Peoples Coffee

Rebrand Blog Title Image

You may have noticed that Peoples Coffee is looking a little different of late. Our rebrand has come full circle and we are now looking a little more poised, polished and professional.

We started debuting the revamped Peoples earlier this year, easing all of our wonderful supporters (and ourselves) into the pool one toe at a time and the feedback we had was so positive that we decided to just throw you all in head first!

The biggest question we had from people who were a little hesitant about the new look was ‘why’. Why change what was working just fine? Well we thought we’d really let you ALL in on the ‘why’, no holds barred, so I sat down with the founder of Daughter & Son and the mastermind behind our new look; Alice Lloyd, to ask the hard-hitting questions.

Alice _2

Alice Lloyd, founder of Daughter & Son and the woman responsible for the Peoples rebrand

How did the rebrand come about? 

I began talking to Peoples Coffee about rebranding a year and a half ago. They had been in business for 11 years and had seen other coffee companies move to fair trade and organic products, and they knew they needed to differentiate themselves. The things that had made them unique back in 2004; have now become more mainstream in the coffee industry. With customers appetite for ethical products and services over the 2000’s building, even large corporate brands like Starbucks have fair trade and organic ranges.

There is also a growing fatigue around ‘green-washed’ brands- brands that seem like they are organic/natural/ethical on the outside because of the picture of the farmer on the packaging, or the use of rustic, ‘hand-crafted’ typography and illustration. Often, without much digging, you find that one of these product lines is made by the same company that uses less ethical practices in other parts of their business.

Peoples Coffee can stand proud in the knowledge that they have championed ethical practice and sustainability as part of their way of doing things since the start, having become a fully fair trade accredited business (one of only two in New Zealand). They are also working directly with farmers at origin, which is a unique selling point. But they don’t need to stay tied to those clichéd green visual cues to communicate those things.


Our new 100% compostable bags in our four colours

What was the driving force behind the rebrand?

A desire to tell the Peoples Coffee story in a new and compelling way. There are so many great things that Peoples Coffee do that their customers don’t even know about – yes, part of the price of a cup of their coffee goes to helping communities in the areas where their coffee is harvested, but they also do a lot locally – The Arohata Project for instance (giving inmates barista training so that they have transferable skills when they are released back into the community).


The new branding represents ALL of what we do – including social initiatives like the Arohata Project

How did you become involved and what attracted you to the project?

I have worked with Peoples Coffee for a number of years and could see how their progressive vision didn’t quite match up with their previous brand aesthetic and way of communicating. Liv Doogue, the General Manager, was highly motivated to take the brand in a fresh direction, and that is always an exciting place to start.

Collaborating with her, members of the Peoples Coffee board (namely Paul Soong), writer Glen Puklowski and designer Lisa Nicole Moes, helped push the brand in a direction that sets Peoples Coffee apart, both strategically and aesthetically.

Lauren Coffee

The Fashinii is one of our social enterprise blends designed to support special projects

Was the old branding a consideration in the development of the new branding – if so, how and what aspects have remained?

Yes, it was. When a brand has such a rich foundation like Peoples Coffee, it doesn’t make sense to wipe the slate clean and start again (strategically or aesthetically). Peoples Coffee have set themselves apart strategically by being socially driven – they will continue to produce exceptional coffee while working closely with people at coffee origin and closer to home.

We wanted to take the brand in a new direction aesthetically for the reasons I mentioned previously. Part of the rebrand exercise was establishing the character of the brand and how that translates visually. As a very egalitarian company, the ‘Everyman’ archetype rang true. And being a business that prides itself on ‘giving back’, doing an elaborate, flashy redesign did not feel right.

This led to a fairly utilitarian aesthetic – simple yet considered typography, a range of colours that can be used to create different moods and a new logo that hints at the original crest design, but is executed in a more modern way. Photography for Peoples Coffee has always had an authenticity about it, these are genuine ‘Peoples People’ doing their thing. We will continue to tell their stories and make that connection between those at coffee origin and those serving or drinking Peoples Coffee stronger.

Old vs New

Old versus new – keeping the crest was an important nod to our history.

Peoples Coffee Fonts and Colours

Simple yet considered typography and a range of colours that can be used to create different moods.

What were you inspired by when dreaming up ideas for the new look?

Keeping this idea of utilitarianism and ‘the Everyman’ in the back of out heads meant we drew inspiration from other benchmark brands that meet that criteria. Levi’s is a classic Everyman brand and the way they retain their original values while remaining modern and relevant was inspiring. Converse is another. Then there are the ethical brands that don’t subscribe to the ‘green design’ aesthetic such as Freitag.

When it came to picking typefaces, designing icons or choosing materials for signage, the idea that ‘form follows function’ was key. For example, simple, practical (utilitarian) materials were employed in the building of the Peoples Coffee exhibition stand, materials such as pegboard and plywood, as elaborate, frivolous decoration wouldn’t have felt right.

Jamie Apron

Utilitarian designs were utilised throughout the process – especially for our mobile coffee stands and aprons

What do you love about Peoples Coffee?

I love that I get to work with a truly progressive, socially driven company that puts its ethics at the heart of its business. They show that being motivated by something other than profit, can still result in being sustainable. It is a model that I wish more companies embraced because you can feel a sea-change happening currently; consumers want transparency.

I also love the fact that they didn’t shun me when I said that I drank decaf! (Their Decaf Peru Piura is pretty darn good).

How does the new branding represent the culture at Peoples Coffee?

‘People for the common great’ is what we established represents Peoples Coffee’s culture best and this will be one of their mantra’s going forward. They are a dedicated, passionate bunch who are striving for excellence.

Main 5

‘People for the Common Great’ – because we want to be more than just good.

What is your favourite thing about the new look?

It is the kitset of elements that we have to play with – a fresh colour palette, interesting typefaces, patterns, and a way of communicating that is uniquely ‘Peoples’.

What would you say to people who think the new branding has ditched it’s ‘rootsy’ look in favour of a cosmetic upgrade?

Well I hope after reading this, they can see that the rebrand exercise wasn’t just a cosmetic upgrade. It was more about uniting Peoples Coffee’s progressive ideals with a more progressive look.

Peoples Peoples Collage

June 15th, 2016

Posted In: Auckland, Branding, Cafes, CBD, Coffee, Constable Street, Fair trade, Organic, peoplespeople, Social projects, Sustainability, Uncategorized, Wellington

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Pinaman Owusu-Banahene is kind of amazing, she is the founder of social enterprise ADJOAA (Africa Design Journey through AustralAsia) the brains (and brawn) behind Wellington’s first ever Africa Fashion Festival and is (aptly) perhaps the most fashionable person I have ever met.

I sat down with Pinaman last week at our Constable Street café to talk about her long-gestating vision for Africa Fashion Festival FINALLY coming to fruition, what she’s most excited about and why the festival is about so much more than beautiful clothing. We also got to tasting some of the bespoke ‘Fashinii’ blend that Peoples Coffee has crafted to support the festival!

Pinaman Owusu-Banahene – founder of ADJOAA and the Africa Fashion Festival

The Festival

Here’s the lowdown – designed to help promote and celebrate African designers the Africa Fashion Festival is ‘an opportunity to experience the richness and vibrancy of African culture through fashion and other art forms’. From the out-set Pinaman wanted to create a platform that celebrated not only established and emerging African artists but also the heritage of the continent and the traditional techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation.

Six esteemed international designers will be showing at the festival as well as two local emerging talents.

The festival is also about giving back. A percentage of ticket sales has been earmarked for the establishment of three key social initiatives for young Africans in New Zealand as well as a fund for social projects on the ground in African communities.

