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Coffee Supreme goes from cafes to co-working

Nature The Spinoff

Instead of buying a cuppa in exchange for a place to work, Coffee Supreme is flipping the script.For the last 25 years, Coffee Supreme has stuck to what it does best, which is sourcing, roasting, brewing and selling some seriously decent coffee.
'Instead of buying a cuppa in exchange for a place to work, Coffee Supreme is flipping the script. For the last 25 years, Coffee Supreme has stuck to what it does best, which is sourcing, roasting, brewing and selling some seriously decent coffee. Running cafes is pretty much second nature to its business. Running a shared workspace? Not so much.  Inside a white, nondescript building on Auckland’s Great North Road is Chairs, Coffee Supreme’s first-ever foray into the co-working world. It’s a bright airy space that houses 32 desks, two meeting rooms, plus all the usual amenities like wifi, printing, a fully stocked kitchen, and of course an infinite supply of steaming hot coffee. While the workspace itself only opened in May, the business first moved into the building two years ago following the closure of its much-loved Good One cafe back in 2015. Chairs on Great North Road (photo: chairsforthat.com) “At first, we were like ‘heck yeah! We’re going to build an amazing cafe!’” says Sophie Evans, events and marketing manager for Coffee Supreme. “But it turned out it was going to be super expensive, so we went back to the drawing board and thought about how the core of our business was all about hospitality. We love what happens over a shared cup of coffee, potentially even more than the cup of coffee itself.”  “We think [a workspace] still offers a true form of hospitality. We have people over, there’s always a pot of coffee on, and there’s a community vibe here. Normally [in a cafe], you charge people for coffee and give them a ‘desk’ for free. This time, we’ve just flipped it and give them the coffee for free but charge them for the desk.” Likely owing to its roots in the hospitality sector, Chairs feels distinct from other co-working spaces like Silicon-Valley influenced BizDojo and multi-storey complex the B:HIVE . Supreme’s space is comparable to a cafe, just with more desks, less food; more power points, less noise. If you want to work here, it costs $35 to rent a desk for a day or $625 if you want a desk for a month (for comparison, hotdesking costs $39 per day at BizDojo and $40 at Eden Terrace’s Thinkspace). “We love what happens over a shared cup of coffee, potentially even more than the cup of coffee itself.” (photos: supplied) When I spend a few hours working at Chairs to get a sense of the place, there are just six or seven other people working quietly away – way more quietly than at The Spinoff’s open-plan office or any cafe I’ve ever been to in Auckland. There’s no loud obnoxious music, no latte-sippin’ jams , no eavesdrop-worthy conversations about so and so’s holiday in south-east Asia, only the hiss and hum of espresso machines from Supreme’s training room where baristas drop by to get trained. At one point, they ask if we’d all like a coffee – a proper coffee, rather than one from the pot. I sheepishly request an oat milk flat white and it comes out creamy and delicious. Aesthetically, Chairs is clean, minimalist, and painstakingly immaculate – everything you think of when you think of Supreme. There’s an obvious and deliberate colour scheme of red, white and grey running through the whole place, reflecting a strong desire to maintain Supreme’s brand identity. It’s partly why leasing the space out to businesses, at least in a more traditional sense, was never an option (“We’re mild control freaks,” jokes Evans). In that sense, Chairs targets a market of tenants that already align with its clean, modern brand – mainly freelance creatives who’d otherwise flock to cafes to work, but also startups in the food and beverage sector. Long term tenants include Bonnie Goods and Almighty Juice, while companies like Arepa and Minor Figures have also used its facilities in the past.  A desk at Chairs costs $35 a day (photo supplied) “One of the benefits [of working here] is that we extend the Coffee Supreme community to Chairs tenants,” says Evans. “For example, if one of our account managers find an awesome new cafe that’s opened, they might go and tell Almighty about it and suggest they try and get their juice in there. “Obviously, we’re a bigger business than the businesses that are renting desks, so sometimes [if we’re approached to chuck something in a goodie bag], then we might tell one of our tenants like Bonnie Goods that these goodie bags are going out to some super important people who have money. Maybe they want to put some stuff in too?” Almighty Juice founder and Chairs’ first-ever tenant Ben Lenart agrees : “We’re a small team so it’s nice to be around other like-minded people doing similar sorts of things… the sharing of ideas and knowledge is probably where some of the greatest benefits lie.” “We’re mild control freaks” (photo: chairsforthat.com) Chairs is Auckland’s newest co-working space, but it certainly won’t be the last. Flexible workspaces are booming in New Zealand and it’s indicative of the time we live in now – a time when the gig economy is getting bigger, the number of traditional offices is getting smaller, and real estate is getting increasingly expensive. More people than ever are working freelance, but that doesn’t mean that craving for a community just goes away.  “We’re definitely mainly a coffee business – this is on the periphery – but we did want to get resourceful with the space we had,” says Evans. “A lot of these people are freelancers, so you’re either working at home or working in a cafe. So you come in here because you want a community vibe, you want to talk to people. “We already know the coffee we make is delicious, so it’s about [asking ourselves]: ‘What else can we do to make it awesome?’”'

