By 2003, we had a strong fan base in the South, and as a result, we enjoyed the custom of many cafes scattered throughout. From the pot-smoking ports of the Abel Tasman down to the cheese-rolling south, our coffee and little oval logo were enjoyed daily.

But, flying across the strait with an optimistic Pelican Case of parts and a set of ring spanners was becoming both expensive and, well, less personal than we liked. So, we drew straws, and sent Steven King down to build our HQ - initially a garage in Lyttleton, then onto Montreal St with a few sheets of ply (to make it trendy) in an old real estate office with a suspended ceiling. From there, we covered the mainland from end to end in white Corolla station wagons - Kaikoura to Franz Joseph, Picton to Stewart Island. We loved it, and we still do, boasting more road miles than a taxi and becoming best friends with some of the warmest hosts in the south.

As time passed, we grew out of our commercial cul-de-sac condo, and we needed to move into more spacious and suitable digs. We also decided we should establish our own little café, right in the city, so we set about and set up shop across the road from our mates at the IRD, and put a café out front to show them a good time. We were bold; we used green, plonked an old shipping container in the middle for a training room, and hung naked light bulbs without shades. Things were going great, our team grew and we delivered coffee by the cup and the kilo from our little corner of Lichfield and Madras.

To Christchurch is a part of our Twenty-One Stories book, the unofficial history of Coffee Supremes’ first 21 years.

More journal posts