Ghanaia-made Luxury Footwear from sisters Nana & Afua Dabanka for MONAA 

What to Expect

Pinaman has curated an experience that speaks to the heart of the festival at every turn. She has bought together an exceptional group of designers including Nana Brenu, Laurence Chauvin-Buthaud and Nana & Afua Dabanka showing collections ranging from dresses and accessories (handcrafted raffia bags and sustainable wooden eyewear) to men’s wear and stunning hand-made leather shoes.

Attendees will be treated to a showcase of local and ethical products on arrival from Peoples Coffee and Wellington Chocolate Factory to the The Body Shop, Good Buzz, Karma Cola and more. On top of all this there will be a whole range of surprises throughout the evening!

Patterns, prints and colour for men from Laurence Chauvin-Buthaud for LaurenceAirline

Pastels and androgyny from Nana Brenu for Studio 1981

Eco-Luxury Wooden Sunglasses from Nana Osei Boateng for Bohten

Why We’re Involved

When we first met Pinaman we were struck by her enthusiasm – she was so excited to bring the festival to life that you couldn’t help but get excited too, it was infectious. Behind that however was a driving passion to use art to create change.

Pinaman has put all of herself to use in this venture; her knowledge and love of the fashion industry, her prowess as an event manager, her years studying Public Policy and her own personal experiences as an African woman.

The Fashinii is one of our social enterprise blends designed to support special projects

Help Us Help the Festival

Peoples Coffee have developed a bespoke blend specially for the festival; the Fashinii blend.

Meaning ‘fashion’ in the Ethiopian language of Oromo, the Fashinii is a two-bean blend from the Ethiopian regions of Guji and Sidamo with fruity nuances of cranberry and mandarin.

$2.00 from the sale of each bag will go directly to the Festival’s Social Enterprise fund. You can purchase the Fashinii from our online store or at our Flagship cafe in Newtown.

Our Nitro Cold Brew – Fashinii style

We’re incredibly proud to be involved in Wellington’s first Africa Fashion Festival. We’ll be pulling pours of our world famous Nitro (made with the Fashinii blend) for all those lucky enough to have snagged a ticket. There are a VERY limited number of student and GA tickets still available HERE – but get in quick as they won’t last long!

What: Africa Fashion Festival 2016
Where: James Smith Arcade, Cnr Cuba and Manners Streets
When: Saturday 28 May

– Jesse F

May 24th, 2016

Posted In: Africa, CBD, Coffee, Collaboration, Ethiopia, Fair trade, Nitro, Organic, peoplespeople, Social projects, Sustainability, Sustainable, Wellington

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Every 6 months or so the argument surrounding ‘The Price of a Cup of Coffee’ rears it’s ugly head. I can understand why – it pairs two of my very favourite things; coffee and lamenting the fact that it would be foolish to spend my entire paycheque on the stuff. But when we saw *yet another* news paper article outlining why ‘coffee these days is a rip-off’ we decided to use the opportunity to talk more positively about our own story and how, increasingly, personal buying power is determining what constitutes ‘expensive’.

Coffee is a powerful commodity. There is a reason that it is often referred to as ‘black gold’. The women and men at Origin work punishingly long hours planting, cultivating, growing, picking, washing, drying, sorting, preparing and transporting beans for a financial return that often does not reflect production costs. Add to this the world’s increasing demand for high-end ‘specialty’ coffee which requires a massive amount of resources for a comparatively low yield and you begin to understand how difficult it is for a farmer and their family to achieve a good quality of life.

Quality control at the OROMIA coop in Ethiopia – done by hand

Comparing a $3.00 cup of coffee and a $4.50 cup of fair trade, organic coffee is like comparing apples with oranges, sure they’re both fruit but they’re completely different. Let’s say cheap coffee is apples – the right apple is tasty, juicy and just what you want but it’s not an orange and it’s not pretending to be an orange. A cheap coffee, when it’s good, is everything it’s supposed to be and nothing more and that is perfectly fine. But if you want an orange, an apple simply won’t suffice.

New Zealanders are using their buying power more proactively than ever before and for those people who want their morning flat white to count for more, we offer an alternative.

We pay more than most for our Green Beans

We only buy high quality fair trade beans. Why? Primarily because the very best thing about fair trade are the social premiums they provide. We buy every kilo of our coffee over and above the fair trade minimum and approximately $1.32 NZ of that goes directly toward social projects within the co-op. It is earmarked specifically for that purpose and helps improve education, rights for women, infrastructure, healthcare and much more. 

We only source organic beans. Why? Because chemical run-off from non-organic farms is permanently damaging local ecosystems and adversely affecting the health of farmers and their families. Farmers are also rewarded an additional social premium for organic certified beans.

Our head roaster Rene on one of his Origin trips

We only use organic milk. Why? Because it’s better for you and for the animals who produce it and we would rather support independent, sustainable milk producers. It is also sweeter and creamier and compliments coffee so much more than conventional milk.

We only use compostable packaging and cups. Why? Well because the environment is pretty messed up and we owe it to future generations to try and turn things around.

Latte art at Constable Street

When you buy a cup of Peoples Coffee these are just some of the things you are supporting:

At Home
Barista Training at Arohata Women’s Prison
Youth Barista Training at Zeal
Food Hero Rescue at Kaibosh
A whole host of underfunded organisations

At Origin
Campaigns to protect the rights of indigenous farmers
The construction of schools, hospitals, clinics, wells and more
The funding of scholarships and the prioritisation of increased access to education for women

Perfect shots at our flagship cafe in Newtown

At our Constable Street flagship cafe we charge $4.00 for a black coffee and $4.50 for a regular white coffee. We charge an additional 20c for takeaway coffees (unless you have a keep-cup). These prices reflect the reality of what it costs for us to produce a cup of fair trade, organic coffee with a conscience. If we charged less we would be unable to increase the quality of life for our farmers, pay our staff above average wages, use organic milk, give over 500kg’s of coffee away to local groups every year and, in short, we would be unable to do everything that make us who we are.

More than good – people for the common GREAT

So yes, our coffee could certainly be considered expensive. But for our customers the price is worth it when you consider how powerful that cup of coffee can be and at the end of the day it is up to the consumer to decide how to use their dollar.

Buy Coffee. Get Change.

– Jesse F

April 7th, 2016

Posted In: Africa, Auckland, Cafes, CBD, Certifications, Coffee, Constable Street, Cooperatives, Ethiopia, Fair trade, Milk, Organic, peoplespeople, Social projects, Sustainability, Trips, Uncategorized, Wellington

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Our four contendors: Goats Milk, Oat Milk, Coconut Milk, Zero Lacto Milk

The milk blog has become something of a Peoples Coffee tradition. Last year we did a little blog featuring milk alternatives (Almond, Hazelnut, Rice & Soy) and how they stacked up when paired with our coffee and before that we smashed out some flat whites with a range of organic and off-the-beaten-track milks in ‘Honour the Cow’.

Turns out you guys have a LOT to say about milk – 12 months on we’re still getting a steady flow of comments, so we thought we’d do a bit of a follow-up and test out some your suggestions!

We set aside a morning in the cupping room and set Robbie, Rene and Jamie the unenviable task of making flat whites with Lactose Free milk, Oat milk, Coconut milk and Goats milk.

Zero Lacto: Easy to work withRobbie give the Zero Lacto a taste test

Robbie gives the Zero-Lacto a taste test

First up was Anchor’s Zero Lacto milk which they proclaim to be ‘tummy friendly’. The first thing we noticed was how sweet the milk was. I did a little research and found that ‘removing lactose’ involves altering the chemical make-up of the lactose enzyme, splitting it into two smaller, more easily digestible sugars; glucose and galactose. Those sugars bind to the sweetness receptors on your tongue in a way that lactose does not – therefore a sweeter taste.

