We chat with New Zealand Barista Champ 2023, Honoka Kawashima from Frank’s Coffee in Wellington to find out a bit more about what makes her tick.
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF:
I am originally from Japan, and I came to NZ with my working holiday visa in 2018. My original plan was just to live in NZ for one year, but I kept extending my visa and now I’ve got my residency because I really love living in NZ. The balance between the city vibe and nature makes me feel so relaxed and I love the people here. I love food and beer so on my days off I normally either eat out or go to my favorite breweries :)
WHAT MAKES YOUR COFFEE SO GREAT?
I love my customers as much as making coffee too, so I always think how I can make them happy :)
HAVE YOU GOT A FOOD OFFERING AT FRANK’S?
Yes, we have many counter food offerings but particularly our Vegan donuts from Dirty Donuts are super popular (Thursday-Sunday only!). The flavours change weekly and are really delicious.
OUR MOST POPULAR DISH:
Our homemade Halloumi Sandwich is as popular as the donuts. We use the bread from Wellington sourdough, with Marinated mushroom and capsicum makes the taste outstanding.
MY PICK FROM THE FOOD MENU:
I love our Date scones; they are super addictive!! Even Though I do not have a sweet tooth, I can eat them almost every day.
HOW DOES MEADOW FRESH MILK AND COFFEE WORK WELL TOGETHER FOR YOU?
I used Meadow Fresh milk for my national competition after tasting lots of milk, and I’ve got the most Outstanding
milk!! I’ve also found Meadow fresh milk really works in a range of coffee and brings unique flavours experience.
SHARE A FAVOURITE MOMENT WHERE YOU LEARNT ABOUT THE ART OF COFFEE:
I have learnt most of the coffee things at Frank’s, where I’ve been working for 5+ years. Working for Frank’s has changed my life in my coffee career, working with other coffee passionate staff keeps me motivated. Frank brings us unique offerings and he
normally sources our coffee from Cofinet. They supply us with so many interesting and high-quality coffee which gives me lots of opportunities to try new things.
WHAT IS ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE OTHERS STARTING OUT IN THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY?
Hospitality is all about people, and the place must be a happy place for everyone, including our staff members. We have lots of regular customers at Frank’s, and I believe they come to us not only for coffee but also to talk to us and share our time together. So, the important thing is to always enjoy working with people and think about how
we can make people happier:)
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You can find Honoka at
5 Riddiford street, Newtown Wellington
7am-2pm(weekdays), 8am - 2pm(weekends)
A N O T H E R H O S P I T A L I T Y S P O T H O N O K A L O V E S I S:
I love discovering restaurants and cafes. It is hard to choose one because I have so many
favourite places but it changes depending on my mood for the day. There are lots of good
eating/coffee spots in Wellington!
Photos by: Lily Joyce