Company tastes success
Award-winning coffee is being artfully roasted in the heart of Kerikeri by a boutique company run by Northlanders.
Max Coffee is a well-established company in the Bay of Islands and the new owners are well on their way to cementing the brand as Northland's premier coffee company after winning three more categories at this year's NZ Coffee Awards.
Aaron Bingham, his partner Raelene Rankin and his mother Beverley Naylor purchased the company early this year.
"I went out to buy a rental investment property and came back with a coffee business," Aaron says. "My partner keeps reminding me of this. It's like I went out with the family cow and came back with magic beans."
He also returned with a master roaster called Reuben Greig who had worked for the previous owner and is an old friend of Aaron's.
Reuben was instrumental in securing for Max Coffee two gold awards in 2005 and 2006 and was keen to stay with the business and help grow and develop it further.
"This is such a great team to work with," Reuben says. "Aaron is an engineer, Beverley is an accountant and Raelene is a contract manager. We can now take the company to the next level."
The team is injecting more of what it calls the Northland ethos into the brand.
A new-look Max Coffee will be launched in the next couple of weeks.
The name's the same so Max addicts will be able to locate their favourite brew and the team is planning to open a takeaway espresso bar in its new premises in Mill Lane.
"We've had so many people hounding us to serve coffee here," Aaron says.
Other plans in the pipeline include expanding the business into Whangarei and securing more quality cafes around the country.
"We supply to a cafe in Japan called Kerikeri. Unfortunately, it's located in Fukushima which the owner has told us `is not good now' but luckily he's looking to expand elsewhere in Japan.
"I've just returned from a trip to Australia where I introduced our brand."