The milk was super easy to work with producing perfect microfoam and making latte art a dream. There was a definite reduction in sweetness when added to coffee but it also tasted quite thin, lacking the creamy quality of regular milk.

Stretching: 5/5
Taste: 3/5
Overall: 4/5

Oat Milk - AKA 'Porridge Milk'Jamie won't be making the switch to Oat Milk anytime soon

Jamie won’t be making the switch to Oat Milk anytime soon

Our second milky mimic was an Oat milk from the Vitasoy line. We use Vitasoy in our Constable Street cafe and so far as soy milk goes – it’s king, so we were interested to see if this mastery extended to their other products.

The answer was no – at least so far as coffee was concerned. Dubbed unceremoniously by Robbie as ‘Porridge Milk’ the Oat milk was rice-pudding with a slightly sour aftertaste. Once stretched it produced a tonne of foam and made for a very sweet and ultimately disappointing flat white.

Stretching: 2/5
Taste: 2/5
Overall: 2/5

Coconut Milk - not great with coffee but AWESOME on it's own!MRW all my Coconut milk hopes and dreams are crushed

MRW all my Coconut milk hopes and dreams are crushed

Contender numero three was a gorgeously packaged Coconut Drinking Milk from Little Island. Robbie was especially excited about this one – he was chomping at the bit to get a taste and was already planning a line of coconut beverages for our cafes.

It has to be said that the coconut milk was lovely cold. Light, refreshing and not overpowering in sweetness. The milk did not stretch particularly well, separating easily and holding the bulk of it’s sweetness in the foam. Opinions were varied on it’s suitability with coffee – Jamie and Robbie were unimpressed whilst myself and Rene weren’t so critical.

So low scores for coffee potential but Jamie did make a killer coconut hot chocolate with it later in the day.

Stretching: 2/5
Taste: 3/5
Overall: 2.5/5

The infamous Goats milk flat whiteRene give the steamed Goats milk a sniffThe taste of the Goats milk flat white was too much for Rene

It’s all in the expression…

We saved the most interesting milk for last – a Goats Milk from Living Planet. Goat, in any form, is always a rather dividing flavour, it has a reputation for being strong and distinctive – not exactly the qualities you’re looking for to showcase the subtle flavours of coffee. But ‘why not?’ we thought.

We thought wrong. Whilst I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who swear by goats milk I can tell you that we are not among them. The milk had a very distinctive feta flavour than only intensified with stretching. It was salty and, as Rene so graciously put it; ‘tasted like socks’. Honestly the very thought of that cheesy, gamey flavour is making me dry retch a little.

In it’s defence it stretched OK but nothing will convince me to go back for seconds.

Stretching: 3/5
Taste: 0/5
Overall: 2/5

Rene looked like this for a good long while after the Goats milk flat white

Rene looked like this for a good long while after the Goats milk flat white

And there you have it. We’d loved to have tried out a recent addition to the milk scene ‘Jersey Milk’ and the vastly popular ‘Cashew Milk’ but alas, there is only so much one can do in a single blog.

We’d love to know what you think – did we get it wrong? Did we miss something out? What milk alternative do you swear by?

– Jesse F

February 23rd, 2016

Posted In: Coffee, Fair trade, Milk, Organic

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Kaibosh have a vision: Zero Food Poverty. Zero Food Waste.

It’s simplicity belies the true nature of the work that goes into achieving such a bold campaign, New Zealanders throw away over 122,547 tonnes of food a year, but Kaibosh are equal to the task.

Fresh Broccoli from the Newtown Farmers Market

Founded in 2008 Kaibosh and it’s team of over 100 volunteers ‘rescue’ food from Wellington businesses and provide it to community groups and charities that support people in need.

In the last 12 months they have provided 139,575 kilograms of food (that’s the size of a blue whale) from 31 businesses to 32 local community groups and charities.

Kaibosh by the numbers

The businesses involved are wide ranging; from supermarket behemoth Countdown and food-to-go experts Wishbone to smaller outfits such as Wooden Spoon Boutique Freezery and Astoria Cafe. Check out the full list here.

Newtown and Harbourside Farmers Markets make invaluable contributions over the weekend – ensuring a large supply of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Fruit and vege from the Farmers Markets is an invaluable contribution

Food is collected by the Kaibosh drivers and taken back to HQ (one in the central city and a newly opened hub in Lower Hutt) where it is sorted by volunteers – the game is simple; if YOU would eat it, keep it. If you wouldn’t, throw it in the compost.

We want people to open up their food box and be really happy to find great, fresh food – for it to really brighten their day’ says Driver and Fundraiser Ryan O’Connell of the sorting process.

As well as composting the team send any food that doesn’t make the grade along to Black Sheep Animal Sanctuary for their animal feed.

Happy pig – one recipient of Black Sheep Animal Sanctuary’s animal feed

Recently Kaibosh have teamed up with some like-minded businesses to create the Food Rescue Heroes initiative. Becoming a Hero is as easy as donating from $15 per month to Kaibosh – in return you get a Food Rescue Heroes card with awesome deals all round Wellington, a welcome pack from Peoples Coffee, Wellington Chocolate Factory & Ideal Cup plus invitations to Food Rescue Heroes evenings at Kaibosh HQ.

One of the Food Rescue Heroes Welcome Packs

If you’d like to know more about becoming a Food Rescue Hero or getting involved with Kaibosh, jump onto the Kaibosh website and grab the lowdown.

– Jesse F

February 12th, 2016

Posted In: CBD, Coffee, Collaboration, Fair trade, peoplespeople, Social projects, Sustainability, Sustainable, Wellington

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It’s a new year! And there are VERY exciting things afoot (putting aside the mildly terrifying fact that I turn 26 this year and so am officially an adult *sigh*).

The first of these very-exciting-things is our Constable Street Peanut Butter Takeover, the brain-child of our brilliant cafe manager Patrick and the team at Fix & Fogg.

Smooth – w. Moutere Gold raspberry jam + basil

The Takeover places peanut butter in the spotlight – irrevocably cementing it as THE taste sensation of 2016.

There are four excellent combinations – each made with the freshest local produce and featuring some of Wellington and New Zealand’s very best culinary whizz-kids.

Dark Chocolate – w. Fairtrade banana + Zany Zeus mascarpone

For those of you with a sweet tooth we have: ‘Dark Chocolate’ with Fairtrade banana & Zany Zeus mascarpone and ‘Smooth’ with Moutere Gold raspberry jam and fresh basil.

If you haven’t tried ZZ’s mascarpone before we HIGHLY recommend you do – 100% organic, light and lip-smackingly creamy.

Smoke & Fire – w. shaved cucumber + chipotle hot sauce

I myself favour savoury when it comes to a snack – so for all of you like me there is: ‘Smoke & Fire’ with shaved cucumber & chipotle hot sauce and ‘Crunchy’ with Kruegermann gherkin and Zany Zeus feta.

All of the options are served on Best Ugly ‘Montreal style’ bagels. In contrast to the classic New York style bagel the Montreal is smaller, thinner, sweeter and denser, with a larger hole and is boiled in honey-sweetened water before being baked.

Crunchy – w. Kruegermann gherkin + Zany Zeus feta

I stopped by the cafe earlier this week to experience the takeover for myself. My personal favourite was the ‘Smoke & Fire’. True to it’s name it was HELLA smokey with chilled cucumber sliced into gorgeous ribbons so thin you could see right through them – yum. I’ll probably be back tomorrow for the Dark Chocolate, it is haunting my day-dreams…

Jesse (me) tucking into the ‘Smoke & Fire’

At this stage the Takeover is running through until the end of this week (Sunday 17 January) so get in while you still can – it’s worth the trip!

