We love beautiful stuff. We love to look at it, read about it and learn about it. HOME magazine showcases New Zealand’s best architecture, design and interiors in one publication - we’re all about it. Recently, HOME wrote some nice words about our Tokyo store in Shibuya. If you missed it, you can read it below.
“When you make a list of cities you’d love to see your brand established in, Tokyo has to be pretty high on the list,” says Coffee Supreme’s Jonny Calder. The Wellington roaster has opened a 24-square-metre store in Shibuya, a partnership with Hiroki and Tomoko Matsumoto, who live between Auckland and Tokyo. “It was important to us that we built a space that was unmistakably Supreme, but also Japanese.”
How did you approach opening in a country where you don’t speak the language? We could never have done this without our Japanese partners – but the language gap is just the start of it. Hierarchy is huge in Japan: you really have to learn to be appropriate. We got schooled pretty swiftly – and we had to use a bit of Anzac charm now and then.
Tell us about your cafe. Our neighbourhood is great – a mix of residential and commercial. We’re surrounded by some of the best in Tokyo: architects, design bookstores, Monocle, craft-beer spots and the best natural wine bars in town. We’ll be serving up coffee all day, every day and we’ll also open a night-time concept soon.
You used local expertise? We were lucky to instantly have a bunch of local contacts through Hiroki, including spatial designer Shingo Abe. He brought with him a builder and cabinet maker with typical Japanese craftsmanship and attention to detail. Every decision sparked conversations: ‘Do we do it the Japanese way or the way we’d naturally do it back home?’ Finding this balance was sometimes tricky.
You’ve taken some friends to Tokyo with you? Yep, Fix & Fogg peanut butter and the Karma Cola range – but they had already beaten us to Tokyo. Otherwise, we’re making friends over there. We want to sell our antipodean coffee culture in an authentic, localised way.