Hawthorne Coffee Roasters Ecoware takeaway cups and packaging

Hawthorne Coffee Roasters in Havelock North is a Hawke’s Bay institution, established in 1999 and still going strong 17 years later. After travelling Europe and running an accommodation business in Scotland,  Tom Ormond along with his wife Benita came home and took ownership of Hawthorne in 2006. Tom  –  roaster, barista, coffee machine technician, packaging expert, and delivery boy – talks about rebranding, what the name means to him and Benita, and their #famous takeaway coffee cups. 

Hawthorne Coffee Roasters ecoware takeaway cup

Where does the name Hawthorne come from? The name Hawthorne originated from Hawthorne House which is a grand old Edwardian villa on the outskirts of Havelock North. The first Hawthorne beans were roasted there back in 1999 before the roastery moved to its current premises on Napier road in 2001.

Hawthorne cafe, Havelock North

What do you think of when you hear the name Hawthorne and what do you hope your clientele/customers think? Well, I was chatting to my wife Benita about this and and she came up with this stream-of-consciousness type response . I think she nailed it:

“Warm and inviting, creative and social, steadfast and authentic. Hawthorne is family. She is local, national and humble. Hawthorne cares first for the people – putting the shine into your rise. A glow in your eyes and a warmth in your belly. Uniting the village and coffee community with the world via 1st class beans and blends. Hawthorne is like the roaster, a toasty warm oven. Hawthorne is social, awake, energetic and professional. She eases through her day in her most relaxed and approachable style. Being helpful. Hawthorne likes to be flexible and relevant. She is creative and loves art, design and technology. Hawthorne works hard to stay authentic and remain steadfast. To be as good as she can be. She is strong, she grows and thrives organically.”

Your coffee cups have been featured on the Coffee Cups Of The World Instagram twice! Can you elaborate on what made you choose to feature artwork on your cups instead of just your own branding, and talk a little bit about your current cup design? Benita and I love art and design and we just saw an opportunity to use the cups as a blank canvas and put something a little different and eye-catching on them. For the first run of ‘art cups’ we used a couple of images from a friend of ours John Brown.

For the latest series we swapped our cup supplier to Ecoware, whose cups are compostable. We took the whole eco-friendly theme and (without wanting to be too cheesy) have tried to celebrate our planet by having beautiful images that incorporate the sun, sea, flora and fauna, landscape etc. The ‘moon cup’ image is the view from the moon looking back at our planet and ourselves. We had to buy that image from National Geographic and it’s a famous photo by Charles Bittinger. I guess by making a habit of not fully covering our cups with our own brand, that in itself has become our branding. We like to be a bit playful with Hawthorne and takeaway cups are a neat way to do that.

Hawthorne Coffee Roasters Ecoware takeaway cups

Do you get much customer response about the cups? The reaction to our cups has been really positive. People like that we have done something a little different. “Beautiful” is a common response. We wanted them to look beautiful and timeless so hopefully they do!

You did a rebrand sometime within the last four years, what was the reason for it? When we took over the reigns of Hawthorne back in 2006, the brand, although working successfully, didn’t necessarily reflect who we were and where we saw the business going in the future.

Hawthorne Coffee Roasters packaging

What is the story behind the classical style of illustration that is part of your branding? We really wanted to portray a sort of timelessness. Something that you could look at and keep looking at that was interesting as opposed to just a logo. The illustration perhaps looks a bit like Hawthorne sounds and it something you can dive into and see that there is also something quite futuristic about it as well as old. It was done by a friend and ex-employee Zoe Chisholm. She got to know us well and what the company was all about and she did a fantastic job of turning our vision of the brand into what we see now.

How did you come to choose the font and colours for your logo and branding? How do you feel these details represent your brand? The only thing that we haven’t messed with is the font for ‘Hawthorne’. This is really the logo I suppose and has become pretty iconic. We like it and want that to stay consistent all the while having free reign to play with all the other artwork we use in our branding.

How important are fonts to you and how do you feel about comic sans? Fonts are very important. I love how a terrible font can cause such a strong negative reaction in some people or awe in others if it’s done really well.  Comic sans should only be used in preschools.

Images via Hawthorne’s website / Instagram plus a few pro ones kindly provided by Tom.

My Happy Place: Ella O’Dowd at CRAZY GOOD

Ella O'Dowd at Crazy Good

We started coming here on a regular basis when Gus (son) was 3 – 4 months old. As soon as he started getting fussy Ryan (barista/manager) would pick him up, take him by the coffee machine, chill him out, show him the buttons, everything.

