Peter Rowland Group acquires Sensory Lab Retail

Leading hospitality company Peter Rowland Group (PRG) has just purchased the retail operations of Melbourne specialty coffee brand, Sensory Lab.

Founded in 2009 by Salvatore Malatesta, owner of cult coffee house ST. ALi, Sensory Lab was designed to bring specialty coffee to a wider audience, initially through department store David Jones (in the luxurious revamped former luggage section) in Little Collins Street. The brand quickly expanded to three other outlets within David Jones at Elizabeth Street in Sydney and in the Bourke Street women’s store.

Peter Rowland Group will exclusively adopt the Sensory Lab brand Australia wide in retail, with ST. ALi remaining the coffee roaster of the wholesale brand.

Peter Rowland Group is one of Australia’s most successful, innovative and respected food and hospitality organisations. Michelle Biddle, CEO of Peter Rowland Group, said of the acquisition: “I’ve known Salvatore for over two decades and have loved watching the creative evolution of the Sensory Lab coffee offer from the start. This relationship enables us to share the fabulous food PRG is renowned for, to complement and enhance this iconic coffee brand. We are excited to take the food, coffee and science fusion into a new era and already have some exciting expansion plans on the horizon”.

Salvatore says, “It couldn’t have gone to a better home. I feel blessed that Sensory Lab has new and trusted ownership that can continue to steward the brand forward, and I can focus on my one true love, ST. ALi”.

Cafés at 30 Collins St, Monash University and The Rialto in Melbourne will be relicensed as ST. ALi.

ST. ALi’s expansion continues with a new café in the redeveloped Monash Drive precinct at University of Melbourne (early 2022), an additional café in the domestic terminal at Melbourne Airport (mid 2022) and the first outlet in Bali, at the new Further Diffused Hotel in Canggu opening later in 2022. ST. ALi has also been open in Jakarta since 2016.

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