The Coffee Club Sponsors Brisbane Greeters

The Coffee Club and Brisbane Greeters

The Coffee Club has been around since 1989, opening its first store at Eagle Street Pier. Under the management of John Lazarou, Emmanuel Drivas and Emmanuel Kokoris, the home-grown franchise cafe group has swelled to include more than 350 stores across Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, China, New Caledonia, Malaysia, Maldives, Egypt and UAE.

John Lazarou is as recognisable as the Coffee Club brand. The two are almost interchangeable, with the Coffee Club Group Director known for his pursuit of an equal balance of PR and philanthropic opportunities. 

Recently, the long-time southside resident (he’s called Carindale home for the past 30 years) announced The Coffee Club’s sponsorship of Brisbane Greeters. He was also named an honorary Greeter at the City Hall event.

The Coffee Club is the inaugural business sponsor of Brisbane Greeters. What made you want to get involved?

You’re not going to find anybody more proud of their home city than me so it was just inevitable that as soon as that opportunity came about for us to get involved I just jumped at the chance. Brisbane is one of the most liveable cities in Australia. We have so much to offer. It’s an hour from the Gold and the Sunshine Coasts. It’s so cosmopolitan, it’s a melting pot of culture. I love it.

I’m actually really excited to have been made an honorary Greeter and am really looking forward to the training. I can’t wait to show international visitors around this city, although there are still plenty of things I think I could learn about the city from these amazing volunteers.

How did the Coffee Club’s focus on philanthropy develop?

It has really evolved over the years to be much more than just signing a cheque – we get the whole Coffee Club team on board and it has meant that our community and philanthropic work is certainly noticed.

You’ve certainly managed to make some friends in high places with all this charity work?

It is pretty cool to get a phone call from Olivia Newton-John saying do you want to come and do this fundraiser with me. We raised $300 million, well not just us but the entire campaign.

With all of your focus on PR and philanthropy, who manages the day-to-day operations of the group?

I like to surround myself with smart people and we have an amazing team. The work side of things is very well looked after. You will find me in store uniform on opening day welcoming new customers. I make sure I attend every store opening.

How do you like your coffee?

Well my coffees vary throughout the day. I’ll have two short blacks when I first get up, while I’m getting ready for my day then at work I’ll have another two to three milk coffees. At every meeting, and I attend six or seven or eight meetings a day, I’ll have a coffee at each of them, generally a milk coffee and then long blacks. The most I have had in one day is 23 coffees! I can have one straight before I go to sleep and it doesn’t affect me.

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