– Jesse F

January 12th, 2016

Posted In: Cafes, CBD, Coffee, Collaboration, Constable Street, Fair trade, peoplespeople, Wellington

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2015 has been absolutely mental – we’ve gone from strength to strength and honestly we’re all pretty exhausted! Time for one more quick blog though – we thought ‘Peoples Coffee in Numbers’ was a fun way to end the year.

We were blown away by some of the facts and figures we unearthed, the number of flat whites we made at the Constable Street store was especially staggering. To make it exciting we’ve put everything into this awesome infographic because, let’s be honest, stats can be a little dull…

PC by Numbers

All in all a pretty successful year we think.

Time for a rest and some recuperation (and a couple of sneaky beersies) and then we’ll be ready to take on 2016!

Merry Christmas from all of us, stay safe and happy and we’ll see you all on the flip side 🙂

– Jesse F

December 23rd, 2015

Posted In: Auckland, Cafes, CBD, Coffee, Constable Street, Fair trade, peoplespeople, Social projects, Sustainability, Wellington

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Two weeks ago I embarked on a little trip up to Auckland to visit Liv and Josephine and check out some of the awesome spots now serving Peoples Coffee in the city of sails (I also MAY have seen Fleetwood Mac live in concert but that’s neither here nor there…).

Liv picked myself and our awesome photographer Renee up from Britomart (Renee and I having made the rather poor decision to take the overnight bus from Wellington) and took us on a whirlwind tour – first stop Cake & Co. on Ponsonby Road.

Jackie makes a pretty mean flat white

Cake and Co. is a cosy little nook specialising in (you guessed it) cakes! Stunningly presented, absolutely delicious cakes. Owner Jackie takes pride in using only the best natural ingredients; unrefined sugars, free range eggs from happy chooks, natural colours and flavours, spelt, rye and wholemeal flours along with her own special blend of gluten free flour.

Coffee comes served with dainty mini-cupcakes in all kinds of flavours and the place has a really great vibe – children and dogs being equally welcome.

Watching the world go by

After much cooing over several puppies, we eventually departed, refuelled and ready for our next destination: Fort Greene in St Kevin’s Arcade.

Tucked away in St. Kevin’s Arcade off of K Road – Fort Greene are the Sandwich KINGS

St Kevin’s is Fort Greene’s new home and it is looking PRETTY swish, a cool new fit-out with an upstairs loft giving the spot a homely and relaxed feel. Owners (and culinary whizzes) Andrea and Liam are making a name for themselves as Auckland’s ‘Sandwich Kings’ with their totally homemade, epic sandwiches built from the ground up, starting with the bread.

We HIGHLY recommend ‘The Fish One’ – hand made house-smoked kahawai fish fingers, mushy peas, tartare and snow pea shoots served warm to order on house made bread *drools*.

Dynamic duo Liam and Andrea – the heart and soul of Fort Greene

The next stop on our cafe crawl was the lovely Florentines Tea Room in Epson. This locals secret has been serving Peoples for a few years now – our very first Auckland foray.

Florentines has plenty of indoor and outdoor seating

Florentines is a gorgeous, eclectic spot with a real ‘old-hollywood-meets-english-countryside’ aesthetic – crystal chandeliers and ornate gilded mirrors sitting comfortably next to hand-knitted throw cushions and china tea sets. They boast a fantastic selection of cabinet food including their famed chicken & avocado club sandwiches as well as a small but lovely all-day breakfast menu.

The place was PACKED when we visited – poor Renee was in the way for pretty much every single photograph she took but no-one seemed to mind, the diverse crowd shimmying this way and that to accommodate!

Scones, muffins, macaroons – a sweet tooth’s paradise

Then is was back to the city to visit the new and improved Scarecrow – an artisan grocer, kitchen and florist occupying a stunning new spot on Victoria Street East.

Maya Inca – our latest seasonal blend

Scarecrow have recently moved back in to this corner after giving it a brilliant re-furb and the place glows. Huge bouquets of flowers adorn every shelf, white globes of light hang suspended from the roof and the smells of baked bread and fresh ground coffee are delightful. The artisan grocer is retailing a varying selection of People’s best blends and single origins for home espresso and brewing.

They also do a great breakfast – but be sure to get in early, the spot was chocka-block when we arrived around midday, barely room to swing a cat!

Scarecrows new fit-out is absolutely on-point

We unfortunately didn’t quite have time to pop in to the fantastic Urchin & Amber on Vulcan Lane. I was lucky enough to sample their gorgeous menu and write a blog about them last time I was in the big city and had been keen to lay my hands on some more of their exceptional Green Bean, Sesame and Chilli Salad but alas, not this time around.

Jaime from Urchin & Amber

Storm clouds were moving in and we had a concert to catch – time to Go Our Own Way(s). Until next time Auckland, you always turn on the best weather for me – and by best I mean thunder and pouring rain – ciao!

– Jesse F

Photography by Renee Cotton Media

December 11th, 2015

Posted In: Auckland, Cafes, CBD, Coffee, Fair trade, peoplespeople, Trips, Uncategorized

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We’ve got a secret. It’s a matter of some excitement and we’re PRETTY amped that we’re finally able to share the news…

This weekend we will be debuting the gorgeous, limited edition, Mish Mash – a Mocha Porter beer we’ve been lucky enough to work on with the Wellington Chocolate Factory and the awesome folk down at Garage Project!

The brew is a one-night-only tipple that has been created specially to celebrate The Free Store‘s 1st Annual fundraiser down at Southern Cross this Sunday.

Quite the formidable team…

Using Peoples Coffee’s darkest roast blend; the Sebastiana Martinez and Dominican Cocoa Nibs from Wellington Chocolate Factory, Garage Project have crafted a bitter-sweet chocolate coffee brew with more kick than you can shake a stick (at).

Our darkest roast is named after a Peoples Coffee legend

Pete Gillespie – now THAT is a beard

To be quite honest my knowledge of the beer brewing process is woefully uninformed so, in order to write this blog, I sat in with Garage Projects Head Brewer (and all-round legend) Pete Gillespie and learnt all about the incredibly involved craft, much of which is not at all unlike the coffee roasting and cupping process.

Two grain varietals – two very different flavour profiles

Step 1: Pick a grain. Grain is ground to an oaty porridge-like consistency above the brewery and piped through to the mash tun, a very big silver goliath which is part of the main brew kit.

Step 2: Mash and Wort. Water is then added to the dry grain to create a mash which is eventually drained to produce what is called the Wort – a sticky sweet liquid that becomes the base of our beer.

Now because we are brewing a small batch beer, the Garage Project team use a smaller brew kit called the Pilot Kit (or ‘Brew Magic’) for the next step in the process. The Pilot Kit is capable of 50 litre brews and was the ORIGINAL Garage brew kit, so it has quite the legacy!

Capturing the Wort run-off

It can be a messy process!

Step 3: Boil time. Now it’s time to get our wort nice and hot (to get rid of any nasties). Sanitisation is one of the most important parts of the brewing process as nasties can destroy an otherwise perfect brew.

Step 4: Adding your hops. Once the wort is at a rolling boil it’s time to add your hops. Our brew only has a small amount of hops in it, just enough to give it a good base. The brew is then boiled for a further 60 minutes. There are many types of hops and other ingredients that can be added at this point; bittering hops, flavouring & aromatic hops, spices and sugar – it all depends on the kind of flavours you want to create.

Step 5: Chill it. The brew is now bought right down in temperature. This is done quite quickly to ensure a good ‘cold break’ which helps with the clarity of the finished product.

