Same name, but a new face for Launceston icon Alberto’s

ALBERTO'S: Alberto's Espresso was opened by Kate and Anna Pedley two weeks ago. Business has been "crazy", according to Anna. Picture: Stefan Boscia
ALBERTO'S: Alberto's Espresso was opened by Kate and Anna Pedley two weeks ago. Business has been "crazy", according to Anna. Picture: Stefan Boscia

The name of former hairdresser Alberto Santamaria will continue to ring through Launceston’s CBD, despite his retirement in March.

Sisters Anna and Kate Pedley opened a new George Street coffee shop two weeks ago, which carries the name of Mr Santamaria’s longtime Launceston hair salon – Alberto’s. 

The sisters are now serving up flat whites at Alberto’s Espresso on the very same premises where Mr Santamaria cut and styled the hair of generations of Launcestonians. 

The 78-year-old visited his workplace of 33 years for the first time on Wednesday since it was converted into a coffee shop by the Pedley sisters.

“I've waited for my sons to come to [Launceston] to congratulate those girls,” he said.

"I've waited to take my sons and their grandchildren with them to have a look where I worked, so they know the place.​ 

“I feel very good – I hope [the Pedley sisters] do very well and I think they will.​”

Mr Santamaria retired in March after working for 54 years in Launceston’s CBD – 21 years on Brisbane Street and 33 years on George Street.

Anna Pedley said the pair wanted to pay respect to Mr Santamaria after his extensive work in the community.

“Everyone knows [Alberto’s] and we really wanted to keep the signage,” she said. 

“He's been in the business for 50 years, and we wanted to pay a bit of respect to him for being here for 50 years.

“All of his family have been really supportive.”

In the two weeks since Alberto’s Espresso opened, Anna said demand has been high for the coffee shop’s offerings.

She said the coffee shop has tried to stand out from the crowd by offering fast, healthy meals to the busy lunch crowd.

The pair are also generating business through modern, cost-free advertising methods. 

“Business has been crazy, absolutely crazy,” she said.

“It's really been through word of mouth, Instagram and Facebook – my sister's an athlete so there's quite a few people who follow her [on Instagram].

“We’re selling healthy food, good coffee, good smoothies, and we want to target the people who want to be able to grab [lunch] and go, but it be still healthy.​”

Reminiscing on his 54-year career, Mr Santamaria emphasised the importance of finding fulfillment in running your own business. 

“To me it was great, and the customers were fantastic to me," he said. 

“The position [of the business] was good, and I enjoyed my work and it's been absolutely a godsend for me.

“I hope that they will have just as much success, through not only profit, but also satisfaction.”