In previous roles in the hospitality industry, Jiggy Lim had encountered Cafeideas via his employers. So when he and business partner Ryan Lee were setting up their latest venture, The Sugar Hill Cafe, they knew Cafeideas would be an important port of call for them. Jiggy says he had shopped around but insists that if given the option of more than one business with similar pricing, he would always choose Cafeideas thanks to the quality of service, the ability to visit a full showroom and the range of price points on offer.

The challenge
In establishing The Sugar Hill Cafe, Jiggy and Ryan had to keep to a firm budget. They had a good idea what they wanted for the business in terms of furnishings and kitchen equipment but needed to be mindful of not over-spending.

Problems they had experienced
Jiggy says he had looked around at other retailers, starting with their websites. “I’m a bit of an old fashioned guy,” he says. “I need to be able to walk in, touch and feel the products and get a good idea of their quality and how they work.” Jiggy explains that it’s simply not practical enough to go into a business that has a warehouse that has no ambience, and expect to be shown various items. “Cafeideas’ showroom lets you see and touch everything and you get to see how it will really look, not dismantled and covered in plastic like in the warehouses. I think I sat on every single chair in the showroom! They’re so patient, they understand that I need to know what I’m buying.” Jiggy spent around three to four hours in Cafeideas and walked out having placed orders for everything he needed and was pleased to be able to check the task of his to-do list.

He says another problem he experienced was being a small business owner, with time and budget considerations weighing heavily. “Cafeideas really helped me work within our budget. Vibha would suggest items in various ranges and then ultimately, she helped us choose a feature table that was a bit more expensive, and other items which were close to what we wanted but more affordable.”

How Cafeideas helped
Coming down to the wire, with opening day looming, Jiggy knew he could count on Cafeideas to deliver everything as advised. “Especially with openings,” he says, “you’re on a tight schedule. The shop has to be built then ready to receive furniture and equipment. Cafeideas was great in the sense that they specified days and times and everything turned up as they said it would. I need that sense of certainty.”

One hiccup that occurred however was when the feature table’s legs couldn’t be delivered in time for opening. “The Cafeideas people sent me two temporary legs and said I could paint them as I like, use them and then they’d be replaced when the proper ones came in.” True to their word, Cafeideas delivered but it was the solution-finding that impressed Jiggy. “These guys are always quick thinking. The table wasn’t exactly as we’d wanted it for opening but at least we had a solution. I was so stressed at the time that just having it taken off my hands was a huge relief.”

“I think the Cafeideas people read their customers really well,” Jiggy comments. “They were cool enough to make suggestions at different price points and gauge whether I’d be happy to spend that, then adjusted their recommendations.”

Asked if he would recommend Cafeideas to other business owners, Jiggy is clear. “I have already recommended them to friends of mine! Cafeideas makes everything so convenient. They’re Sydney-based so dealing with them is reassuring. If I have any issues, I can simply call them and there’s a same day or next day solution. I can always ring and speak to someone who is authorised to take action, there and then.”

From Cafeideas, The Sugar Hill Cafe purchased: the Student side chair, the Vintage ottoman, the Canal table frame, the Bologna table base, the Titan table top, the Siren tablew top, and a F.E.D. bar freezer.

About The Sugar Hill Cafe
The Sugar Hill Cafe is a laid-back spot located in the newly refurbished Lidcombe Shopping Centre. The name itself comes from Sugar Hill, a historic district in Harlem, New York City. The food served is a direct tribute to the delights of famous New York delis, beginning with authentic NYC-style bagels from Brooklyn Boy Bagel. “They’re boiled, big, dense and fresh,” Jiggy explains. “And we fill them with really fresh, tempting ingredients, sweet or savoury.

The Sugar Hill Cafe also serves classic Reuben sandwiches, another typical NYC offering that consists of house-made corned beef and house-made dressings.

“You could say our coffee is the hero though,” Jiggy says. “We use Ali Reserve by Di Bella, a Brisbane roaster, and we’re actually the only place in Sydney serving it.” A Fair Trade blend, it’s appreciated by coffee lovers, along with the weekly cold drip coffees that are randomly selected. “They’re micro lots that are very seasonal. They’re so random, we never know what’s going to come in but it’s always good to be able to serve something interesting and different each week.”

The cakes cabinet groans under the weight of spectacular Italian pastries and cheesecakes from Pasticceria Papa. “Oh they draw a lot of people to our shop. We’re the only place in Lidcombe where you can get them.”

The Sugar Hill Cafe vibe is friendly, welcoming and relaxed. The food and coffee can be enjoyed at the tables or packed to go and the customers include Mums with prams, business people, shoppers and locals.

The cafe opens at 7.30am for breakfast and serving lunch through to 2.30pm followed by cafe cakes and coffee until 6pm.