While it may appear to be a regular café on the outside, when people step into Café 959 in the Sydney suburb of Kogarah, they step into a piece of history from newly-wed couple Chris and Marissa Andrew.
Both being children at the time, Chris and Marissa met in 2009 on their local school bus, the 959. As time went on, their relationship grew stronger and they began dating at the end of 2014.
“We came up with a lot of different names and none of them were personal to us,” Marissa said to The Greek Herald.
“When we came up with Café 959, we knew that it meant something to us. It’s close to our hearts.”
Marissa’s family run a café in Penrith, Nadia’s Café, which Chris began working for around the time they started dating. Since then, the two developed a unique working dynamic, strengthened by their love for each other.
“We’ve both been with the Nadia’s team for over ten years now… And since then we’ve been a great pair, working together,” Marissa said.
“We thought it was the right time to open up our own cafe to call our own.”
Announcing their engagement in 2018, the pair worked together full-time at Marissa’s family café in Blacktown.
Speaking about how the opportunity in Kogarah came to be, Marissa said many would consider it ‘fate’. Yet Marissa recognised that the best opportunities usually come at the most unexpected and best times.
Prior to opening Café 959, the spot was home to the popular café ‘Conrete Jungle’.
“I went down to a florist at the bottom of my street and I recognised the lady working,” Marissa explained.
“And we started talking about life and business and family. She told me her son owns Concrete Jungle and how he’s going through his life as well.
“And I said to her as a joke, if he ever wants to sell, here’s our number.
“And then a few days later, he called us and that’s how it started.”
Opening last week, Marissa says it’s been difficult to predict what each day will bring, yet the business enjoyed a hugely successful first weekend.
“I think we were lucky to have a lot of family help us out,” Marissa added.
“We had a lot of good reviews, a lot of good feedback and happy customers. Our main focus is good customer service, good food and good coffee.
“And our main goal is obviously to maintain and build our relationships with our customers and our staff.”
Asked if there would be any Greek influences brought to the café, Marissa says they are looking to introduce Greek coffee on the menu sometime in the future, along with some Greek food items on the menu.
“We’re focused on a bit of a multicultural target and a lot of our customers are already Greek and know that we’re Greek and it’s just that different kind of level of relation,” Marissa concluded.