Recipe: The perfect lemon and lime slice

Nature The Spinoff

Have you found yourself with more lemons than you know what to do with? Hens laying overtime? Never fear, this perfect citrus slice is here. Once upon a time I had a little gold hen, who lived in a flowering tree and laid me a sweet fresh egg every
'Have you found yourself with more lemons than you know what to do with? Hens laying overtime? Never fear, this perfect citrus slice is here.  Once upon a time I had a little gold hen, who lived in a flowering tree and laid me a sweet fresh egg every day. And that’s where the fairy story ends, because the reality is that chicken was one scary bitch.  Long-time chicken eater, first-time chicken owner, I ended up with poultry purely because a friend was moving and caught me at a weak moment. I took our new chook home, let her out in the garden and doubtfully stood back. I didn’t have a clue what you were supposed to do next. Ruffled with anger at the fact I was clearly an amateur, the hen glared at me for a long minute then darted her neck out sideways and crushed a praying mantis with her beak. She ate it slowly. She did not break eye contact with me the whole time she did this. I backed away carefully and, from that moment on, we knew who was the boss of the back lawn. Photo: Amanda Thompson My friend called her Sheridan and the kids would rename her Princess Bubblegum or Sparkly Goldiflocks every couple of months, but mostly we just called her The Chicken. She ruled our suburban property with a scaly four fingered (or seven, depending which) claw, cowing our dog into a trembling submission. Every morning he would let her eat what she wanted from his bowl, enormous head downcast, while she chortled in glee. Fluffybum Unicorn Feathers scorned the safety of a chicken coop. She perched in a tree at night and chased visitors away by day, cackling in the faces of neighbourhood cats then going straight for their eyes. We thought she needed company so we bought some chicks for her to raise, but Princess Mutant Feet was outraged at the idea of maternity. I did my best with a warm lamp and an old dog crate until we worked out that all three of the poor chicks were roosters and they had to go – our neighbours have been forgiving people over the years, but there are limits. The TradeMe buyer kindly told my children that Jumbo, Spot and Sam would have lots of room to run around and make other chicken friends on her farm. “At least, they will until they’re fatter,” she whispered to me on her way back to her car with her squawking, shuffling box. Photo: Amanda Thompson In her prickly way, though, The Chicken seemed fond of us, her surrogate flock. One neighbour said he could set his watch at exactly 10 minutes past three every weekday when he heard her hop onto the driveway gate and call to the kids as they came home from school. She purred sweetly when you held out a hand full of rolled oats and then pecked your now empty fingers like the ragey mofo she really was. She died a more peaceful death than she probably deserved, in her sleep, of old age. I miss her, the stroppy little shit.  She also fulfilled her part of the chicken/owner bargain by laying a daily egg – creamy and delicious, even though powered by dog biscuits and every damn seedling I ever planted. My family are not always enthusiastic egg eaters and one a day sounds manageable until it’s been a fortnight since your last frittata, and here you are again with a full egg compartment. So I used this recipe for Lemon Lime Slice for when I was egg-rich and dessert-poor. I may have to buy my eggs now but my lemon tree is bustling, and I can scrounge the odd lime (it’s also fine with just lemon). Basically, it’s a citrus curd on a handy edible base but even better than a curd because making that would mean using a double boiler, which I will never have the patience for. Time the bake just right and there will be a golden base, a soft centre and a hint of crunch on top – dessert heaven.  Photo: Amanda Thompson Lemon Lime Slice Base (make this first): 150g soft butter 1 ½ cups flour 1 cup sugar Mix all of this together until it resembles a crumb and press into a lined baking tin. Cook at 180 degrees for 15-20 minutes until golden, while you do the next step. Topping: 5 small eggs ½ cup lemon and/or lime juice Finely grated zest of everything you squeezed to get the juice ¼ cup flour ¾ cup sugar Whisk up the eggs flour and sugar until pale and foamy. Add the juice and zest. Get the base out of the oven, pour the egg mix on top and put it straight back in the oven for about half an hour, but check regularly because there’s nothing sadder than a rubbery overcooked topping. Enjoy, in memory of The Chicken.'

