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Nick Clark

Nick Clark

It was stated that Wellington coffee is now officially the best in the country after Flight Coffee's Nick Clark took out the national barista title for 2013.

Let's see what Nick has to say about his experiences.

Tell us a bit about yourself, where you grew up, which school you attended etc

My names Nick Clark, I’m 25, born in Hamilton and have been living in Wellington for the last 6 years. I grew up in Hamilton, my parents live in Tamahere which is based in between Hamilton and Cambridge. I attended Hillcrest high school, it was awesome.

How did you first get into your line of work and what is your current title?

I’ve always been a foodie thanks to my parents who love to cook. When I was 16 my friend was telling me about a job he had working at a cafe/bistro where he was the dishy but also got to plate up all the deserts. I went in and mentioned I’m keen for work and landed a job out the front. After a few months of hard work (part-time while still at high school) They started to teach me how to make coffee and it kind of just started from there.

My current title at work is Owner and Director of Flight Coffee Limited, the Hangar Limited and New Zealand Specialty Coffee Imports Limited.

Who are some of the people who have influenced you in your work life?

Mum and dad for starters, Penny and Roger Clark. Both are incredibly smart and hard working and have been a huge inspiration to me.

What are some of your major achievements to date?

This year I won the New Zealand Barista Championship and then went on to place 5th in the world out of 54 other countries. All of our companies are doing well, growing at steady speed and producing awesome results. Our cafes have won awards in previous years for best cafe in Wellington along with a few of our baristas.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

Haha not working? I’m currently starting to get into mountain biking, I go to the gym and love to cook. I’ve got a dog so I spend a lot of time with him when I’m not working and I’m about to start learning Spanish.

What are your goals for the short term? and long term what are your dreams?

Goals for the next few years are to become the face of Specialty Coffee in New Zealand. We’re committed to raising the bar of our industry and smashing the expectations out of the water. We’re looking to expand out importing business, looking to form new relationships with coffee farmers all over the world and working with them to develop their coffee.

My dream would be to see us established overseas, roasting ad importing. Along with having a few warehouses around the world with a full supply chain of green specialty coffee which is able to be sold to any country and any roaster. We want to connect more people to the farmer and help create a more fluid and transparent supply chain.

What advice could you give young people who want to get into your line of work?

Hurry up and get started! