Elaia Cafe and Restaurant has been a mainstay in Charles Street's foodie scene for nearly 25 years now.
As well as serving a mean cappuccino, the business serves as an example of the ever-growing hospitality businesses owned and managed predominantly by women.
According to hospitality equipment financier SilverChef, female representation in the industry continues to grow year by year.
Female hospitality ownership in Australia and New Zealand increased significantly from 32.93 per cent in 2019 to 38.14 per cent in 2020.
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Data also revealed that women are more likely to open a cafe than men.
SilverChef head of people and impact Amanda Tye said these trends should continue.
"The hospitality industry is becoming easily one of the most diverse fields, with business owners of all cultures, ages and genders working to make their dreams come true," she said.
"Over the past five years, women have been increasingly able to break into the market and create flourishing businesses, particularly in the cafe space."
Elaia co-owner Ritsa Nicholas and husband Perry have inhabited the Charles Street space since the early 1990s.
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Mrs Nicholas said Elaia itself opened about 1996.
"It's gone very fast, it still feels like yesterday ... [I] Grew up surrounded by family owned businesses all my life, so did my husband Perry."
Elaia's management team is mostly female - it includes a head chef who started working at the business when she was 16 years old and a manager who has worked there for 17 years.
"It wasn't intentional, it just worked out that way," Mrs Nicholas said.
"When we first started back-of-house was predominantly male chefs and apprentices with a couple of female chefs coming through.
Mrs Nicholas admitted she had little hospitality experience when starting Elaia, however it was not considered essential 25 years ago.
One thing that held her in good stead when opening the business was remembering the lessons she observed from her mum and dad.
"I remember seeing my parents welcoming the guests when they came in, they were on a first-name basis and there was that familiarity," Mrs Nicholas said.
"When I started this business, I did exactly the same. I think it all comes from the culture and business values that you want your customers to feel when they come in."
I think it all comes from the culture and business values that you want your customers to feel when they come in.Ritsa Nicholas