Some hops for bitterness and base

Step 6: Fermentaion station. Once the brew has been cooled to around 22 degrees it is transferred over to the fermenter where yeast is carefully added. The brew will begin to ferment 8 – 24 hours after the yeast is added, the length of the fermentation process is dependant on the beer you are trying to craft – ours took around 14 days.

Step 7: Steeping. Now we add the tasty bits! Our Sebastiana and the Chocolate Factory cocoa nibs were placed in muslin cloth and steeped in the fermented brew for some time to allow the flavours to infuse. Much like tea.

Step 8: That’s it! The brew is then essentially done. It is cooled, kegged (or bottled) and ready to drink!

Time for a taste

A huge thanks to the exceptional Benjamin Johnson from The Free Store for asking us to be involved and to Garage Project for doing all the hard work! We are always stoked to be able to work with such brilliant crafters and the Garage & WCF crews are up there with the very best.

Benjamin from the Free Store

The Free Store have organised what is shaping up to be truly the coolest fundraising event you’ve ever seen. According to the Facebook invite I received you’ll need to ‘brace yourself for ear-tingling, foot-stomping musical goodness (from local bands including Miles Calder & the Rumours, Graeme James, Towers and more) and brush up your quizzical skills to take home an epic prize pack’.

Plus of course there’s this fantastic beer AND it’s all for an amazing cause – so theres no excuses for you all not to come along. More details can be found on the event page but the essentials are thus:

Where? Southern Cross
When? 2.30pm Sunday 29 November
Why? To raise money for an awesome cause (and because live music, cool art and epic beer is not to be sniffed at)

See you there!

Jesse F

Photography by Renee Cotton Media

November 25th, 2015

Posted In: Beer, Brewing, CBD, Coffee, Collaboration, Fair trade, peoplespeople, Wellington

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2015 has been a year of big changes for Peoples. We’ve got some new faces, a wicked-cool new Auckland HQ and a whole lotta stuff in the pipeline thats going to blow your minds come 2016!

That being said sometimes you’ve just gotta go back-to-basics – so with this blog that’s exactly what we’re gonna do. It’s time to meet the team, the #peoplespeople behind the scenes. We’re a motley crew who LOVE what we do and because I’m a huge nerd I’ve given us all hella-cool superhero-esque names…

René Macaulay – ‘Bean King’

If you saw our blog a few weeks ago then you’ll know all about our man-behind-the-beans; René Macaulay. As well as being our Head Roaster René is the head of the New Zealand Roasters Guild and a father of three. He is currently without-moustache but trust me when I say he is the hands-down, undisputed Movember champion.

Most Likely To: Pull this face
Favourite Film: The Big Lebowski


James Beyer – ‘The Face’

James is the go-to-guy for making sure all of our cafes get the BEST care possible. He’s a coffee expert who does everything from training our barista’s to refurbishing machines in need of a little love. When he’s not in the office you can usually find James cruising around Wellington, visiting our cafes, making sure everyones coffee is just right.

Most Likely To: Rock Sneans (even though it is a crime against humanity)
Favourite Film: Lords of Dogtown

Liv Doogue – ‘Mother Superior’

Liv is our amazing General Manager, the leader of the pack, the captain of the Peoples ship and any other brilliant metaphors you can think of. She has recently relocated to Auckland and is now, along with Jo, kicking butt and taking names in the big city! Liv is a Wellingtonian at heart though and never misses an opportunity to get back to her windy city roots.

Most Likely To: Inappropriately abbreviate. (For example ‘Chicken and Waffles’ becomes the quite frankly terrifying ‘Chicky Waffs’)
Favourite Film: In the Mood For Love

Ben Neason – ‘Overlord’

A more organised man you will never find, Ben is our Warehouse Manager and keeps us all in line. He also works with René as one of our Junior Roasters. Ben is passionate about making sure that Peoples (and businesses the world over) are constantly evaluating how we can be better at minimising our impact on the environment. He also REALLY likes lentils (honestly I’ve never seen anyone eat so many lentils?).

Most Likely To: Eat lentils
Favourite Film: Stand By Me

Efi Botes – ‘Madam Moolah’

Efi is our accounts ninja – she holds the keys to the cheque book and is one badass lady. She also has a SUPER-HUMAN memory, capable of recalling facts and figures from 2006(?!) with staggering accuracy. When she’s not fielding a million questions from me, Efi is usually busy ensuring the office temperature is sitting precisely at a balmy 17 degrees.

Most Likely To: Embarrass her daughter with spontaneous Zumba moves in the supermarket
Favourite Film: The Sound of Music

Jamie Binding – ‘Beard Lust’

You MAY know Jamie from his infamous cold brewing skills, or simply from seeing him cruising around town in the Peoples Coffee caddy, delivering coffee to all of our nearest and dearest. Jamie recently got his first smart phone and has been entertaining us all by showing us all of the internet memes and jokes that we all saw three years ago when we got OUR smart phones.

Most Likely To: Eat seven sandwiches in one sitting. Every day.
Favourite Film: Donnie Darko

Jesse Finn – ‘Mistagram’

That’s me! When I’m not posing for brilliant candid snaps (see above) you’ll find me slaying it on social media, researching and writing our bi-weekly blogs and taking care of the roastery admin. As I live all of about 3 minutes from the Roastery I find very little reason to ever leave Newtown – so that’s where you’ll find me most of the time.

Most Likely To: Wear double-denim at every opportunity.
Favourite Film: Alien

Roastery 1

So that’s the team. It’s new territory having two of us based up in Auckland but every two-weeks or so Liv comes to visit and, when we’re lucky, she brings Josephine and with our powers combined we pretty much break the speed of sound.

We’ll be having a little look at the Auckland HQ and having a chat with Jo & Liv soon to see what they have been getting up to in the city of sails, so keep an eye out 🙂

– Jesse F

November 16th, 2015

Posted In: Auckland, CBD, Coffee, peoplespeople, Wellington

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As a purpose-driven business, it is important to us to help out those making positive social change in Aotearoa. We love getting involved with as many great initiatives as possible and we’re constantly blown away by how many AMAZING things are happening in our own backyard.

We thought, since the end of the year is careening towards us at breakneck speed, that we would shine a light on a few of the brilliant groups we have been lucky enough to work with in 2015.

And so, without further ado, we present 10 Awesome #peoplespeople Organisations of 2015

Film for Change
Film for Change

Film for Change are a group of collaborative and innovative volunteer film-makers that work with charities to make and distribute short films. They specialise in digital storytelling; the process of making the film helps the groups communicate, and the films they make become a vital tool for their stories. They aim for the process to be beneficial to both parties – the charities get a polished promotional product and the volunteers gain vital industry experience.



InsideOUT are a national organisation working work with youth, whānau, schools and communities to make Aotearoa a safer place for all young people of diverse genders and sexualities to live and be in.

Set-up in 2011, the organisation is run almost exclusively by youth volunteers who work tirelessly to lower rates of homophobic, biphoic and transphobic bullying in schools through initiatives like The Day of Silence and Pink Shirt Day (amongst a host of other projects). In 2015 their National Coordinator Tabby Beesley became the first and only New Zealander to receive a Queen’s Young Leader Award for her work with InsideOUT.


Lifewise Big Sleepout
Lifewise Big Sleepout

The Lifewise Big Sleepout is a fundraiser to tackle the growing issue of homelessness in Auckland and Rotorua. There are more than 200 people sleeping rough in Auckland’s city centre alone, and thousands of vulnerable people living in unsafe or unsuitable accommodation. Now in its 6th year, the event see’s over 150 influential movers and shakers giving up their home comforts to sleep rough for the night. In 2015 the Sleepout smashed it’s 250K goal collecting $317, 246.80 from over 4000 donors!!



