How to business in 2016.
Opening with a bang: 50SIXONE smashes Adelaide in the face
Simon Flocco is a 32-year-old mastermind.
144A King William Rd
Hyde Park SA 5061
Open 7am-11pm daily
His shop, 50SIXONE opened Sunday (July 17, 2016) to a line of customers stretching a hundred metres down King William Road. That line was there at 8:30am when he opened the store for the very first time. The line was still there at 10pm when he closed.
But Simon’s light-filled, sugar-packed shop was a success before anyone had ever tasted a single item from his breakfast / dessert menu.
Now, between both accounts, the brand boasts over 12,000 followers. They’ve been open five days.
And Simon is totally transparent about his strategy too. Digital is at the core of this food business.
“Without digital, I wouldn’t be where I am now,” he says.
“I wouldn’t have opened with such a bang if I didn’t have all those pictures. The only downfall with that was opening up after giving everyone such high expectations.”
But five days in and 50SIXONE is running smoothly. The crowd is a mix of ages but overwhelmingly young women, many of whom have their phones out – ready to share their meal with everyone who’s not there.
The meaning of sharing a meal has shifted and Simon’s business is built around that shift.
“I said to myself I wouldn’t do it, until I could do it properly. I can’t think of anything that I looked at a price tag and said, ‘too much’. I wanted it done. I wanted the wow-factor. I wanted the wow-factor with the food and everything,” he says.
This included craning in structural steel to create the aesthetic of a Manhattan loft, as well as cutting 13 sky lights into the building to ensure there were no dark and dingy corners. The works culminated in Simon and his business partner building an entire kitchen onto the back of the premises.
Looking around, the space is unlike anything in Adelaide. CityMag cannot spy a single corner that’s been cut (and not subsequently gilded).
“I went to Melbourne for a week just to look at some places. I took a bit from each place that I liked and put it together,” says Simon continuing, “I wanted that Manhattan, Loft, warehouse, glam style. At night it’s a completely different feel in here.”
“I was inspired by a place called Black Tap in New York,” says Simon – urging us to YouTube “Black Tap lineups” where he assures us we’ll see people lining up for 3 hours just to get a milkshake.
Putting NY overtures aside, and looking beyond the businesses’ heavy emphasis on aesthetics, Simon’s 15 years in hospitality ensures there’s depth to the offer.
“There’s a few places that do ‘monster milkshakes’ in Adelaide but I don’t think anyone is doing them to the quality that I’m doing. From putting fresh cream instead of canned cream and using homemade Italian donuts [zepole],” he says.
To Simon, this is what makes a good food business distinct from an average food business.
“Quality, attention to detail from the ingredients,” Simon says. “People can tell. If I went and chucked a 30c donut from Coles on them – to me – they might still sell but, you know? You pay for what you get. People will pay for it if the quality is there.”
50SIXONE make their own ice cream. They roll some of it in gold and sell it for $55 a pop. They have three in the kitchen at all times and serve food from 7-in-the-morning until 11-at-night. His staff are bright, attentive and quick.
And the venue is open seven days a week.
“What am I trying to achieve?” says Simon, repeating our question after we raise our eyebrows over his business’ 16-hour-long food service.
“I’m just trying to bring something to Adelaide that we’ve never had before. I want my customers to have an experience – not just a food experience – I want them to have an experience.”
Rest assured, 50SIXONE is a world unto itself.