Home' Hospitality Business : HB JULY 2017 Contents Nik’s CV is rich with hospo experience and senior management
roles. After school, he completed his OE in the UK where he worked
initially for local government but quickly moved back into hospitality
management for more than four years, working in London, the Scottish
Highlands, Oxford, Bath and Marbella in Spain.
In 2008, Nik returned to New Zealand and worked with the Turbo
Group Investments (Rosie O’Grady’s and Breakers Cafes) before working
with the Campus Living Village for over six and a half years. “This was a
massive role – in the beginning I was helping with pastoral care; feeding
and watering and accommodation of 550 students living away from
home. The job included stints in Wellington, Bay of Plenty, Auckland and
two years in post-earthquake Christchurch.”
He then started working at Child Labor Free (CLF) with his current
partners and was involved with the domestic and international launch.
“This also involved serious learning. Here it was all about the details
of supply chain mapping and management, which I had never looked at
before in much detail. It unfolded so many issues for me and I realised
that we were very mindful of things like animal welfare and organic
products, but that there was little that showed mindfulness of basic
Nik describes the décor of Source as “raw, exposed, inviting, warm
and honest.” And with upcycled chairs from an old hall, mismatched
knives and forks, and lots of lush green plants, this sums it up.
Source’s menu (printed on recycled paper) includes a rundown on the
origin of their key products – such as bacon from Freedom Farms in the
South Island and artisan breads from Sean Armstrong’s Loaf.
And there are stories everywhere. On the cutlery containers, a story
details how many of the tables as well as the walls and counters of the
café have been made from macrocarpa – the most eco-friendly timber
produced in New Zealand. There’s also information about L’affare of
Wellington who supply Gusto Blend Fairtrade coffee and Matakana’s
Morris & James who made the special light fittings from hand-dug clay.
Nik is thrilled with the success of the first café, but wants to take
sustainability and recycling to an even better level with subsequent
cafes. Discussing the opening of the Westgate café, he is more
interested in the fact that they will be able to buy more cane chairs from
a Cambodian business that Source supports, over the successes of
the bottom line. “It’s more about the overall impact. Profit for purpose
business is great, while the thought of being able to re-invest in existing
projects or initiating new in the social and ethical space, is exciting.” n
Source Café, sustainability a key component!
PASSIONATE & TALENTED COFFEE CHAMPION
Sam Low knew he wanted to work in hospitality from the age of 15,
and found his passion through coffee and food. He continues to live an
extraordinary food and beverage related life – from literally growing up
in a noodle factory in Fiji, - to becoming New Zealand’s coffee champion
at the age of 24.
Now 25, he entertains his culinary curiosities in Australia’s
cultural capital, Melbourne, Australia and his home city of Auckland.
Sam’s talent was noticed early on, earning a Food and Beverage
apprenticeship at Auckland’s SkyCity at the age of just 17. His deep
curiosity for coffee and love of flavour lead him to Atomic Coffee
Roasters where he began to develop his barista skills.
In 2012, he entered his first official coffee competition, the Meadow
Fresh NZ Latte Art Championship run by the NZ Specialty Coffee
Association and was placed third.
With ambition and pure grit, Sam went on to earn the titles of twice
Meadow Fresh NZ Latte Art Champion (in 2013 and 15); World Latte
Art Finalist, 2013 and the 2016 NZ Barista Champion. Those titles have
led him to compete in coffee related activities in different countries
including France, Ireland and Sweden and events in Indonesia, Italy,
Australia and England
At the age of 21 he opened his own Melbourne inspired ‘hole in
the wall’ espresso bar called ‘Bump Coffee Brewers’ in Newmarket,
Auckland. Never one to take it easy, Sam actively tries to break down
stigmas with his plethora of coffee and barista knowledge and show
people how complex and transferable the coffee and its industry is to
other parts of the culinary world.
“At the end of the day everyone in hospitality is seeking for great flavour,
whether it be food, wine, cheese... coffee goes through its own complexities
and surprisingly enough its very similar to other respected culinary
products, and the most common link is the same language of flavour.
“ I am really excited to be working with Meadow Fresh. Not only does
their milk contain no added permeate (less processed and tastier),
they are forward thinkers with the consumers in mind especially, Café
owners, baristas and coffee drinkers”.
‘Meadow Fresh milk preforms exceptionally well to create mircofoam
and has a really creamy texture. Elasticity of milk is one of those things
which is really important because depending on how long the barista takes
to make the coffee it significantly impacts the end result, both visually and
in taste. Meadow Fresh milk allows baristas to work and play with the
milk a lot longer to achieve that perfect coffee, “ says Sam. n
Coffee champion Sam Low
38 | July 2017 | Hospitality BUSINESS
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