JustSpeak is a network of young people speaking to, and speaking up for a new generation of thinkers who want change in the criminal justice system. Based on evidence and experience, they seek to create a safer and more just Aotearoa by minimising imprisonment, enabling better rehabilitation for offenders, and focusing on the social problems that lead to offending.

Amongst a host of projects, JustSpeak run a range of events and public forums that are focused on providing an open environment where free and frank conversation can be had on sensitive issues.


Free Store
The Free Store

We did a great little blog on The Free Store and all that they do in September but if you missed it, here’s the lowdown:

Opened in 2010, the Free Store is a not-for-profit organisation that redistributes surplus food from over 25 cafes, bakeries and restaurants throughout Wellington. Their small army of volunteers collect the food, transport it to their repurposed shipping container home on Willis Street where, at 6pm, they throw open the doors and serve the food to the masses – completely free of charge. In the last 10 months they have redistributed over 55,000 items of food to, on average, 65 people each night.


Enjoy 2
Photo credit Shaun Matthews

Enjoy Art Gallery
Established in 2000, Enjoy Public Art Gallery is a non-commercial artist-run initiative based in Wellington. The gallery is tucked away up a little flight of stairs at 147 Cuba Street and is well worth a visit.

Enjoy is liberated from commercial constraints in order to provide both emerging and established practitioners with opportunities to develop innovative work. They work to provide the necessary critical support, resources, and audience development to realise quality projects in dialogue with contemporary practice both nationally and internationally.


The Porirua Peoples Library

The Porirua Peoples Library is a community based art project in association with TEZA, Urban Dream Brokerage and Letting Space. It is an ‘alternative library’, one where the stories of the people of Porirua at at the forefront.

The project looks to enhance the knowledge and unique experiences of individual participants and support them in making their voices and stories, visible and audible, remembered and valued.


Kites Trust

Kites – Buddies Peer Support Service

Buddies is a group of volunteers who have an experience of mental distress. Buddies visit people in Te Whare o Matairangi, the recovery unit in Wellington Hospital and support their peers by having conversations and sharing their experience of mental distress and recovery.

Buddies parent organisation Kites Trust work in collaboration with local communities to promote social inclusion using the principles of community development by

  • Encouraging people to define their own problems and issues
  • Involving the skills, knowledge and experience of people with experience of mental distress and addiction issues
  • Promoting collaboration
  • Facilitating local solutions to local problems
  • Creating purposeful conversations and ways of working together
  • Facilitating resolution where there are conflicting interests
  • Engaging in policy development at both community and government levels



Zeal are a family of passionate, creative misfits who believe that every young kiwi is creative and who dedicate their lives to helping them discover, express and develop their unique creativity. Peoples have been working with Zeal to help develop their barista training course. The training has been incredibly successful and has seen Zeal open two espresso bars, Stories and Georgia, in central Wellington. These ‘container-cafes’ are staffed by trainees from the Zeal programme and proceeds are fed back into the organisation to further fund their extensive range of youth projects.


Refugee Trauma
Refugee Trauma Recovery

Refugee Trauma Recovery is an organisation dedicated to helping refugees settle into their new life in New Zealand. They offer specialised therapy to former refugees, working with them to rebuild and grow after years of suffering from anxiety or distressing memories, nightmares, insomnia, abuse or other traumatic events.

Since 2013, RTR have run the Annual Refugee Safety & Wellbeing Day. The event is designed to bring families together, and to encourage & empower former refugees to engage with local communities and the services & resources they offer.



If you’re interested in being involved with any of these fantastic organisations, please get in touch directly via the Facebook and Website links provided. If you have your very own initiative, organisation, cause or what-have-you and you need a little support get in touch with me (Jesse);, and we’ll see what we can do!

– Jesse F

October 30th, 2015

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What. A. Weekend. 

Saturday was the Peoples Coffee/The Ramen Shop Nitro Pop-Up and daaaayum the weather turned it on for us. Clear blue skies, a light breeze (OK a gale force to begin with but it SETTLED in to a light breeze) and some of the best sun we’ve seen in months.

Nitro at rest – beautiful.

Nitro is a pretty new concept for New Zealand. It pours like a pint of Guinness, the coffee being ‘infused’ with nitrogen bubbles, which gives it a thick creamy head. You’d swear it had milk in it but you’d be wrong – it’s just single origin black coffee!

Karaage Chicken ‘n’ Waffles – a sight to behold.

Asher on duty.

We were stoked to have The Ramen Shop on board cooking up their famous Karaage Chicken ‘n’ Waffles and Tofu ‘n’ Waffles. Asher was a blur, moving with super-human speed to keep up with orders – there was a line out the door at one point so safe to say that the waffles were a hit!

Nitro – the perfect summer cool-down.

People are always a little wary of Nitro to begin with, it’s a little bit different, a special breed. A deep love affair is usually bourne from first sip that develops into a long and enduring relationship of respect and admiration. Because delicious.

Nitrogen bubbles mean the brew pours quite fiery.

Blog 14

As Nitro settles it ‘gradiates’ much like a stout.

Best to drink it before it settles completely – creamier that way!

Can be a little messy for those with a full moustache…

Those of you who missed out on sampling our liquid gold this time around; fear not! Nitro will be making a special, week-long appearance at Stories Espresso Bar on Lower Cuba in early November, so watch this space!

Chopsticks (and fingers) were the weapons of choice for tackling a waffle.

Some of us couldn’t quite get the hang of those fiendish chopsticks…

Overall the day was a big success. The weather was pristine, the Nitro cold and the waffles hot and we managed to raise over $1000.00 for the Red Cross’ Refugee Efforts.

Blog 16

Jesse F

Photography by Renee Cotton Media

October 13th, 2015

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Seeing as our recent blog all about Lauren was so well received we thought we would talk a little more about some of our #peoplespeople!

René Macaulay is a fixture here at Peoples. The Roaster Formerly Known For His Moustache has been with us since 2007, working with our farmers at Origin and here at the roastery – from crop to cup.


Rene in Guatemala with the growers from the ASOBARGI co-op.

Five things you may not know about René:

1. He once lived, for a time, in the Himalayas.
2. He can convert a non-believer in minutes (to the importance of fair trade).
3. If he could have any coffee-related toy in the world it would be a colour grader ‘laser eye’ (for those of you, like me, who have no idea what that means – there is a picture below)
4. His first flat white was procured from Cuba St institution Olive.
5. He is the hero that Peoples Coffee deserves. (OK I stole that one from Batman but Rene is kind of the man…)


Laser Eye

René’s ultimate christmas gift; The Laser Eye.

Each trip to Origin is quite different and very sobering, René explains. A lot of the time the trips are focussed on things that have nothing to do with coffee – issues that affect the whole community like food security and access to health care. The co-ops that we work with in Africa have been rolling out pharmacies and midwifery to all the farmers and this is making a tangible difference in peoples lives.

“It’s not about assessing fair trade – on the whole it is to assess the needs of the farmers. To get a feel for each co-op and ensuring the needs of the farmers being met by the co-op leaders.”


Cupping Harar in Africa earlier in 2015.

Peoples are resolutley fair trade – so I asked René a few questions about fair trade and the coffee industry to get a better idea of why:

Is fair trade actually making a difference in the lives of farmers at Origin?

What farmers really need is to be paid a whole lot more. As roasters we are all limited in what we can achieve by the wholesale price and the street price of a cup of coffee. The most powerful mechanism of fair trade is the social premiums and the ongoing positive value they add. They put the power and the means back in the hands of the community.

Why did Peoples Coffee change from Fairtrade certification to World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) certification?

