25 September 2023

Five minutes with Mitchell Pieper and Jonathan Cirillo, Little Lunch on Forsyth

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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two cafe co-owners in their venue

Lifelong friends Mitchell Pieper and Jonathan Cirillo have fulfilled a shared dream to start a business. Photo: Shri Gayathirie Rajen.

Region had a five-minute chat with Mitchell Pieper and Jonathan Cirillo, the owners and Narrandera-born bakers at the newly opened cafe Little Lunch on Forsyth in Wagga Wagga.

Who are Mitchell Pieper and Jonathan Cirillo? We’re the owners of Little Lunch on Forsyth and we’ve been friends from the time we could remember. We went to the same school and we worked well together.

Mitchell – I’m a baker of 15 years. Our enterprise (Little Lunch on Forsyth) has been a dream of mine since I started working. It had taken us some time to get where we are but we’re finally here.
Jonathan – I’ve also been baking for 15 years and we both worked together for about three years in Narrandera. It was also my dream to own a business and since we were both on the same level as each other, we thought we’d open something together.

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Best recent dining experience:

Mitchell My best recent dining experience was at The Charles and I had a five-course meal for the first time and it was absolutely delicious.
Jonathan – When I was in Sydney a while ago we were out walking around 9:30 pm and came across a Spanish restaurant. It was the best feed I’ve ever had.

Favourite cuisine:

Mitchell I can’t pinpoint it down to a particular favourite one. I enjoy a lot of different foods.
Jonathan – I have two: Italian and Mexican.

Which ingredient can you not live without?

Mitchell – I’m a baker, so flour.
Jonathan – Eggs and meat. That’s pretty much my diet.


Little Lunch on Forsyth is open Monday to Saturday from 6:30 am to 3 pm. Photo: Shri Gayathirie Rajen.

Most embarrassing pantry item:

Mitchell – As a baker, I have bought bread from the supermarket.
Jonathan – I’m on a pretty limited diet, so I don’t really have anything. I just have meat, eggs and fruits.

How many Weet-Bix do you do? We don’t eat Weet-Bix.

Best coffee spot in Wagga: Here at Little Lunch on Forsyth.

Favourite coffee: We both love drinking a long black.

What’s your coffee blend: We use Alfresco.

cafe owner with desserts

Mitchell has been baking for the past 15 years. Photo: Shri Gayathirie Rajen.

What’s the weirdest coffee order you’ve received? We haven’t received any weird coffee orders yet.

Next big thing in the Wagga food scene: We are the next big thing in the Wagga food scene.

Favourite place to lunch in Wagga: We haven’t been anywhere for weeks. If we had the choice, we’d go for a pub meal or Italian food.

A must-try on our menu: The cheeseburger with beef pattie made by us with cheese, pickles and homemade relish.

Most used ingredient at Little Lunch on Forsyth: It’s a bit of a mixture. We bake a lot of bread rolls.

cafe desserts

Little Lunch on Forsyth has plenty of delicious dessert options. Photo: Shri Gayathirie Rajen.

Our top pick from our desserts: The New York cheesecake.

My biggest culinary influence:

Mitchell – I don’t really have one in particular. I like to follow things on social media and I watch a lot of different cooks. That’s where I find my recipes. My old boss in Narrandera was a big inspiration for me to get into baking.
Jonathan – My family. I come from an Italian background. I’m from Narrandera but my family is from Griffith. My parents used to get fresh Italian bread made in a woodfire oven and I used to love it as a kid. My grandparents also used to bring them over to Narrandera and it just went from there.

Favourite cookbook: Now for Something Sweet, by Helen Goh.

Who we admire in the Wagga food and wine scene: Nabiha from Nabiha’s Kitchen and anyone else who is running a successful business. It is hard work.

baker with loaf of bread

As a child, Jonathan loved eating freshly baked Italian bread. Photo: Little Lunch on Forsyth.

What are this week’s specials at Little Lunch on Forsyth? We have daily specials and it’s whatever we can conjure up on the day.

Death-row meal:

Mitchell – Chicken schnitzel, salad, chips and gravy.
Jonathan – A good pizza with whisky.

Dream destination:

Mitchell – When I get the chance, Japan.
Jonathan – Europe would be my dream destination.

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My biggest fear:

Our biggest fear is the business not working out.

My least favourite food:

Mitchell – Anything with anise flavour in it.
Jonathan – Coleslaw.

My top-three cooking tips:

Our top cooking tips would be to get the temperature right, be patient with the food and make sure to have all the ingredients.

Little Lunch on Forsyth is in Forsyth Street and is open Monday to Saturday from 6:30 am to 3 pm.

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