When Frank Hsu dropped out of his honours degree to pursue his passion of coffee and hospitality, he never would have imagined that his company, Frank’s Coffee, would become a staple of the New Zealand coffee scene.
For Frank, designing and building the brand’s flagship café, Frank’s Terrace, took many months, with friends and community members all pitching in to make it happen.
“Our people are just really passionate about coffee,” Frank says.
The terrace location is located in the Wellington CBD, offering a simplistic yet elegant design.
“We wanted a minimalistic approach so that it’s a little sanctuary from their Monday to Friday daily grind,” says Frank.
One recent highlight for the café was seeing one of its own baristas, Honoka Kawashima, emerge victorious in the 2023 New Zealand Specialty Coffee Association Meadow Fresh Barista Championship, which Frank describes “the pinnacle” of what the brand has been able to do.
The brand began in 2015, starting as a café in Wellington, and has since expanded to a second location on Riddleford St before Frank decided to start roasting.
“I thought we could either stay small or do something risky,” he says. “I felt I had reached a ceiling of how much I knew about coffee, so doing our own roasting was a natural progression.”
Frank’s goal is to understand as much as he can about the supply of coffee, which is why he travelled to Colombia to examine the source of green coffee beans.
“I’m hoping to ensure full transparency throughout the coffee chain,” he says.
Coffees from either of Frank’s locations are made with Frank’s Blend, which uses infrared technology in the roasting process which Frank says “really highlights the sweetness”.
Franks’ Coffee is available in-store as retail bags, online, and at good retail stores.
“We love to celebrate other local businesses as well,” Frank says. “We want to see like-minded and passionate individuals to give it a go, and we can help that by providing coffee as well as our knowledge.”
The café has partnerships with two local bakers to bring a selection of doughnuts to the café every morning from Thursday to Saturday. A wide variety of flavours are available, including vegan options.
“By providing something that excites people, it creates a bit of a positive vibe coming into the weekend,” says Frank.
Frank says the company is always searching to see how the customer experience can be even better.
“We’re looking towards how we can tweak the roast profile of our beans in order to appeal to certain customers,” he says.
Frank says the brand will continue to remain open-minded for new adventures.
“There’s always opportunity popping up here or there,” he says.
“The whole reason this business started is because we’re all passionate about coffee, and I don’t think we’ll ever lose that.”
116 The Terrace, Wellington, New Zealand, 6011
Open Monday to Friday 7am — 3pm and Saturday 8am — 1pm
This article appears in the October 2023 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.