We felt that WFTO’s 10 principles of fair trade were better suited to help us challenge ourselves, ask hard questions and analyse how well we were performing as an ethically minded business. WFTO allows us to apply the ethos of fair trade to all of our business practices, not just our product.

In your opinion what is the most dangerous emerging trend in coffee that is affecting farmers lives?

Luxury. Specialty Coffee has relentlessly prized quality as the most desirable element of coffee and this has huge implications for farmers. The highest quality coffee doesn’t necessarily mean better tasting – it just means there are zero defects and nothing getting in the way of tasting the coffee. The higher the quality, the harder it is to produce and environmental changes are making it increasingly MORE difficult. Very often retail prices roasters sell for don’t reflect the difficulty of production and chasing this level of perfection is super challenging for many of these communities.

We have been working with many of the same producers for years, in the last few years climate change has had a huge impact on yields and quality, we continue to work with these groups buying their coffee even though they have been struggling with producing enough of the quality coffee we desire, rather than just buying from someone else who we don’t know.



When he’s not half a world away at Origin, René is hard at work at the Peoples roastery in Newtown. Back in the early days of Peoples Coffee René would often pop in to the roastery to watch his friend, Matt Lamason, roast.

“I roasted at home and but had very little ‘coffee experience’ so to speak. He (Matt) hired me as junior roaster and then flew to Colombia soon after – so I was definitely chucked in the deep end.”


Rene talking through the roasting process at Caffeination 2015.

René has certainly come a long way from the junior roaster that used to take a sugar (?!) in his flat white – in addition to being the Head Roaster for Peoples Coffee he is also the chair of the New Zealand Roasters Guild (which he helped set-up). The guild is a formalised community that aims to stimulate roasters to progress in research, development and knowledge. Their main goal (that they share with sister organisaton The Barista Guild) is to ensure everywhere in New Zealand has good coffee.


Rene presenting at a defect cupping Roasters Guild event in Wellington.

The guild is volunteer based and holds events and meetings across the country. Membership is open to anyone with a passion for specialty coffee & the roasting craft  and the desire to develop skills as a professional roaster. You can read more about getting involved here.


At home in the roastery.

René is a pretty humble guy. He has a passion for coffee but much more important, he believes, is coffee with a conscience.

“There is lots of suffering in the world and it is so easy to live in our society and be blind of the repercussions of all of the little things we do.”

Jesse F

September 28th, 2015

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Lauren TEST 3

We’ve seen some pretty great things happening around the place lately, ambitious individuals making cool stuff happen for those in need or without a voice so we thought we’d start talking about these awesome people; #peoplespeople if you will!

Some of you may know Lauren Tennent from Peoples Constable Street store. Part barista, part pixie, Lauren is famous for serving epic coffee with a grin the size of a half-wheel of cheese.

What you may NOT know about Lauren is that her work outside of Constable Street has made her something of a Peoples legend.


Lauren getting her latte on.

Lauren began working with Peoples Coffee towards the end of 2013 and has been instrumental in helping develop the Arohata Project – a Peoples Coffee run programme offering barista training to inmates. As the head trainer and key coordinator for the project, Lauren is a big part of why the initiative has been so successful. Her open, inclusive nature have helped to build trust with both inmates and staff at Arohata and her passion for restoration & rehabilitation for prisoners is pushing the project to new and exciting places.


Barista training at Arohata Womens Prison.

Lauren believes the project has national appeal and that it is just the first step in what she hopes will be a shift in thinking toward prisoners in general:

‘The main thing is I’d like to see it as a sustainable, national programme. With real world, transferrable skills, not just coffee but a range of skills. Ideally we’d have communities and cafes onboard who would offer employment. Once people start understanding that prisoners can be and are an equally valuable part in our communities then attitudes will begin to change.”


The ‘Let’s Talk About Drugs’ forum was JustSpeak Victoria’s first event.

Arohata, however, is only one of the social justice projects that Lauren is involved with. As the Outreach liaison for the Victoria University branch of JustSpeak, Lauren helps to coordinate events, generate interest and drive the general direction of conversation for the not-for-profit organisation. Their recent forum, focussed on problematic drug use, was about providing an open environment where free and frank conversation could be had on a sensitive issue. Lauren considers the Peoples Coffee sponsored forum a real success and was surprised by the diversity of those in attendance – something she had hoped for but not banked on.

‘It’s what it’s all about; connecting with different people within your community and talking about issues that you can never tackle alone.’


Full-house at the forum.

JustSpeak’s next forum on ‘police discretion and how that relates to discrimination within our justice system’ promises to be equally successful with 3 local speakers including Rethinking QSO, Kim Workman.


Lauren says her ‘Punishment in Modern Society’ paper has been the most meaningful so far.

Lauren’s commitment to social justice is in part spurred by her studies – she is currently pursuing a degree in Criminology and Psychology at Victoria University which she loves; ‘I’ve been really lucky in that I’ve been able to align my degree with my passions and apply what I’m learning in a real-world context.’


Super-hero at ease.

The girl is pretty much a super-hero in my book, though she’d hate me for saying it.

More than anything else Lauren does what she does not because of any great need for recognition but because she generally thinks that things could be better for some people, more even, less harrowing. Which is a pretty cool outlook.

Jesse F

September 18th, 2015

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Last week I took a little trip to the Free Store on the corner on Ghuznee and Willis to take a look at a new venture the fantastic team there have started.

If you haven’t heard of the Free Store before here’s the lowdown: Opened in 2010, the Free Store is a not-for-profit organisation that redistributes surplus food from over 25 cafes, bakeries and restaurants throughout Wellington. Their small army of volunteers collect the food, transport it to their repurposed shipping container home on Willis Street where, at 6pm, they throw open the doors and serve the food to the masses – completely free of charge. In the last 10 months they have redistributed over 55,000 items of food to, on average, 65 people each night.

Managing Director Benjamin Johnson was passionate about creating a space that was ‘by the community, for the community’. It was important to him that The Free Store be as open and accommodating to people from all walks of life – hence why there are no restrictions on who they serve the food to and how much is given – it’s an open, honest space where people take what they need and respect the needs of others.

Recently Benjamin felt that more could be done to create a sense of community for those people frequenting the Free Store and has reached out to several Wellington roasteries in an effort to offer hot coffee for the half hour prior to the store’s opening. Peoples Coffee are sponsoring the Friday night offering and we couldn’t be prouder to be a part of this really great initiative.

People were shy at first but the two young ladies manning the coffee station made them feel at home. Sugar? Milk? No problem and after a bit everyone was chatting and warming up with some Ethipoian Sidamo. The group was really diverse – men, women, students, pensioners and everyone in between – all just trying to keep their head above the tide.

It was pretty cool to witness the coming together of all of these people. Everyone supporting one another, helping each other out. One lovely gent even helped me with this blog by graciously pointing out that I was unlikely to get any particularly good pictures with the lens cap on…

Free Store 5
The thing I came away with is how multi-faceted the Free Store’s ambitions are. They’re working collaboratively to minimise needless waste whilst providing food, coffee & a safe, non-judgemental environment to those who need it most. If you get a chance to pop in and congratulate the team – do it. If you know a cafe or restaurant who you think would like to be involved – do that too! Every little bit really does help these guys make a big difference in a person’s life.

Jesse F

September 3rd, 2015

Posted In: Cafes, CBD, Coffee, Collaboration, Social projects, Sustainability, Uncategorized

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Today I met with Tabby Besley, founder of youth organisation InsideOUT, to talk about their charity exhibition at Matchbox Studios. Some of you might recognise Tabby – she was recently the first (and so far only) New Zealander to be awarded a Queens Young Leader Award for her work with queer youth (she even made a BuzzFeed list of 28 Badass Young People Making The World A Better Place).

InsideOUT are a pretty amazing organisation – they work with youth, whānau, schools and communities to make Aotearoa a safer place for all young people of diverse genders and sexualities to live and be in. Set-up in 2011, the organisation is run almost exclusively by youth volunteers who work tirelessly to lower rates of homophobic, biphoic and transphobic bullying in schools through initiatives like The Day of Silence and Pink Shirt Day (amongst a host of other projects).

InsideOUT aren’t government funded so they’re getting creative with a charity exhibition and auction at Matchbox Studios on Cuba Street this week. More than 40 artists and craftspeople have contributed a wide range of artworks – including paintings, jewellery, sculpture and photographs – and they have been priced to be as affordable as possible with prices ranging from $20 to $400. The artwork is available for purchase from Matchbox throughout the week with the auction kicking off at 6pm on Friday.

The auction is free to attend and anyone can bid. There will be a raffle drawn on the evening with some awesome prizes from local businesses (including some tasty Peoples Coffee!). Tickets for the raffle are only $2 and are available all week and on the night from Matchbox.

Both Tabby and event organiser Vicky Beesley have been completely overwhelmed by the generosity of everyone involved – neither expected to have so many pieces donated (in fact, even as we talked another piece arrived).

With 300 people ‘attending’ on Facebook the auction is shaping up to be a real success. Hopefully InsideOUT can raise a tonne of dough to continue to do the incredibly important work that they do. I know I’ll certainly be there on Friday – I’ve got my eye on a fox holding a balloon…see you there!

Jesse F

August 19th, 2015

Posted In: Activism, CBD, Coffee, Collaboration, Fair trade, Social projects, Uncategorized

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Last week I took a wee trip up to Auckland to visit Peoples Coffee superstar Josephine and check out Urchin & Amber, one of the first inner-city cafes in Auckland to be serving Peoples Coffee.

Now it has to be said – Wellingtonians are very different from Aucklanders. We are a bit more relaxed, a little more artsy and a whole lot more able to find a car-park within a 3km radius of our favourite inner-city cafe – so naturally Jo was running a touch late!

She flew through the door in a flurry of coffee beans, spreadsheets and effortless-cool and we ordered up a storm from our awesome waiter Jaime. We both went for the Panko Crumbed Fish Fingers with Tatare and Lemon and shared a Grilled Green Bean, Sesame & Chilli salad. Everything was mad tasty and the salad had a brilliant kick from the chilli.

Next up we (obviously) needed to sample the coffee, so Jo had head barista Amanda whip us up a killer flat white and long black.  Amanda is brilliant, a little ball of energy and enthusiasm with a lilting Brazilian accent that makes everything sound MUCH cooler and who never stops smiling!

Urchin and Amber’s decor is cool. It feels new and vintage at the same time, so I wasn’t at all surprised when I found out that it is housed in the oldest pub in Aukland (the building was built in 1858!?) Owner David Combs, of Vulcan Lane institution Vultures, is passionate about making Urchin a warm and relaxed place to be. From next week they will be serving brekkie and brunch through until 4pm, at which point Urchin will switch over to a gourmet fish & chips menu.

After chatting with the staff and a big ol’ meeting with Jo I decided to finish up my visit with one of Urchin’s freshly made super-juices. It was just what I needed to steel myself for the long walk down a very wet Queen Street to my hotel in a rather thin T shirt.

My trip to Auckland, whilst short, was sweet. It was great to see Urchin doing so well and to catch up with the lovely Josephine. It has been rumoured in the past that she lives INSIDE Skype but I now have proof otherwise. The more you know!

Jesse F

August 5th, 2015

Posted In: Cafes, CBD, Coffee, Fair trade, Trips, Uncategorized

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Blog Feature Image

Last week I went to prison.

No really! For a whole hour, to Arohata Womens Prison to sit in on the barista training that Peoples Coffee are offering for inmates. The training, now in it’s second year, is run by Lauren Tennent & Ashley Roper and is designed to provide real, transferable skills outside of the ‘traditional women’s work’ the prison offers.

On arrival myself and the rest of the media team were escorted down to the training room and introduced to the women who are taking part in the programme. The group were in high spirits throughout the visit (though one might suspect it was from the 4+ cups of coffee some of them had had!) and were eager to show us what they’d learnt. We all placed our orders and the ladies jumped to the task – delivering the coffees with surprising efficiency and big smiles. My flat white was great – nice and creamy with a strong finish!


After our caffeine fix we talked to group about the training – they said it was great to be able to learn new skills that could contribute to a new life when they were released. They were especially grateful to be able to have a cup of ‘real’ coffee as the prison only has instant available “things like good coffee are taken for granted, you don’t get anything like that in here and so to be able to have a cup is a real treat”.

Prison Director Chris Burns was enthusiastic about the project – “we’ve kept the sessions deliberately short so that the women can walk away with something tangible…you’ve only got to feel the vibe in the room to know the positive effect on them”. Arohata and Peoples are hoping to be able to run the programme again sometime next year as the feedback from both inmates and staff has been so positive.

I spoke briefly to one of the women about the course and she told me that the length of the courses was good because some of the inmates had difficulties concentrating for long periods of time “people have bad days and find it hard to be able to stay for a full day”. She said the short burst style of the course combined with the step-by-step process of the coffee-making made it easier for the group to stay focused.

After our chat we got to see the group graduate – all of the ladies were grinning from ear to ear. One of the inmates was particularly excited to show her certificate to her family – “my gran and my mum are really proud of me!”.

Coffee Making Close-up 1 Ashley

Overall I have to say my first trip to prison, whilst nothing like what I expected, was pretty great. I think its fantastic to see these women so eager to learn and grow. They are really hoping to be able to use these skills in the real world and I sincerely hope they get to.

Jesse F

July 24th, 2015

Posted In: Coffee, Collaboration, Fair trade, Social projects

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Russell Blog 1

Just so you all know there is a man who delivers coffee (and other tasty tidbits) on this contraption you see here. That’s right, rain or shine, Russell Silverwood, from Nocar Cargo, will pedal your Peoples Coffee Single Origin Mexican Chiapas right to your door, anywhere within Central Wellington. Why you ask? Simple – Russell has a passion for bicycles that he wants to share with Wellington. His aim – to make our city safer, cleaner and friendlier for everyone.

You might recognise Russell (or at least his head and upper torso) from his days behind the Constable St coffee machine – we’re pretty stoked to have him back in the Peoples fold.

Russel Silverwood_Bariasta

Despite being appreciative of what motor vehicles have to offer, Russell knows that our over-reliance on them leads to polluted air, noisy streets and annoying congestion. He hopes that Nocar Cargo can lead the way in ‘providing a practical, emission-free alternative that doesn’t waste time looking for parks, will travel at safe speeds and can give high fives’ (truly the mark of any great service).

Nocar Cargo MAINjpg

We did a little digging on the concept and found that Russell and his Nocar Cargo aren’t the only ones who’ve seen the benefits of emission-free delivery methods.

Nimble are a Californian based company specialising in Cargo Kick-Scooters. The scooters are capable of carrying almost 140kg’s at a time and are being used by enviro-conscious companies all over the world.


Then there’s Melbourne-based cargo-bike delivery company Cargone Couriers who are changing the way Melbourne-ites (thats a word right?) send and receive their goods as well as helping big businesses reduce their carbon footprint.

Safe to say that Russell and his international compadres are pedalling/pushing/kicking/grinding their way towards cleaner, safer (fitter) cities so, if you see him around, say hello, give him a wave (or a high-five) and salute his efforts – as far as we’re concerned the man is nothing less than a bearded angel!

Jesse F


July 9th, 2015

Posted In: Uncategorized

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