Phillip Di Bella

Chairs on the Gold Coast


Phillip Di Bella is a Director at the Di Bella Group of Companies and a highly respected business entrepreneur with a unique ability to visualise and commercialise what many others may never see. Though initially known for the establishment of Di Bella Coffee, which became Australia’s largest speciality coffee company, Phillip’s entrepreneurial spirit has brought success to numerous businesses including International Coffee Traders, Abbotsford Road Specialty Coffee in New York, and more recently The Coffee Commune.

Not satisfied with simply focusing on building his own successful businesses, Phillip dedicates much of his time supporting the growth and development of other businesses. Often referred to as an “Entrepreneur in Residence”, Phillip regularly lends his strategic thinking to businesses such as BDO Consulting, assisting their clients’ overcome challenges, identify new opportunities, and support commercialising of these solutions.

Phillip has further extended his commitment to coaching and mentoring businesses by establishing The Coffee Commune – a business dedicated to the long term development, sustainability and ensuing success of the broader coffee industry.  The Coffee Commune is a platform where Phillip enthusiastically shares his inspiration and experience of the coffee industry, continuing his passion by facilitating improvement and encouraging others to succeed.

Phillips’s entrepreneurial capabilities and contribution to the broader community have been recognised in many forums over the years. During the early years of Di Bella Coffee he was listed in the 2006, 2007 and 2009 Business Review Weekly Fast 100 and received numerous accolades including Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, Customer Service Awards and Business Owner Awards. Phillip was also the world’s youngest recipient of an Italian knighthood, bestowed with the ‘Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity’ for contribution to the Italian Community.

Phillip has always been deeply committed to serving his hometown. His roles within the Brisbane community have included Director of Brisbane Marketing and Chair of the CBD Economic Development Board. Phillip’s significant local involvement was acknowledged in 2009, and in 2014 as the recipients of the Lord Mayor’s Corporate Citizenship Award. Phillip is also an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Department of International Business and Asian Studies at Griffith University, in recognition of his exceptional success in his field and outstanding community contribution.

Underscoring everything that Phillip does is his drive for ongoing growth, development and improvement – to be the best he can be and to assist others be the best version of themselves.

Career highlight

In 2002 after 9 years working for a coffee company that refused to learn, look after its people and simply grow in all areas…. it was time to start my own business. It was a time when things for me where very murky and messy as I was comfortable working for a company and earning a solid wage.  However there was more burning inside me. The drive, the will, the determination to be part of the change I wanted to see. The desire to be better tomorrow than today was all leading me to take the leap and start my own business. The time had come to put into play all that I had learned from others mistakes, and some good things also, and go it alone.  Since that point onwards my career has delivered a strong of highlights as well as some challenges along the way, ups and downs, happiness and sadness, success and failures…. all contributing to what makes a meaningful life.

Why Coraggio?

“Be part of the change you want to see in the world” a quote from the great Gandhi is exactly the mantra to which I remind myself to lead my life. In a world where there is so much noise and it is only getting worse it is so important to ensure that we take control of what it is we want. Our decisions lead us to our reality so it all starts with a clear vision in your personal life, your professional life and your family life. I am honoured to be a Coraggio Chair to remind people what they wish to be remembered for and what legacy will you leave behind. It takes a courageous person to take control of their life and lead it the way in which they will ultimately be happy with. The courageous person has vision, strength, resilience and most importantly lives their values and operates with integrity. Surround yourself with people who share your values and are prepared to tell you what you need to hear, not what you may want to hear.



Get comfortable with your worst possible scenario, no matter whether its changing jobs, starting your own company, driving fast, jumping from a plane, swim with sharks…. whatever it is. Start with a piece of paper and write your question/dilemma at the top. Then proceed to list all the things that are positive and then more important list all the things that are negative. Focus on the ‘worst possible scenario’ that could happen if you did or didn’t make a move. If you are comfortable with this outcome, move forward with conviction and don’t let anything slow you down.  If you are not, it’s time to reassess until you can be comfortable with the worst thing that could happen.

To join Phillip’s Board or for more information, please get in touch with Brook Hawkesford at or call her on 0419 581 672