If you were to describe Cedar Hospitality’s Managing Director in one word, it would be ‘determined’. It’s in the way he strives for success, pushes for more and unyieldingly believes in what’s right. Determination is the basis of Peter Campese’s ethos and what has enabled him to continually lead his company to success.
Peter owns Cedar Hospitality with his business partner and cousin Danny Katebian. Danny’s father Gaby and their Uncle Sam were the founders of the company more than 20 years ago when they launched Cedar Catering Supplies, which would go on to become Cedar Hospitality in 1994.
Cedar Hospitality stocks an extensive range of some of the best commercial products on the market, including bar, restaurant, equipment and kitchenware. It’s essentially a one-stop shop for the hospitality industry, to fit-out an entire restaurant, from the kitchen right through to the dining area. Customers can wander freely around with a trolley and take their time choosing their goods – it’s a cash-and-carry type super store.
Over the past 25 years, Peter’s unwavering loyalty to customer-centricity has paid off, and it’s to this that he credits his success. The company’s long-term customers include Groove Train, Gradi, Lucas Group, La Porchetta and Crown Casino, all of which have grown and expanded alongside Cedar Hospitality.
“Sometimes it’s not all about price. It’s about providing good reliable service, and thankfully I have a terrific team of extremely loyal, trusted and particularly hard-working people who, in most cases, go above and beyond to provide excellent customer service,” he says.
“It’s about delivering goods on time and working as a trustworthy partner.”
Today Cedar Hospitality has 65 employees and is one of the largest hospitality super stores in Australia. It has grown so quickly that the company has had to move premises not once but four times to accommodate growing staff numbers, stock holdings and the creation of what was once a small showroom into a 2,000-square-metre super store.
Peter and Danny travel globally to source the newest and most innovative products to bring to an ever-changing and demanding hospitality market. Cedar partners with world renowned companies, for example Steelite as evident in the images. “These partnerships are crucial to our operations along with our trusted Australian suppliers and manufacturers.”
He adds that when all interested parties work in collaboration, great things can happen. “It’s about working with credible partners.”
Peter credits his early grounding in this industry to his uncle, Carl Bacash, who guided him from a young age to trust his gut instinct and stick with it. He also taught Peter to stay grounded and do what he believes is right.
“He would say, ‘Son, if you believe it, just do it’ – that was his motto,” Peter notes, adding that he believes this has served him well and has been the key to his and Cedar Hospitality’s success. “I’m a great believer in being hands-on in all areas of the business, from packing orders to doing deliveries to jumping on a forklift and moving stock around,” Peter continues.
“I have a pretty straight forward, sometimes blunt, approach to most things, but I think that the majority of people – my staff, suppliers and other industry people respect me for that.”