In the two years Georgia on Tennyson has been open, Benny (owner operator) has made a name for himself as one of the most dedicated baristas in town. He weighs his beans whole before grinding, he times each and every shot of coffee that goes through his main espresso machine (“main” implying the presence of another), he voluntarily educates staff that don’t work for him (I know because they’re my colleagues), and his coffee is amazing. Always. But his product speaks for itself. What I really wanted to know was the story behind the name “Georgia”. Spoiler alert: once you read what the logo represents you’ll wonder why I even had to ask.

How many other contenders were there for names before Georgia on Tennyson, why didn’t you choose them, and why did you choose Georgia over them all? We have three sons, and Georgia was always lead contender for a girls name if it came to be. In this case it wasn’t, so we applied it to the shop. Perfect fit with a family twist.

What exactly made it so clear that this was the name for your brand? We bandied about a bunch of different names early on. The name is key. Simplicity, and the ability to recognise a brand often either stems from the name, or a memorable logo/emblem. This was elegant, had a family reference and ties in (roughly) with the Deco City theme.

To some (and by some I mean me), Georgia might come across as an obscure reference – there is nothing in Hawke’s Bay that immediately relates, and the only other obvious connections are the US State, the country, and the woman’s name. How do you feel about this obscurity/potential confusion? Yeah this is true, and I guess that in this case it’s the obscurity which has lead you to investigate our story further, and ultimately commit it to memory, no? The name evokes varying responses depending on who you talk to. This in itself I believe is very valuable and vindicates our choice.

Do you have a personal nickname for Georgia? GoT? Georgie? Yeah we’ve heard it be called all sorts, actually. Everyone has their own moniker for it which is kinda nice, and means people have really bought into our ideal. Like family. My fave is the G-spot.

What do you think of when you hear the word Georgia and what do you hope your clientele/customers think? Because I know the back story with the name it makes more sense to me, for sure, but what it also does is create a point of difference, and a reason for people’s interest to be piqued. I hope people associate the name with quality, consistency and style.

What made you decide to include the location in the name of your cafe (“on Tennyson”)? This is partly to make it super simple for locals to locate us, and it also plays into our model, where we hope to replicate the site and expand the brand in the long term (think “Georgia on High St” etc.).

What does the hexagon-esque shape containing the G in your logo represent? I’m a huge fan of geometric shapes, and in this case our logo loosely represents a vintage 8-sided espresso Mokka pot (looking down on it) with a golden drop of java. Cool, huh? Also, with “Georgia” being heavily feminine we wanted to balance this out with a bold, masculine logo. An elegant solution to make sure we appeal to a broader market and avoid isolating any group or demographic. We get a very broad range of clientele from a wide spectrum of backgrounds. From young mums out for morning walks with friends, to local attorneys and similar professionals. Coffee geeks and hipsters getting their single origin on, to high school kids getting their large mochas in their lunch breaks. We get a really nice cross section of customers which leads me to think we’re doing it right.

How did you come to choose the font and colours for your logo and branding? How do you feel these details represent your brand? We worked really closely with a local freelance graphic designer. We worked through a ton of mock ups, all the while making sure we were referencing the original project brief. We wanted the branding to exude vintage style, class and sharp simplicity. The other consideration is that the building we’re in is a listed heritage building and we wanted something that would be in keeping with the design of the facade, without being tacky deco. Easier said than done, but I feel like we nailed it.

How important are fonts to you and how do you feel about comic sans? Haha, comic sans reminds me of fifth form science assignment covers. I guess that answers your question, too. Fonts can conjure up feelings, good or otherwise, making them a key component of building your brand. So yeah, fonts are really important.

Images taken by yours truly (hire me!) but you should definitely check out Georgia’s social media.

4 thoughts on “What’s Your Name? GEORGIA ON TENNYSON

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