The Sphere Agency’s founder and executive creative director, Michael Abdel is planning a bold initiative to save Melbourne’s famous W-class trams and convert them into Melbourne-themed cafes located at iconic locations around Melbourne, interstate and overseas.
These cafes would be branded Melbourne Coffee Co and would be established as a certified B Corp.
As a B Corp, the business will undergo rigorous assessment that explores the company’s governance, transparency, environmental and social impact. B Corps voluntarily hold themselves to a higher level of accountability in these areas.
Speaking about the initiative, Abdel said, “As a kid I loved spending the school holidays traveling the trams with my dad, who worked as a tram conductor. They hold a lot of special memories to me and when I saw how they were being left to rust away, I felt like I couldn’t stand by and do nothing.
“These trams are part of what makes Melbourne so special. I see this as an opportunity to give back to the city by helping retain part of its history. It could be a real win-win for Melbourne.”
Abdel said less than a year after their first meeting with Public Transport Victoria (PTV) to discuss the project, his consortium of experienced Melbourne businesses spanning retail, PR and marketing received enthusiastic support from public and private sector enterprises and within PTV, as well expressions of interest from interstate and as far afield as Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, London and the United States.
“Everyone we’ve shown this proposal to has fallen in love with the idea and wants to see it happen,” Abdel added.
“We know Melbourne makes the world’s best coffee, we want to show off our coffee culture, and celebrate our city’s heritage.
“These trams will drive Melbourne tourism not just here but overseas as well. Imagine people in New York, in Heathrow, sipping on amazing coffee in a W-Class tram and getting an authentic taste of Melbourne.”