L'affare has been an institution in Wellington for over 26 years. The result of being in the business so long? The best made coffee and food, all of the time. Just this week L'affare opened the doors to their new space in Newmarket (Aucklanders rejoice), so we sat down with one of the guys behind the brand to talk about what makes the perfect coffee, the café’s beginnings and snazzy toilet doors...
Can you tell me a bit about the background of the L'affare brand?
Back in the day New Zealand - let alone our hospitality industry - was a very different animal. I can’t say that it was bad, it just wasn’t what most of us expect these days. L’affare was born of the desire for more. More to excite; more to see, more in food, drink, service, style, colour, community, spaces - and more in coffee (don’t forget the coffee). This desire grew out of many conversations, travel and discovery. L’affare didn’t invent fresh roasted coffee, espresso brewing or the modern cafe, it was simply on our horizon. We did introduce our style of coffee and our business, to what was a young, interested market who slowly and surely became as eager to adopt the ‘new thing’ as we were to explore its potential. As we got better at it the interest grew. Our success is the fruit of so many grand ideas, great advice, fearlessness, good management and a big bunch of happy accidents. All one would hope for of any ambitious 26 year old.
Why do you think it's done so well? What separates L'affare from other coffee brands?
We do what we do. L’affare (the brand) deliberately roasts excellent coffee. L’affare (the people) are local people working hard and having fun.
What do you think is the key to making a perfect coffee?
All of the above.
What was the reason for opening this new space in Newmarket?
We’ve been active in Auckland for some time already selling fresh roasted coffee to select cafes and restaurants. 2016 seemed the right time to build a presence and give our Auckland team a nice, new home.
What are you most excited about with the new cafe? What's your favourite part?
My favourite part are the coat hooks on the back of the toilet doors.
Where to next for L'affare?
I can’t say as it’s a secret but when we’re close you’ll be the first to know – it will involve beautiful coffee though.
Check out L'affare's first Auckland cafe 'L'affare Melrose' at 22 Melrose Street, Newmarket.