Phillip Di Bella – Founder – Di Bella Coffee

The problem solver: Phillip Di Bella talks entrepreneurship, the why-what-how, celebrating wins, leading from behind, mapping the moves and getting comfortable with the worst case scenario.

Phillip Di Bella is a force to be reckoned with. Exuberant, spirited and innovative, the founder and Managing Director of Di Bella Coffee is self aware and focused, and has achieved tremendous success as an entrepreneur, building his business into Australia’s largest speciality coffee retailer. Phillip is also a sought after board member, adjunct professor and philanthropist, working closely with the Pyjama Foundation, Hummingbird House and the Hope Foundation. He is also the vice-president of the Italian Chamber of Commerce, a fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, chairman of Brisbane CBD Economic Development Board, and a Board member of Brisbane Bullets basketball team.

A self described “creator,” Phillip was born one of three children to Italian Migrant parents in Brisbane, Queensland, and from a very early age always harboured the desire to be in control of his own destiny. Upon finishing his secondary education at Sandgate High School, Phillip studied at Bachelor of Commerce at Griffith University, an honour to his parents who “did it tough” after arriving in Australia from Italy with two young children and little more than a suitcase.

“My Dad always said to me don’t be jealous of other people, if you want it work for it,” he said.

“Uni was for my parents, I was the first child from our whole family to go to uni… It was an honour to them and I wanted to pull out throughout the whole degree but I’m glad I didn’t. I always had a burning desire to be in control of my own destiny, in terms of work. I love brands, marketing and strategy and coffee was just the industry I fell into.”

Phillip founded Di Bella Coffee in 2002 and has recently sold the company to Retail Food Group with plans to remain an ambassador and a consultant for the brand

He lives in Brisbane with his wife and young children.


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