As part of our 25th birthday celebrations, we've been lucky enough to be given some extra love by some of our favourite local foodies: Wellington Chocolate Factory, Garage Project and Good Fortune Coffee Co.
As a nod to the release of the Sixth Sense Coffee Blend, we asked Good Fortune co-owner Matt Wilson to tell us a bit about the Petone-based roastery and why ethical coffee is where is his heart is.
Good Fortune Coffee owners Matt Wilson & Freya Atkinson at Seahore Cabaret
Setting up a roastery: an easy decision
Matt Wilson has been in the café industry for over half his life. And he's only 39.
After opening his first cafe at 17, Matt has co-owned a number of classic Wellington eateries, such as Deluxe, Maranui Cafe and Queen Sally's Diamond Deli. The latest edition? Seashore Cabaret, which overlooks the Petone foreshore. It's here at the Seashore Cabaret that the small coffee roastery lives. He co-owns it with Freya Atkinson.
Set up just this year, Good Fortune offers a key point of difference in Wellington's diverse and dynamic coffee-roasting scene: their coffee is certified fairtrade and organic and Living Wage. Matt's decision to set up Good Fortune was simple. “I love coffee," he says. "It’s what I know”.
Organic, Fairtrade, Living Wage
Making ethical coffee is really important to Good Fortune. They were the first coffee roastery in Aotearoa to receive a living wage accreditation.
"Fairtrade is looking after the farmers at the beginning," Matt says. "It makes sense to tie in the workers at the end of the process. And Fairtrade and organic? They go hand in hand. You can't separate them."
What gets Matt's blood pumping? The creativity and challenge of getting beautifully designed and delicious-tasting coffee to customers. The idea of creating a special coffee blend for our birthday really appealed to his sense of adventure.
"I love what you guys are doing," Matt says. "We have a really talented designer, Sam O'Leary, and I was drawn to the challenge of making up the brand quickly and getting to Commonsense quickly."
Inspired by vintage palmistry and advertising materials, Sam O'Leary's designs are part of what make Good Fortune coffees so unique. Sam is now based in San Francisco, where he sourced inspiration for the fortunes contained in each bag of coffee.
The Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Company was opened in 1962 and is now a famous San Francisco visitor attraction. After taking a tour of the premises, Sam sat down with the mother of the owner Franklin Yee and compiled a list of her favourite fortunes. These became the basis of the Good Fortune Coffee predictions. We love them!
Matt's top tips for expert coffee-making at home
In a city full of perfect short blacks and immaculate flat whites, we're always interested in gathering some new tips for making the strong black stuff at home. Matt's happy to help.
The secret? It's really in the freshness of the coffee, Matt says. "Coffee is at its best 5-10 days after roasting. In Seashore Cabaret we wait for five days to use it. The flavour changes quite dramatically: it starts off tasting green and very acidic. The flavour starts to deteriorate after two weeks. By the time it reaches Commonsense stores, our coffee is really at its peak."
Next up, Matt recommends investing in a grinder for home. Whether for plunger or expresso, freshly-ground coffee really makes a huge difference.
Finally, we ask Matt what what magic power he would choose as his sixth sense. His answer really encapsulates what Good Fortune Coffee Company is all about. "Saving the planet," Matt says, a little wryly. "It’s the most important thing."