We caught up with the dynamic Mother and Daughter Duo, Petrina and Lydia from Cos Baby!
How did you guys get started, what were you both doing before this?
Lydia:“We’d always dreamt of opening a café but it felt like a dream that was so far away!
I went to University and got a degree in PR and Events Management but have always been very passionate about food too.”
Petrina: “And yeah, a very long time ago I was a lawyer! And then I was busy having 4 children and working with my husbands medical practice.
Now that all the kids have finished school we thought it was a good time to do it!
My husband is Italian, he has a real foodie background, his mother was an amazing cook, and she grew up in a hotel in Italy. When Lydia was little she used to go over and cook with Nonna, and I think that’s where her love of food started.”
Lydia: “We love eating, we love cooking, and we love going out we love literally anything to do with food!
We decided that we should just DO IT!”
What’s the concept behind Cos Baby?
Petrina: “We love really wholesome, delicious, homemade food and wanted to make it about that.
That’s what we like to eat when we go out, we really enjoy lots of salad and veggies and really fresh food. We make everything and do everything here; we make our own dressings and cook our own meat so we know exactly what’s in it.
We both love cooking – we do have a head chef here who does cook the food but we help out, and the three of us decide on the recipes and menu. We’ve only been open 7 weeks but we’ve already changed the menu a few times, because something’s haven’t sold too well or we don’t like them, so we’ve adapted and that’s the good thing about owning your own business you can change it if things aren’t working for you.
We try to work with the seasons as well, use vegetables that are in season and adapting our menu as the weather changes. By adding more comfort food on the menu in winter and more salads in summer.”
How have you guys found it so far in the 7 weeks of being open?
Lydia:“There have definitely been ups and downs as with any business.
We’ve learnt a lot in the short amount of time.
We really had no idea who our main customers would be when we started, we thought University Students which is why we want to keep it reasonably priced so they can come and grab a pretty healthy lunch for a reasonable price. We also get a lot of business people and residents’ coming in and on the weekend, it’s turned into a huge breakfast and brunch location.
The crowd Monday- Friday is completely different to the Saturday and Sunday crowd.”
What kinds of things have worked well for you guys in terms of Marketing and Social Media?
Petrina:“Well we were quite delayed in opening because we bought this premises and a few things were delayed with the development at the start.
So Lydia actually started up the social media before we opened – we hit 1000 followers on Instagram in the first 3 days of opening!
As we waited for the premises to be ready we would make the most of cooking at home and buying new bowls, every meal we cooked we photographed.
Lydia does all the social media and marketing side of things and I do all the business side of things so we compliment each other really well.”
Lydia:“I’ve started boosting posts on Facebook, which I think really helps get it out there.
Instagram has slowed a little bit – we try to do stories of what salads we’ve got on offer each day. We have a good Uni student following, we offer 10% student discount on coffees so lots of people come in and show their student card. We think it’s going well so far!”
What’s next for Cos Baby?
Lydia:“We really want to tap into the catering market, because of the Uni and offices being so close. We want to set up a full catering venue so we can do office parties or board meetings and give people flyers and try and get that online. But we’ve been SO busy, its only now we are finding our feet.”
And why did you guys choose Fremantle?
Lydia:“Originally we tried to find a location where we could get a small café in a small family orientated neighbourhood in the suburbs where you could walk your dog there. “
Petrina:“We had gone through the process a few times and something would always happen with the council or the property – we found it extremely difficult.
So when this one came up for sale in Fremantle we thought, if we buy it then we are control of it! Foot traffic here is great, we have lots of people walking past who see through the windows so it’s worked out really well.”
How did you come up with the name?
Petrina:“(laughs) We wanted something vibrant!
Lydia: “We knew we wanted to do a range of salads, so we went through lots of different names of tomatoes and capsicums and Italian names and French names, then we got onto lettuces’ then just swapped the words around! People remember it and we think it works!”
Cos Baby are located at 48 Pakenham Street in Fremantle.
Their opening hours are:
Monday-Friday – 7am-4pm
Saturday – Sunday – 8am-3pm