Double dose of a Docklands favourite

Double dose of a Docklands favourite
Jack Hayes

It may have been four unstable years in the making, but it has been worth every cent, hour and stress for Peter Mastro, co-owner of Saluministi, who has recently opened his second Docklands store at Melbourne Quarter.

Famed for their made-to-order paninis that have been filling the stomachs of Docklanders since 2016, Saluministi will bring their usual fare to the growing Melbourne Quarter precinct, a move that is already reaping rewards four weeks in.

“To see the response we’ve have had is unbelievable, completely overwhelming. It’s pretty special,” Mr Mastro said.

“When you open up a shop, you spend a lot of money, it’s quite risky and you hope the reward is going to be there, but you just never know for sure.”

 

There’s obviously a need in the area for what we do. Part of it is because the market wants something and part of it is because it’s us. We have quite a strong following now.

 

While you’ll find great coffee and breakfast options at Saluministi, there’s no doubting the star of the show is their line-up of paninis.

The Porchetta, with house seasoned and rolled free range roast pork, artichoke paste, pecorino and rocket; the Pollo, with crumbed chicken breast, roasted peppers, provolone dolce, chilli and rocket; and the Calamari, with fried squid, salsa verde, lemon tartare and rocket, form the popular trinity of their renowned Italian sandwiches.

“Above everything, we couldn’t do what we do without the crew that we have … they are incredible,” Mr Mastro told Docklands News.

“For us, 2020 and 2021 was about staying afloat, 2022 was about recovery and 2023 was about what’s next?”

“We used that time [COVID lockdowns] and built a team that was ready for shop number three … that’s what gave us the confidence to do it.”

The plans to open a new store at Melbourne Quarter stem back on the eve of the pandemic. Mr Mastro and his business partner, and brother-in-law, Frank Bressi, were just days away from signing a new lease when the world shut down.

Now, with his second Docklands location, and third in the small Saluministi empire open, Mr Mastro is looking to renovate his Bourke St café, which is expected to begin construction and be completed in the coming months. •

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