I think making coffee while I was pregnant set Gus in good stead for being calm around the machine, the grinder, and the noise, so now he loves it. To this day Crazy Good (Ahuriri) is one of Gus’ favourite places to go. He just feels at home and Ryan’s so awesome with him. I consider him a mate now as well. Ryan’s a dude.

Today I’m drinking turmeric because I’ve had coffee overload. Usually I drink a regular flat white. Ryan nails it every single time. I love Origin Earth milk and sometimes I feel like an easier blend so Firsthand is perfect for that. I can do four coffees in a day no worries but I’m trying to be a bit conscious about it.

Usually I meet up with my friend Elizabeth who works at Wright & Co. We have a bit of a natter, generally a couple of coffees, an almond croissant and then a takeaway coffee to go down to the park. That’s the other great thing about this place. When Gus does start getting a bit annoying – you can put that in there, ANNOYING – we can just go for a walk to the park because its right there.

I think if you start taking kids out to places like this from a young age then they’re going to have respect for places like this later on.

Gus knows that he cant run around and scream. It’s good training for Gus. No doubt he’s gonna be a hospo kid through and through.

We just saw like, four regulars. Oh Napier – everyone’s here. I do like the fact that when I come in I see some of my regulars and we have a bit of banter about the fact that they’re here because I’m not at Smith’s or sometimes they come here because I am at Smith’s.

I like that our regulars are regulars at lots of different places because Napier is so small and it’s really hard in hospitality. We need people to be supporting everyone. I really like supporting small businesses. I know that Al’s (Al Borrie, owner of Crazy Good, Firsthand Coffee, and Box Espresso) got a young family as well so I want to support him.

As told by Ella O’Dowd, manager at F.G. Smith Eatery / eatdrinksharehb

What’s Your Name? BESTIE

bestie lightbox

Shout out to all the branding nerds out there – this segment is for you (and me because I’m one too). In our first What’s Your Name, Emma Lyell – fellow hospo kid and co-owner/operator/qween b of Bestie cafe in St Kevin’s Arcade, Auckland – responds to questions I already knew the answers to because she’s hospitable like that.

bestie menu

How many other contenders were there for names before Bestie? There were soooo many! I think choosing a name was the hardest bit of all and probably caused the most controversy out of everything we did –  even more than painting the walls peachy!

One name that we liked was Wiz (after our cat and of course, Harry Potter) but that got crushed by one statement from none other than Mr Sean Burns (ex-boss and Napier restauranteur) who said ‘oh like, taking a wizz on K Road!?’  Which was a fair point.

From there it was  on to Luna, Potter (seeing a wizard theme here!?) and something to do with ‘Uncle Kev’ but they just didn’t feel quite right. Finally we settled on ‘Personal Best’.

This was meant to be a little play on words and a theme, as we are both very much not competitive people. We thought it was a cute name and I loved the association with those little ribbons you get when you win something and also just a little bit of a joke. But after some MAJOR critical feedback we decided to shorten it. When we decided on Bestie it felt like a lightbulb moment! So perfect for us – short and sweet.

bestie takeout cups

What exactly was it about the word “bestie” that made it so clear this was the name for your business? I think it was really just the way it fit into everything perfectly. We wanted to be a place to go with your bestie and hopefully be your local. We liked the way it looked and felt. 

My main thing is that I can’t handle it when places take themselves too seriously, so it had to be playful.

 What do you think of when you hear the word Bestie and what do you hope your clientele think? I think that it feels really cozy and friendly! I really do have so many of my besties (new and old) coming in and for me it feels like a second home so the name suits.

I can’t speak for the clientele but I hope they feel welcome and that it’s a fun place, like going to a friend’s house but with table service!

And for those who don’t like us or what we are doing it’s easy enough to change the name to ‘beasties’!! Actually that’s our plan for Halloween!

bestie cafe outsideHow did you come to choose the font and colours for your logo? Tane (boyf and co-owner/operator) did up a shortlist of fonts and we chose from those. Colour wise it’s always been peach for me with the deep green to stop it from going full girly. Also we are pretty plant obsessed so that just ties in easily. The aim is not to have too many different colours happening.

bestie menus

How important are fonts to you? Pretty up there ’cause first impressions right? I have been planning to have my own cafe or bar forever so I had a clear vision of how I wanted those things to look. Because Tane and I have quite a similar style and vision (and he’s a designer) it all came together super easily. I’m no font nerd, but I hate things that aren’t necessary so I like very simple easy to read styles.

How do you feel about comic sans? I have strong feelings against comic sans because I’m not 10.

Images via Bestie FB / Instagram with a couple from these two lovely ladies ❤️