Marketing, Public Relations

The Merchants Guild responds to call

Client: The Merchants Guild

Merchants Guild is a gourmet food destination set within the suburban setting of Bentleigh, Melbourne. Owners Mario Minichilli, Vincent Conti and Chef Paul Davies are passionate about good food and fresh produce. The team is also behind Melbourne’s own Prana Chai offering, which until recently, was prepared on site. Oliver & York Public Affairs provides ongoing public relations & marketing services for Merchants Guild.

Recent activity:

Local gourmet food destination, Merchants Guild, has responded to the call to expand its seating, following the influx of patrons from around the city flocking to the Bentleigh local to try the popular signature dishes of chef Paul Davies.

The popular café-come-fine-food-establishment, has this week opened their new courtyard offering, providing additional seating for customers looking to enjoy Davies’ creations while experiencing the fine service the local café has become known for.

In its second year, Merchants Guild has successfully applied an ambitious format which sees patrons provided with unique offerings such as unlimited filtered sparkling water at the table, quality service from a team who appreciates attention to detail, and coffee and tea specialties that have firmly placed Merchants Guild, and owners Mario Minichilli, Vincent Conti and Paul Davies, on the map as one of Melbourne’s best gourmet food destinations.

“The response to our offering has been really positive and it’s good to see that people like how we do things,” said Minichilli.

“But with that comes a bit of a wait to get a table sometimes, so we have tackled this head on by designing a courtyard space that provides more tables and a place where people can enjoy Paul’s food in the beautiful spring sunshine,” he said.

The trio, who are no strangers to innovative creations, are also the brains and brawn behind Melbourne’s own Prana Chai offering, a movement which is also putting a stamp on the industry throughout Australia.

One of the elements setting the team apart is the implementation of Australia-first technologies, such as the Urban Cultivator (a self contained hydroponic indoor garden), which has allowed Davies to consistently deliver dishes that use farm fresh creations grown only metres from waiting tables.

“We always want fresh and we always want the best for our locals, and there is a beautiful spicy flavour in plants when they are just shooting from the soil. So introducing the Urban Cultivator system has been a really good step in ensuring that always happens here on the tables of Merchants Guild – and now in our lovely new courtyard,” said Davies.

The fresh ingredients grown and served within the fine food Café include sunflower shoots, mustard seeds, pea tendrils, and other micro greens like red raddish and broccoli, and can be found in popular dishes including Paul’s Superfood Breakfast, his Spicy Mississippi Chicken with Creole coleslaw and the local favourite, Short Cut Bacon with an avocado and charred corn salsa on sourdough with eggs and jalapeno pesto.

Customers can now experience the new courtyard seven days a week, from 7am to 4pm at Merchants Guild, located at 680 Centre Road, Bentleigh East.

For more information or to view the menu, please visit


Oliver & York Public Affairs is a Public Relations, Marketing Services and Digital Content Agency based in Melbourne, dedicated to all things good.