treated to a 250g bag of carefully selected coffee beans, an outline of this month’s coffee on brown card, plus some photos of the Melbourne-based roasters – a nice touch. A simple yet well-crafted experience, all with sustainable packaging.

Melbourne coffee love!
Melbourne coffee love!

The coffee: Now the big question – so how was the coffee? I was treated to Balaclava’s Common Ground Coffee – L.E.S Blend. Now I’m no coffee expert, but I can hand-on-my-heart say that it made a delicious and hearty brew, without any bitter after-taste. It certainly perked up my day at work!

I had a chance to chat with Three Thousand Thieves (TTT) founder Athan Didaskalou, over a hearty brew to learn more about his experience in building this side project:

You have a day job, what are the challenges of balancing a growing side project at the same time?

I work as a strategist for DT. DT promotes a culture of entrepreneurship and learning-through-doing, and working in that environment definitely rubs off on you. Bosses all love the idea, in fact I have a few of them as customers! My business model is based on a monthly cycle, and because of this, managing the workload is a lot easier – I only have a couple of late nights preparing before delivery day. I think it’s important to maintain the balance between work and the venture on the side. It’s also about setting your priorities from the get go. It forces you to be organised and cracks down on procrastination. With the right business model, you can do something a little fun on the side and maintain your sanity.

What inspired you to start TTT? Is your aim to grow it into a full time business for yourself?

Like most people in Melbourne, I love my coffee. This came from a problem I wanted a service for myself: why can’t someone find me all the different coffees in Melbourne and sell them to me?! I hope to continue to grow the business in parallel with my career in digital. The two go hand in hand – what I learn from in one I can use on the other.

How do you find and select the coffee that you provide?

Word of mouth is the only way. Everyone always has their own special place, with their favourite special blend. It’s about talking to the right people to find these places. Then it’s all about taste. We have an espresso on location, and take a couple of bags with us. My partner and friends are all coffee nuts, so if we all like it, it becomes the chosen one for the month!

What can we expect in the future?

Going international! The demand for Melbourne coffee is huge, especially in the US and in Asian majors like Hong Kong and Singapore. Feedback from customers has shown us that people love to make coffee at home, but don’t like the typical wankers that usually condescend the everyday drinker into trying something new. We want to break down those barriers and run education pieces on cold drips, pour-overs and the like without the snobbery.

In your mind, how does Melbourne coffee compare to the rest of the world?

Melbourne is the quintessential coffee city: our culture has geared this one thing into a thriving economic beast. Rarely can you find so many coffee houses, so many roasters, so many people obsessed with quality than what you do in Melbourne. New York for their pretzels. Naples for its sauce. Melbourne for its coffee. We live in a rare one-in-a-million city for coffee fanatics.

Favourite spot to enjoy coffee in Melbourne?

There’s a little gem in Kew called Adeney. Bit of a drive, but take your partner and someone’s dog and enjoy getting away from it all before the weekend kicks in.

Check out Three Thousand Thieves online to start your own coffee revolution while supporting local artisan coffee roasters. Follow @3000Thieves on Twitter.


About our Curator // Kat Loughrey is the Melbourne Curator of The Fetch, a community where professionals can discover and share what’s happening in their city. Kat is also a Digital Executive in the sporting industry by day (fuelled by coffee) and can be found exploring Melbourne’s arts and music scenes by night. Follow her on Twitter at @KatLoughrey & @TheFetchMELB

Interview: Melbourne local, Rick Chen — February 24, 2013

Interview: Melbourne local, Rick Chen

This week sustainability writer and researcher, Lara McPherson, chats to Rick Chen – the cofounder of Pozible about crowdfunding, starting up in Melbourne, coworking and the arts.

Rick Chen

Name: Rick Chen
Twitter handles: @pozible & @rickchenn
Works: Co-founder & Director of Pozible

What is Pozible about and what prompted you to create it?

Pozible is a global crowdfunding platform for people with creative ideas and community projects. We have supported thousands of people and organisations to raise money to make their dreams come true. The idea for Pozible came about when myself and my friend and business partner Alan Crabbe decided we wanted to make a website to help artists to sell their art. The concept evolved from there.

Where do you think crowdfunding is at in Australia, in comparison to overseas?

Crowdfunding is still very much in its infancy in Australia. While we are starting to see people take crowdfunding seriously, it still has a lot of potential to become more mainstream both here and internationally.

Obviously, the US market is bigger and more mature, but there’s still a huge scope for growth in the States as well as in Asia and the developing world.

Does crowdfunding suit some industries more than others? What is behind Pozible’s focus on creative projects?

Crowdfunding really took off first with creative industries, because filmmakers, musicians, artists and others in creative fields were social media savvy, and people enjoy supporting artistic endeavours because it allows them to feel involved in the creative process.

Legal limitations which prevent crowdfunding campaigns from offering financial returns as rewards obviously makes crowdfunding less suitable for some industries, such as start ups and entrepreneurs. That said, we still see start ups and entrepreneurs using crowdfunding as a way to develop brand awareness in the marketplace.


You have a few businesses under your belt already – what similarities have you noticed in setting up each one? What new challenges have been presented with Pozible? Do you notice consistencies with the kinds of people Pozible works with?

With crowdfunding being such a relatively new concept, Pozible has presented some real challenges. Our business has been constantly evolving and changing since the very beginning, and I would expect that to continue.

The landscape in this sector is changing very rapidly so that is one of the biggest challenges, especially as we grow and expand internationally.

We work with a large number of organisations as partners, businesses as sponsors and a huge variety of people from different creative backgrounds, and we really try to be very customer oriented, and we really focus on trying to offer services that are customer-focused and value-oriented.

It seems collaboration is in your nature. You work from Hub Melbourne – how do you find the coworking experience?

We grew up in coworking spaces, and we started Pozible in a coworking space so really we’ve spent our whole time there. I really enjoy working at the Hub. I consider a lot of the people who work here to be close friends, and we always get together for communal lunch or a wine on a Friday night. I think the whole coworking experience really promotes collaboration, and stimulates ideas and connections you would’ve have had otherwise.

I think coworking is really the future, and I certainly can’t imagine myself going back to working in a corporate office.

Do you have a suppressed artistic side you’re honouring with Pozible? Will we see a Rick Chen film or exhibition one of these days?

I studied film and art at university, and I’m a designer by training so I do have an artistic streak. I wouldn’t say its suppressed exactly though. I get to do a lot of design work on a daily basis, and I find the line between creativity and entrepreneurship to be a very fine one.

Maybe in the future there might be an exhibition but for now my career focus is really about digital technology and the online space. We’re more like to see another start up in this space, than something purely artistic.

What’s your favourite neighbourhood in Melbourne?

I live on the southside, but I work in the city and I hang out on the northside.

What else are you passionate about, besides helping funding great projects?

I’m passionate about the internet, technology and social enterprises businesses.

What’s next for Pozible and for Rick?

Next for Pozible is we are aiming to evolve the crowdfunding model, and spread our wings. For me personally, Pozible is really what’s next for me. I’m committed to it moving forward.

About our ambassador // Lara McPherson is a writer and researcher interested in how ethics and economics intersect. Communications Manager at the Centre for Sustainability Leadership and a Director at Lala Productions. Tweed Rider, farmer, yogi. Lover of travel, pretty things, big questions and cups of tea. Follow her on Twitter as @laramcpherson

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