CAFE TALES: 13 Espresso


Don’t let the tattoos or grunge exterior fool you, co-owner of 13 Espresso, Jake, is a determined, caring, and deep thinking individual.

When we met with Jake and his mum Leah, it was obvious that their family unit was incredibly strong. It would have to be, considering that Jake managed the family cafe ‘Fat Duck Cafe’ for years, and currently works alongside his dad with 13 Espresso and the Fat Duck Cycling now being under the safe roof in a new premise. Working with family has been a long tradition with Jake’s dad, Wayne, working for his own dad for 30 years. Another thing that was very present, is their drive, whether it’s in their work ethic, personal goals, or helping others.

Jake has lived a large life for his 29 years. Things got off to a rocky start early, at 7 weeks old, Jake was a near miss SID’s baby, which resulted in him being on a respiration monitor until he was 2 years old. Leah recalls being told that they were not going to know for sure whether he suffered brain damage until he would be around 4-5 years old. At 4 years old Jake suffered another near miss, this time during a swimming lesson, which saw him almost drown. This young boy was a fighter from a young age, nothing would stop him from living life.

Hard work and grit was taught from a young age by Leah and Wayne. Leah says Jake ‘was never gifted’, he just worked hard to get what he wanted. At 13 he started working in his dads smash repairs, in the effort to buy his first bike, which he achieved. In year 10 he was told by his school, that he shouldn’t attempt to aim to go to university, he then begged his parents to send him to another school so it would give him a better education, from here he achieved an early offer to Notre Dame, and was accepted into UWA.

His sporting accolades were a similar story, never gifted, often told he wouldn’t achieve his goals, and most times came out on top… but always modest about it. Reaching goals to ride professionally saw him compete 3 times in China, and qualified for the Serbian National Cycling time trial team at the age of 19. 2019 saw Jake kick off his next goal of tackling an IronMan, he not only tackled 1, but 3 IronMen and 1 half IronMan. Not one to hold back, he completed the 3 full IronMen in 12 months, and ranked #1 for the 25-29 age group at the end of 2019.

‘Give me a good reason to do it, and tell me I can’t, and I’ll do it’, was the sentiment when Jake was riding for charity - a ride that was supposed to be a team event - which he decided to do himself, all 500km’s of it (over 24hours). He hadn’t rode more than 100km before, but when it was found out that the charity being raised for was close to his heart, he decided to go for it. With professional riders doubting and commenting he wouldn’t be able to get past 300km, he used this as ammunition to achieve it, which he did.

Through all of his sporting achievements, one thing that was always important to him was family. And when Leah and Wayne were thinking of purchasing Fat Duck Cafe, they asked Jake to come home and manage it for them, his only hesitation in helping his family, was that they change their coffee offering - ‘Good coffee, made locally’ he says.

Jake would often open the cafe at 4am to get things set up before the morning crew came in, train, and then head back to work. A work ethic still engrained today.

When the lease on the old Fat Duck Cafe premise was finalising, the opportunity arose to move locations, and Jake saw it as an opportunity to make his own mark on the cafe. It was a risk, with an established name, and clientele, but he felt it was time to create something new, more welcoming to another type of clientele, and somewhere cool to hang… of course with good coffee, and good food. Community has been a large focus of this family, everything they do throughout life has a community outcome, whether that’s from the very early days, when Jake was a baby and Leah and Wayne helped fundraise for Busselton Hospitals first SID’s respiration monitors due to their experiences, and to Jake using his sporting passion to raise money for multiple charities, they aim to do good for their community. Leah mentions recently being told that a local lady was able to finish her education due to the space Jake created, the lady says ‘ without this space to come to everyday, grab a coffee, and be able to do my course, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve it’.

Like Jake’s attitude and outlook on everything else, he never leave’s any stoned unturned, so 13 Espresso was born. He says the name came from the Lot number the building sits upon, however, in fact it comes from the tattoo on his arm, which he tattooed himself, and the fact that 13 is his lucky number… in a world that sees 13 as an unlucky number, he sees it as lucky. This positive thinking is part of Jake’s make up, this does not mean he hasn’t had dark times, it’s just been the thing to bring him through and get him across the finish line. This positive thinking and drive, is what’s seeing him through the challenging times of what all hospitality businesses are facing at present. So more than ever it’s time to support your local.

Busselton born and bred Jake, drinks his coffee black. His favourite place in the South West is the track between Bunker Bay and the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, and his top tip for his go to foodie spot is Burger Bones in Busselton.

We can all agree that Jake has achieved so much for one life time, and with his level of maturity, feels like he is truly on his 13th life. When you don’t catch Jake at the coffee machine, you’ll see him swimming, cycling, running, and living his best 13th life.

He recommends trying the Raspberry and White Chocolate muffins, and to grab a Margaret River Roasting Co. Coffee when visiting 13 Espresso.