Meet the team - Patrick Wallis

Meet the team - Patrick Wallis

Patrick, the venue manager at Modus Mount Lawley, is a passionate and experienced barista dedicated to delivering exceptional coffee and service. With a background in Chemical Engineering and a commitment to sustainability, he brings a unique blend of skills to the table. Patrick's goal is to open remarkable hospo venues, and his expertise and dedication make him an integral part of the Modus community.

We asked Patrick to tell us a little bit about himself, what he loves about the coffee industry, and what he's got coming up.

Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself.

I've been managing teams for over 9 years in both volunteer and paid roles. I have a degree in Chemical Engineering (Honours) which I quickly moved away from in a work capacity, and I'm currently completing my Masters of Business Administration (MBA). So effectively, I'm just an overqualified barista. I am passionate about all things hospitality, sustainability, social responsibility, and good governance. I spend a large amount of my free time either volunteering or further developing skills to hopefully open some amazing hospo venues one day!

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your journey and how you ended up in the coffee industry?

For 8 years, I managed cinemas, with the most recent being Palace Cinemas Raine Sq. This introduced me more to working in bar and coffee settings. Towards the end of my engineering degree, I started to realise it wasn't for me, and as I became more passionate about hospo, I decided to further develop my technical skills to eventually become a business owner. In my final year of Eng, I partnered with Modus to do an honours thesis about how the chemical composition of water impacts taste in coffee. I spent a number of months after this grovelling to Toby and Sam for a job, and eventually was offered one at Modus. 8 months later, I moved into a management position.

Q: What does an 'average' work day at Modus Coffee look like for you?

5:55 am rock up, prep all of the cabinet food items for the day for a 6:30 am open (or dial in the coffee machine and start slinging some cheeky liquid gold), serve an abundance of people throughout the day while completing food prep and deep clean tasks. After 10 am, as it starts to slow down, either focus on some staff training, smashing out more food prep, or admin tasks. Start the close after midday and be ready to be out by 2:30 pm.

Q: What is your favourite part about working at Modus?

The people and the offering. I have been lucky to meet so many amazing people both within the company and also as the regulars that I've gotten to know over the last 3 years. The other favourite part is the offering. While focusing on efficiency, we really pride ourselves on giving the best possible experience to customers, focusing on everything from customer interactions through to the quality and taste of the coffee and food.

Q: What makes your store unique?

The community. I've never seen a venue where the customers are almost entirely regulars, and they all get to know us and each other so well, and it shows with myself and all our staff spending their days off still hanging out. A Saturday morning at Mt Lawley is a good time.

Q: Who or what inspires you?

So many people and things inspire me. In terms of people, I really respect and am inspired by those who dedicate themselves to something. Whether this is a business, other people, or simply growing as an individual, I find a lot of inspiration through making connections with these people. I have a lot of intrinsic motivation to make what I'm doing the best possible thing it can be. I am inspired by positive change and by the ideas that ethical and authentic leadership can truly define communities.

Q: What do you get up to in your free time?

I pick up hobbies like they're going out of fashion. The most recent things I've gotten super into include experimenting with fermentation techniques, and I've also built a veggie garden. Besides this, I spend a large amount of my time either studying or volunteering. In a volunteer capacity, I sit on the national board for Vinnies and the international territorial committee for Oceania. These roles take up a big chunk of time and focus on supporting systemic change to alleviate poverty and improve social welfare. I also play hockey, a couple of instruments, try to get out camping or hiking whenever possible, enjoy drawing and wood whittling. I also bought a van a year and a half ago and have been extremely slowly converting that into a camper when I have a bit of spare cash.

Q: What is your favourite place to eat or drink right now?

For casual dining, I spend a lot of time at Kaze Bento in Mt Lawley. I also love the fit-out and the list at Sonny's in Mt Hawthorn, and I will be frequenting there with our friend Sofika taking on the food side of things. I also enjoy Besk. The finds in their bottle shop and on their list are amazing, and their fit-out is also a great vibe.

Q: What's your coffee order?

It depends on how I'm feeling! I will generally either go for a batch or a split with oat milk. Do you have a favourite Modus coffee? On bar at the moment, I'm loving the Mwalimu Ndichu Kibe from Kenya. It's a mouthful of berries with every drink I have, and I swear I thought I was drinking something alcoholic from Burgundy the first time I tried it.

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