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Meet Zach Calleja, Retail Team, VIC

by Amanda Pantas March 22, 2021 3 min read

Zachary Calleja - or Zach as he is known by our team and customers - first joined Padre Coffee in March 2018. Since becoming a member of the retail team, he has been promoted, first to assistant store manager in mid-2019 and then to store manager at Brunswick East at the start of 2020. Very soon, he will be managing our new store in the Collingwood Yards. 

We all knew Zach would be a fantastic fit for our Collingwood store, given his interest in all things creative arts and his ability to connect with others. In his time at Brunswick East, he has proven an aptitude for creating long lasting customer relationships, and leaves behind the high-performing team he created, which is sure to continue flourishing.

Zach grew up in sunny far north Queensland - or FNQ, as he affectionately says. He made the decision to move to Melbourne in January 2018, and whilst sad to leave behind his family and friends, he was excited to start a new chapter.

In Queensland, Zach had worked in a few coffee franchises, managed a fine dining restaurant in Brisbane and, as a teenager, even worked in tropical fruit farms (how very Queensland of you Zach!). This meant Zach came to us with a broad understanding of coffee and a sound understanding of working in a team environment. His sophisticated palate is something that we regularly take advantage of when tasting new coffees and - since he has also studied writing and English literature - he is able to describe what he tastes so eloquently.

What are you most looking forward to this year? 

I’m really excited about my ongoing journey with Padre Coffee. The opportunity to be part of establishing a new location at Collingwood Yards is really inspiring and aligns with my passion for creativity and community. For the past three years I’ve had the amazing fortune to be part of our beautiful community at Padre’s Brunswick East location. It truly became a home away from home. Having grown so much in my time here, I’m thrilled to have access to a new space and community to grow alongside. I’m really looking forward to developing new relationships and being part of creating something special and meaningful at Collingwood Yards in 2021 (and beyond).

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learnt while managing a team?

Having taken over as a store manager at the very beginning of 2020, I had no idea what was in store for myself and the team. It was a very challenging year to say the least, but I’m overwhelmingly proud of what we achieved and how we adapted to support one another and show up for our community. I think that is the most valuable lesson I’ve learnt while managing a team: it really is about the combined effort of everyone involved and the strengths and qualities of each individual being able to shine within the team. Doing it on your own is exhausting, unrewarding and usually quite awkward. It’s also nowhere near as fun as being part of an amazing team. 

What three words would you use to describe your role?


In my role as a store manager, a great deal of my day is spent communicating with colleagues, suppliers and customers. Understanding how central good communication is to running a team - and a business - effectively is key to achieving our goals and feeling like we’re all understanding one another and supporting one another. 


I remember reading a quote somewhere that said “create the culture you need in your place” and it’s stuck with me. Culture is integral to believing in what we do every day. Understanding the values we share, the way our differences can inspire a more rich and fulfilling experience, knowing who we are, what we are about and how we achieve community all comes back to culture. As a location manager it’s something I think about a lot. 


Part of managing is understanding the bigger picture and what needs to be achieved. It is really important to inspire others to see that vision and achieve success and growth; not simply as part of completing a checklist, but because they are aligned with the purpose of their role and understand their contribution. I really value checking in with my coworkers and being able to lift them up and make them feel engaged in their job.

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