Notes on a Candle

by Bessie Marks December 04, 2020 5 min read

We’re excited to launch our collaboration with made + more: a scented candle inspired by perennial favourite Daddy’s Girl blend. Think notes of caramel, milk chocolate and vanilla on a subtle base of roasted coffee. Sweet, soothing and absolutely delicious, this candle will be on the top of everyone’s Christmas wish list.

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It all starts with a text message from Di Keser; an aside at the end of an unrelated conversation. “Also,” she says, “I was thinking we could do a collab with Padre for a coffee candle.” This is a classic Di move: to toss a brilliant idea into the ring with absolutely zero fanfare. Of course it plays out perfectly, like most of Di’s brilliant ideas do. 


Di is one half of the dynamic duo behind the Hardware Société, a cafe institution with outposts in Melbourne and Paris. Di is incredibly talented, and her business acumen and flair for design is a huge part of Hardware’s success.

She has a sharp eye and a quick tongue, she’s stylish, determined, and quite possibly the most generous person I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet.

Di’s husband Will is the other half: larrikin, ball of energy, chef extraordinaire and skilled with a tool. You can see people instantly relax around him and he can hold a whole room’s attention.

They are, I would argue, the perfect couple - completely complementary in skill sets and interests, ultimate adventurers, a balance of dynamics and, not least, still madly in love 26 years into their marriage.

 

Di and Will Keser, with Roble the laufhund, as pictured in 'No Eggs on Toast'

 

The Hardware Société was born in 2009. Then, it was a tiny 35-seater on Hardware Street, the famous Melbourne laneway where they are still represented today.

The menu is deliciously French and Spanish inspired and the interior has Di’s design driven style.

Hardware Société has always been more than a cafe though, as the name implies. It’s a community, a culture, and a way of life. While their menu, fitouts and service attract travellers from all over the world, they manage to maintain an air of warmth and approachability.

It’s the kind of place where all the staff remember your name and customers forge friendships with each other.  


Will and Di were among our very first Padre Coffee wholesale customers and the relationship has blossomed so beautifully over the years.

It’s familial and collaborative; we’ve supported each other through the ups and the downs. It’s hard now to imagine Padre Coffee without the Hardware Société.

 

A delicious Daddy's Girl flat white poured into a made + more Portuguese ceramic cup

 

The Hardware group has grown and changed over the years. The Kesers went into partnership with friend and chef Shaun Williams on Bowery to Williamsburg, an ode to New York in the laneways of Melbourne.

The food is bold and full of flavour, with generous portions and takes on classics like philly cheese steak and BLTs.

Shaun himself is quite the opposite: humble and laid back, a quiet achiever. Shaun now solely owns B2W, a change that made sense when the Kesers moved to Paris.


After years of back and forth between the cities they love, the Kesers made that great move in 2015. Of course, Hardware Société Paris launched the following year to international acclaim. Will and Di, as you might have worked out, don’t rest on their laurels.

Perhaps the most incredible part for us is that they chose to brew Padre in Paris, despite all the obvious obstacles. We are so incredibly humbled and honoured to have our coffee brewed by friends on the other side of the world.

 

Shaun Williams made + more

Shaun Williams chats with a staff member at made + more

 

2019, brought more exciting changes and after a decade of trade, the main Melbourne cafe moved to a much bigger site at Katherine Place.

Prior to opening, the new venue hosted the launch ofNo Eggs on Toast, the Kesers’ literary homage to brunch and the telling of their story thus far.

It’s a rollicking tale filled with big personalities and a load of Hardware Société recipes that - as the book says - “redefine brunch”. 


Happily, the Hardware team maintains a presence in Hardware Street, with a smaller version still operating at number 123.

It would be remiss of me not to shout out the amazing staff, who, due to the generous nature and approach of the Kesers, have become their family in the truest sense. This group of dedicated and trusted professionals have helped to build the Hardware brand into what it is today.

 

no eggs on toast at made and more

No Eggs on Toast on display at made + more

 

The GM of Melbourne needs no introduction; if you’ve dined in either of the venues, no doubt you’ve encountered Aaron Taylor-Tedford.

Exuberant in every sense, he’s fashionable, sassy-mouthed and energetic, but each time he greets you, he hugs you close and hard like a brother.

Trained in musical theatre, he runs the cafe like a stage: everything is well orchestrated and of course he’s the main star.

Then there’s Jesse Keane, the tattooed, bearded chef who is now managing Paris operations. He looks intimidating until you talk to him and discover he’s a softie with a heart of gold.

 

di and will keser in no eggs on toast

Aaron, Di, author Michael Harnden, and Will in their book No Eggs on Toast

 

The latter end of 2019, sees the return of Dani Dunleavy, one of the Kesers’ first employees from pre-Hardware days.

When I met her, I feel like we have known each other forever; we instantly hit it off. She’s no-nonsense, a great raconteur and humbly self-deprecating.

She’s remained friends with Will and Di over the years, as most of their ex-employees do: they are just those kind of people. The skills Dani has acquired mean she is the perfect brand manager for a new project.

In December 2019, made + more is launched - a concept store featuring a carefully curated selection of premium European and Australian contemporary homewares.

It’s a collaboration with old friend and business partner Shaun Williams as is inspired by the group’s travels across Europe. In store you’ll find unique Portuguese ceramics and Herdmar cutlery, Redecker brushware from Germany, luxurious Merino slippers from Lithuania and French linen aprons.

It’s a beautiful store filled with exquisite products and just stepping foot in the door is an experience to be had.

 

made and more

made + more was a welcome addition to High St Armadale's shopping precinct

 

made + more happily also houses a micro cafe brewing the same Padre Coffee blend - our beloved DG - as is featured across the Hardware Societe and Bowery to Williamsburg venues.


This all brings us back to 2020 and Di’s text message. Our first product collaboration. The made + more X Padre Coffee scented candle, inspired by our DG blend. It’s an incredible candle, hand poured in Torquay by made + more’s candlemaker of choice, John Teague.

Housed in a stunning creamy Portuguese ceramic cup, the candle will live on long after it’s burnt out as your newest favourite coffee cup!


But to us, it’s more than just a candle. It’s a symbol of our partnership, a product of our friendship and an emblem of more good things to come.

 made and more X Padre Coffee candle

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made + more
madeandmore.com.au
@madeandmoremelbourne

 

The Hardware Societe
hardwaresociete.com
@hardwaresociete
@hardwaresocieteparis

 

Bowery to Williamsburg
bowerytowilliamsburg.com.au
@bowery2williamsburg


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