Gion from French Résistance Café

Knowing Your Neighbours is a short interview series with some of the Centre for Stories’ lovely neighbours. Join us as we deep dive into their passions and explore their life lessons.

Gion is a guitar-playing, coffee-making barista at the French Résistance Café, a few steps down the road from the Centre for Stories. He always greets customers with a cheery smile and delicious warm coffee. In this interview, Gion talks about moving to Perth from the Philippines, the art of coffee making, and the authentic and traditional food made at French Résistance Café.

Read more about Gion below. 

A photo of the French Resistance Cafe in Northbridge.

I’m Gion. I’m 32 years old, I am married, and I came from the Philippines ten years ago; I came here I think 2009. I have had different kinds of jobs. My dad is here and my two sisters, but my mum is at home, in the Philippines.

You said you moved to Australia in 2009. What was life like before that?

Well, before that I was just studying, and so I didn’t finish because I had to come here because my dad was here already, and he told me to come and that he was going to bring me here with my sisters. It’s a bit different, because it’s a different country and I’ve had different jobs, and different friends, so the culture is very different, so I had to adjust. It’s really nice, it’s very easy going, people are easy and mostly friendly. The way of living is just a little different.

When did you move to Northbridge and why?

I moved to Perth but I was near Freo, Myaree area. Then over time I moved around houses and basically jumped around jobs, and then I found this job because the manager here was my manager in other cafes before. There was a vacancy, and I went for it.

Why did you become a barista?

I was just looking for a job 6 years ago as a wait-staff, so I was just like clearing tables and washing dishes. And then they needed a barista, and so they trained me, and I loved it. So, I continued being a barista, applied to different cafes as a barista. It’s good, I like making coffees.

What is your favourite part of what you do?

My favourite part is making coffees, is the first. I just like making it, it’s relaxing. But I mean, it gets busy but to me it’s relaxing and I like what I’m doing. The second part is just talking to people and customers, interacting.

I like working you know, and after work I just relax. Sometimes I have coffee at home, or tea. I play the guitar, well sometimes. It’s good, it’s what I do in my free time, that’s what I do.

The French Résistance Café is dedicated to making baked goods the traditional way, without taking shortcuts. What is your opinion on that, and how does it come into your work?

I think it’s good because it’s very traditional and because a lot of products these days, they are made very fast. The quality doesn’t seem to be important anymore. I think it’s good to have the traditional food back into circulation in the city. It’s very authentic and genuine, like when you look at it you say, ‘oh it’s good, I would like to have this’. Some people don’t realise that this is traditional you know, like this is what it was before and now they can still see it. Yeah, I think it’s good.

You talked about the food at French Résistance Café being traditional, how does that compare with the food that you were brought up with?

Because it’s a different style, I mean it’s French, so it was very new to me, and it’s very unique and I like that it’s homemade and it’s natural and it’s very different. There’s a variety of savoury or sweet. It’s something exciting that you eat, and it’s really nice.

Copyright © 2019 Gion, The French Resistance Cafe.

This story and corresponding images have been licensed to the Centre for Stories by the Storyteller. For reproduction and distribution of this story/image please contact the Centre for Stories.

This interview was collected by year-10 student Matilda Broomhall from The Kingsley Montessori School, as part of her work experience placement. 

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