You may have heard of the most recent opening of a plant-based café in St Kilda, Matcha Mylkbar. It opened on the 31st of March, and within days the population of Melbourne appears to be desperately flocking there for the unique and fabulously marketed menu. Sarah Holloway and Nic Davidson are the owners or Matcha Maiden, selling matcha – vibrant ground green tea leaves, which has managed to scurry its way into every trendy Melbourne café. Having already established a substantial social media following, they then partnered with Mark and Attil Filippelli and began to advertise their upcoming St Kilda café and generate frenzy around their innovative and unique meals.
How did Holloway and Davidson achieve this? How did they generate insurmountable frenzy before even opening, and make their way onto every food blog and infiltrate everyone’s social media outlets? And ultimately achieve unimaginable small business success from the very first day…
Firstly, they have capitalised on the growing number of people prescribing to a vegetarian or vegan diet, and utilised that to create a menu based on the nutritional benefits of plant based eating, in turn generating mass curiosity for everyone despite their regular dietary habits. By the cafes third day since opening, they ran out of produce before lunch.
They did something new. They created meals ranging from vegan eggs and coconut bacon, as well as your choice of mushroom or beetroot lattes, not to mention the distinctive bright green matcha burger buns that seem to have bombarded platforms such as Instagram. They did something people hadn’t seen before. They made a risk, but a calculated one. We all love poached egg and avo on toast, so they made a twist on the classics. What they have to offer is now something that no other café will serve up. Once people get a taste for it – they’ll have to return it they want to be satiated!
They teased us… They took advantage of social media. They had already generated a major following due to the success of Matcha Maiden, and were able to utilise a free platform to post the meals that would be served and monitor peoples response and approval, which rapidly grew. Doing this also created major anticipation and curiosity as to what these meals would actually taste like, and trial how it was even possible to make a poached egg out of linseed protein and coconut, or a mozzarella from almonds.
They have also entered a highly profitable market, and payed attention to popular trends. They’ve intertwined the growing trend of ‘clean eating’ and general obsessions with food developments such as matcha and plant based lifestyles. They serve “longevity bowls” which are based off of the culturally appropriate cuisines of the worlds blue zones – being regions with the longest living populations. They then serve these bowls accordingly to these regions which include Sardinia, Italy, Ikaria, Greece and Okinawa, Japan.
In order to create business frenzy, stop trying to convince a customer to buy a product. Instead, provoke a customer’s natural impulse to buy something that they have been triggered to feel as though they want or need.