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Taranaki Stories: Ozone Coffee Roasters

Karla Gichard reckons there’s more than just good coffee being brewed at Ozone Coffee Roasters’ funky Bean Store cafe in the heart of New Plymouth’s fashionable West End Precinct.

“There’s a real energy and positivity to Taranaki and some unique and innovative ideas are coming out of the region,” says Karla, a former Ozone Coffee Roasters general manager and chief executive who is now company chair.

“A lot of those ideas are being generated in the Bean Store as people have meetings and develop new business opportunities – it’s a real hub for people.”

That’s no surprise, as for more than 20 years Ozone has been a key player in the resurgence and development of Taranaki’s now diverse and vibrant hospitality
scene. The company has kept locals and visitors well caffeinated via the range of single and blended coffee it roasts at its green bean and roasting division nestled behind the Bean Store.

In recent years, Ozone has also taken its successful and uniquely Taranaki brand and style to the world – opening two roasteries and restaurants in London, a roastery and restaurant in Auckland, and acquiring specialist coffee roastery Has Bean Coffee, in Stafford, north of London.

On top of that, it has developed sister company West Coast Cocoa, a hot chocolate and chai supply business that supplies Ozone’s international businesses.

“For the first 10 years we were seen as a rather provincial roastery,” says Karla. “But expanding internationally and in Auckland has given us additional credibility. We’re very proud of our success.”

Throughout its evolution from a three-person operation to a staff of 150, Ozone has stuck to its core values of being ethical and sustainable.

“Ozone started out as a very small company, but one that had a big heart. That hasn’t changed and it’s been the key to building a good reputation,” Karla says.

“Our business philosophy comes down to three key things – people, planet and profit. You need all three to be successful.”

That means sourcing at origin, ethically and sustainably produced coffee beans, building a close relationship with the farmers around the world who grow the beans, paying them a fair price to help make a difference in their lives, and helping people within the company “grow and shine”.

To stay at the forefront of the coffee business, Ozone has also been innovative. It was one of the first to introduce cutting-edge milk systems to New Zealand, distributes world-class brew equipment, has migrated to a global server to ensure there’s better communication across the team, and is investing heavily in online platforms to supply customers internationally in a COVID-19 world.

Karla says Ozone’s success is proof you can build an international career while enjoying a great lifestyle in a regional city.

“As a company we have strong aspirations but our roots remain in Taranaki. Since day one, we’ve been embraced by Taranaki and we have embraced Taranaki, whether that’s through providing employment or helping people establish new cafes by sharing insights into doing business in our region and the hospitality industry.”

“There’s a really strong connection with the community here.”

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Tony Skilling

Taranaki Real Estate Consultant
Arizto, Licensed REAA 2008
Mobile: 020 486 6975
Email: [email protected]