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The ultimate in coffee culture BY HELEN MURDOCH P HO T O S D OM I N IQ U E W H I T E A N D JA S ON M A N N


umo Coffee is not a café–it’s a coffeehouse experience of friends and family, exceptional service and the quest for the perfect bean. Zumo has been prominent at the northern end of Nelson’s Bridge St since 2009. Coffeehouses began in the 16th century Ottoman Empire appearing in Europe in the 1600s where they were venues of debate, indifferent to social status and meeting places where business was done and news exchanged. Zumo’s essence is the same. “You don’t feel pressured that you have to leave because the waitress wants the table for the next group,” says Annalisa. “You can hang out and relax and make that coffee last and have fun making friends, socialising with family or getting on with your work.” Allen defines Zumo as a coffee emporium, not a café. But people do not go hungry. Food is brought in daily by FreshBake and customers are invited to bring their own. Allen, Annalisa and their skilled staff instead put their energy into making excellent coffee and their customers feel at home. Zumo offers seven fresh roasts, including decaf, with four milk options. Customers can select a split shot choosing two different beans with a decaf 86

split shot popular in the afternoon with those wanting flavour and less caffeine. “At Zumo it is about building a relationship and making a customer’s day better,” says Annalisa. “You feel that exchange of energy between the customer and the barista when you are working. It’s about providing the experience, not just the product.”

Allen launched textmessage ordering in 2014 and continues to build online systems and text-ordering features.

“Customers leave with a smile on their face and a great cup of coffee to kickstart their day.” Their philosophy is that anyone walking in the door is entering their home, says Annalisa. “It’s the delivery of an outstanding product with exceptional customer service in a casual setting. Do it and do it really well–that’s the connection,” says Allen. “As I tell everyone who walks in here looking for a job–Zumo is a bit of a show.” The show has grown. The couple opened Zumo Wellington in late 2015 on the corner of Wakefield

and Tory Streets. “My goal was to build a centrally located modern, sleeker version of Zumo Nelson. It’s about building less quantity and more quality,” says Allen. He flies to Wellington weekly while juggling his role of head roaster. Mastering the role of roaster of the perfect bean was helped by Allen’s years in IT, where he had to learn fast. “l like roasting, it’s interesting and I find it cathartic.” Allen uses Fair Trade organic Specialty Coffee Arabica beans and records everything carefully.

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Wild Tomato December 2017  

WildTomato is Nelson & Marlborough's magazine. We focus on inspiring journalism, stunning photography and beautiful design. www.wildtomato.c...