Charles Williams had been working for six years in an Auckland roaster doing wholesale until he simply got jealous of café owners and the connection they had with customers in the retail space.
He started a small coffee shop in Auckland called Ceremony three years ago, and then saw the opportunity to lease a 100-seater restaurant in the city and start an all-day eatery with his brother, Patrick Williams.
“We wanted to make specialty coffee approachable in the downtown corporate market we’re located in, and introduce customers to the way it’s sourced and roasted,” Charles says.
Charles describes Auckland’s coffee scene as becoming a little more Melbourne-like and catching up fast.
“Specialty coffee in New Zealand came from Wellington up to Auckland. It started with the espresso boom, which influenced Auckland’s preference for dark roasted coffee,” Charles says. “In the beginning, quality wasn’t the main focus, but it’s slowing changing and operators are spending more on good quality coffee, more time with customers, and as a result we’re starting to see more cool micro coffee shops popping up.”
Williams serves Flight Coffee. Not only does it produce a consistent roast, but the company does its own direct trading with origin co-operatives. Enjoy Flight’s Bomber blend, roasted a bit lighter than other Auckland roasters. It’s served for espresso and long blacks, and Flight’s B2 blend is used for milk-based drinks. Rotational single origins are available, with lots of great coffees coming out of Africa, Colombia, Burundi, Brazil, and Rwanda for pour over and batch brew filter options.
“We spend lots of time with our staff discussing why we’re serving this kind of coffee and wanting customers to drink more filter than espresso. Our aim is to make specialty coffee approachable, not condescending,” Charles says. “We also want people to pay the right price for coffee and appreciate it rather than view it as an everyday beverage.”
Williams Eatery is decked out with a La Marzocco three-group Auto Brew Ratio machine, two Nuova Simonelli Mythos grinders for espresso, and a Mahlkönig EK43 for filter.
The venue is an all-day eatery with the kitchen due to stay open for dinners in a few months time. Its menu is designed to showcase high quality, organic, and free range produce from local suppliers and producers. Try the mushrooms with pine buttermilk, dehydrated porcini crumb, quinoa crisp, and pine nut oil. Or get your taste buds around the roasted cauliflower with Persian feta, candied walnuts, fried egg and Tahini dressing. Alongside dishes, Williams Eatery serves specialty beer, wine, and coffee.
“There’s still heaps of people to reach in terms of spreading our message for sustainably sourced produce and specialty coffee, but that’s our mission. We want to get customers thinking about the cup of coffee in their hands. The reception has been great – we’re getting lots of regulars through the door, and having lots of great yarns,” Charles says. “We want to be a go-to place that brings people together and puts a smile on their face. Those smiles make it easy to get fulfillment from this job.”
G03/85 Daldy St,
Auckland, 1010, New Zealand
Open Monday to Friday 7am to 3pm, weekends 8am to 4pm
+64 9-373 3906