Tell us a little bit about yourself, your position with the café + your background
Estefana: Hi! My name’s Estefana. I’m a 21-year-old barista here at Dear Jervois. My biggest passion besides coffee is art and I believe that comes into my practice with coffee everyday as it’s somewhat a form of art. I’ve been on the machine for five years and it’s become a huge part of my life. I’ve loved coffee as long as I can remember, and I’ve always blamed swallowing a chocolate covered coffee bean as a toddler for my obsession with it. The smell has always been a huge comforter for me and reminds me of coffees in bed with my mum as a kid so to work with it every day is a total pleasure.
Geonju: Hello, my name is Geonju. I have been working as a head barista at Dear Jervois. I started working here a month ago, so I am still pretty new. I am originally from Korea and have been staying in New Zealand for over 2 years. Throughout this whole time I have worked in the customer service industry and become very passionate about making coffee.
Can you tell us a bit about the vision/ethos behind Dear Jervois?
Geonju: Dear Jervois is all about trying to cater to all dietary preferences and tries to promote a healthy lifestyle. We are passionate about providing high quality service and delicious products. We aim to use local produce where possible, but also like to provide an international element to our menu. Our vision has always been to provide a great experience in a casual and social environment.
What can people expect to experience when they come to Dear Jervois? And is there anything distinct to the café, or that the café is known for, or you would like it to be known for?
Estefana: People can expect to be welcomed with warmth and lots of smiles! If you’re looking for a café that wants to take care of your needs whether that be dietary alternatives or “you just know how you like it” we want to do our best for you! We have quite a community here with regulars, down to knowing their exact orders and love every connection we have with them. I’d love for us to be recognised as a comfortable, hospitable café you can just wander into and find your little spot with a warm coffee by your side. As a café lover, I always make my judgements based on if a café has a friendly atmosphere, it’s important to feel comfortable and relaxed to me.
How do you think The Alternative Almond & Soy milk performs? Is there anything you particularly like about them?
Estefana: I’ve been working with alternative milk since I was 16 and in that time I’ve used many different brands. In the last few years there’s been a lot of competition with different milks popping up all the time, but The Alternative is the best yet! It’s super smooth, silky, and malleable. Soy and I have always had a love/hate relationship, as a soy drinker and hater of having to aerate it. The Alternative’s soy is the first I’ve been able to do latte art with, with no qualms! Great for taste and latte art.
What do you like about the cafe industry?
Estefana: Since working in the industry I’ve had a real love for the people. Not only do you belong to a little working hive of others like yourself, but the characters and personalities you meet are unforgettable. It doesn’t really matter who you are, we all kind of bond together in hospitality, it’s a total mish-mash of people like a real family. You end up becoming close with people you probably wouldn’t of if you hadn’t spent that time with them through the job. That and the rhythmic flow you get into when you’re working hard, there’s nothing better than being on top of your game even if it’s a little overwhelming and chaotic. It’s a great opportunity to put aside your differences or self-doubts and step up!
Have you noticed a shift towards plant-based from your customers?
Estefana: Absolutely! There’s been a giant wave of customers switching to plant-based milks over the last few years even if it’s not their preference with food – it definitely is with coffee. Since using The Alternative’s almond we’ve had more coffee orders with almond milk than ever before.
Does sustainability play a role in Dear Jervois’ operations?
Estefana: Absolutely, we do our best to recycle and reuse! That’s from our milk bottles being collected every morning to our smaller providers like No Ugly. We’re very conscious of green waste and make sure to keep our waste separated. There’s a lot of time behind the scenes that goes into making the best environmental decision when it comes to things like take away containers and cups and we definitely have to credit our shining stars in the team like Ben, for their extra research into things and keeping us all in line when it comes to recycling properly!
What does the future look like for Dear Jervois?
Geonju: It been a growing business with us also recently opening a gelato shop (Sweet Jervois) next to Dear Jervois. So, it has been a very exciting time to be working for this company that is looking to grow and expand in to other areas. I am very much enjoying my time here as I feel like I am able to develop and help this company still strive to be the best.