Loretta

On a trip to Paris, Marc Weir and his business partners Julie Clark and James Pedersen went to source items for their new venture. But they came back with nothing.

Instead, while Marc was recovering from jet lag and watching his favorite film A Single Man by Tom Ford, he had an epiphany. “I thought my gosh! We should definitely channel 1960s California like the film,” says Marc.

That film became the inspiration for Loretta’s design, which includes open spaces, clean lines, and timber furnishings. “I’ve operated my other restaurant business, Floriditas, for nine years. But I wanted to create a different, casual dining experience with no high-class expectations – just great service, great food, and exceptional coffee,” says Marc.

Loretta serves Coffee Supreme’s signature blend for milk-based coffees on its four-group San Marco 85 espresso machine. Two single origins from Coffee Supreme are also on rotation for drip filter, which Marc serves via a Fetco machine.They change monthly, but at the time of print included an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, which Marc describes as “smooth with flavours of blackcurrent and ginger”. The other is La Soledad, with caramel and orange blossom notes.

To cater to his customer’s large preference for milk-based coffees, Marc says he’s had to increase the range of milk they offer to include organic, full or trim milk, soy, rice and almond.

“Coffee has changed dramatically in Wellington over the past 20 years. Today there’s a refined and greater scientific application to the way coffee is served, and more boutique cafés are embracing this trend around Wellington,” says Marc.

To accompany the coffee, Loretta serves a detailed menu. Café favourites include the continental breakfast, carrot risotto with chervil or wood-fired sandwiches for lunch, and a broken chicken sausage pizza with shaved fennel and loads of fresh dill for dinner.

Growing up Marc wanted to be either a chef or a teacher. He was accepted into teacher college at a young age but his love for food crept back into his life. “I’ve developed my own ethos about food and I still strive for perfection in everything I do,” he says. “I love that this job is very hands on – perhaps it’s the teacher gene in me.”

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