New to surfing? Remember these 6 tips

Nature Adventure Magazine

Surfing is one of those activities that are the top of a lot of bucket lists. And when the sun is shining and the waves are just right, it’s not hard to see why. It’s almost like nature itself is willing you to get on a board. Unfortunately, surfing
'Surfing is one of those activities that are the top of a lot of bucket lists. And when the sun is shining and the waves are just right, it’s not hard to see why. It’s almost like nature itself is willing you to get on a board. Unfortunately, surfing isn’t quite as easy as it looks. If you’re a beginner looking to get into surfing, we’ve got some top tips to get you started. Don’t learn on your own It doesn’t matter how athletic or confident you are, never try and learn surfing on your own. Although surfing injuries are relatively rare and minor, they do happen and can be life-threatening. Out of every 100,000 surfers in Australia, 2.38 will drown . That’s why you need to seek out a teacher or experienced surfer to ensure that you stay safe. Use a bigger surfboard You might see the more experienced surfers using smaller boards, but when you’re starting out the bigger ones will be your friends. They’re designed to give you more stability and help you catch a lot more waves, letting you learn the skills and mechanics to eventually move on to the shorter boards. Get a soft-top board Speaking of surfboards, it’s also best to get a soft top one. These are much more comfortable to be sat on than the fibreglass or epoxy alternatives. And when you’re starting out, you will be spending a lot of time sitting on it rather than standing. It’s a learning curve that everyone goes through, trust us. Choose a good beginner destination   You don’t want to rush out to the biggest waves you can see if you’re just getting started. It’s much easier to get to grips with surfing on smaller, easier waves. There are some beaches that are perfect for this, including First Point Noosa in Queensland . Bend at your knees Stability is key to keep you upright and stop you wiping out on the board. Although you need to accept the fact that you will wipe out as you’re learning, one of the big tips to help avoid this is bending your knees instead of your back. There’s a reason why surfers have this classic pose. It’s not to look good – but to give you much more balance when you’re riding the waves. Pace yourself Don’t overexert yourself. Surfing is hard work, so remember to take regular breaks, hydrate and stay at a level that’s comfortable for you. If need a rest but are searching for the same adrenaline, why not book a fast-paced jet boat tour to see all the sights in Sydney ?     Ready to catch the waves?   Just remember these 6 tips, ensure you’re not alone and that it’s safe to surf before you get on your board.   And, most importantly, have fun!'