Meet Simon O’Regan from the EARL Canteen group in Melbourne CBD – 7 stores and growing! They specialise in breakfast, lunch, coffee and catering. Since opening their first store in 2010, owners Simon O’Regan and Jackie Middleton have maintained a steady pace of expansion in this very demanding precinct, recently adding a central commissary and catering kitchen.

Their inspiration came from being ‘two hungry waiters who, at the end of service every night, watched big chefs do simple things with fancy ingredients. It gave them an idea. Simple, honest, everyday eats made from the finest, locally sourced produce. Good-morning breakfasts, wake-me-up coffee, wholesome salads and fancy sandwiches made fresh every day.’ They’ve also seen the benefit of technology innovation and smart marketing – there’s a lot to discuss in this conversation with Ken Burgin.

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