#meeting – Kristal Hale Cargo Coffee

#meeting - Kristal Hale Cargo Coffee

23rd April 2013

Proved to be a very busy day for me. As well as attending the Digital Art Live events being hosted around Florent Aziosmanoff’s visit to Auckland I arranged a sit down with the owner/operator of Cargo Coffee ,Kristal Hale.

Over the past three years Kristal has turned her pop up coffee stand into something of an institution on Shortland St. I recently moved to the area and fast became an avid fan of the street-side coffee joint. The timing of my discovery of Cargo Coffee was rather inspired with regard to the Guerrilla Play Spaces brief.

I immediately identified Kristal as a key oppourtunity for collaboration and advice surrounding our idea to implement a play centric cafe. So one day whilst picking up a delectable cup of Kokako coffee’s cold brew I whittled a mention of our Guerrilla play spaces brief into friendly cash register chit chat and set up an advice slash ideas meeting with my friendly neighborhood barista.

Conversation largely centered around the legislation/protocol aspects /policy encountered by pop-up cafes and the Auckland Council’s approach to such endeavors. Kristal proved to be a mind of information when it came to the process of setting up a pop up cafe . Hearing about her experiences with the initial setup of Cargo Coffee and her recent dilemma regarding the termination of her tenancy on the current cafe site proved to be exceedingly valuable and will definitely inform our future design decisions regarding our cafe concept .

Below are some key points that emerged from our coffee fueled chat :

– Street Trading Licenses in Auckland CBD are no longer since the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

– Any structure over 1.7m tall qualifies as a building and is therefore subject to the resource consent process. (6-8 weeks process duration)

– After obtaining resource consent if you are not physically building a structure (ie. using a container ) you must apply for a building exemption.(2 weeks process duration)

-Historic places /shops are the only exemptions to street vending criteria .(Ie.white swan takeaway truck)

-Leasing private property is another possibly fruitful avenue to research when acquiring space for guerrilla projects. ( Cargo was set up on private land)

– There is a great new pop up container coffee shop worth checking out in Waterview

– The CBD is entrenched in legislation and paper barriers if we were doing this in the suburbs things would be much more simple.

– Coffee is a bug bear of Auckland Council. They believe there are too many coffee shops in the CBD .

– If your coffee shop is to be on public/shared land it cannot be within 300 – 500m of another coffee shop. Bit of a challenge in the CBD. For example there are 11 coffee outlets on lower Shortland St alone ,a road stretch of about 200m .

– Being NFP (Not For Profit ) and for the good of the community will seriously help us get around the council’s issue with coffee shops. The more beneficial ,educational , eco-friendly ,Fair – Trade the better!

– Sticking under the 1.7m height mark will make things a whole lot simpler for us.

– Food carts could be a go-er

– Anything temporary or on wheels is more likely to get approval.

– Would have far more luck with a caravan or food truck than a container.Not just with the council but also with physical logistics,containers aren’t as easy to move as they appear.

-The idea of temporality is an interesting one. Cargo coffee was originally set up as a moveable pop-up . However, it is now semi-permanent having occupied the same location for 3 years and having built up a strong location specific community.

– The idea of multiple installations / events is great for inspiring connection across the geographic areas of the CBD.

– The are on Lorne St we are interested in working on has just recently been made a public space . This is good .

– Water ,Power and Waste . Three big things that are easy to forget in design but SUPER important.

– Wynyard Quarter could be worth considering. They have containers available for lease there. Which are intended for community use.

– Frith Walker is responsible for the management of Wynyard quarter and a good contact

-Auckland is all about “Who you know ” when it comes to getting approval and support. -Having a Luke and his team behind us will be super helpful .

– Setting up and developing a brand community is a really important step. “You will be surprised how many people buy in to your idea and offer you support ”

– Food and Beverage stalls are allowed to be set up within existing buildings . (ie. All the cafes in corporate foyers)

– Kokako Coffee and All Good Organics are great people to collaborate with and also totally on the fair trade ,conscious consumer , healthy bandwagon . The two companies are also run by the same guys. Kristal knows them personally and is sure they would be sure keen to jump on board our project.

– “The Food Box ” in Paris is a great project to check out.
(can’t find the link…will check with Kristal )

– Also “Section 8 ” Melbourne

Lots to think about .


– a-


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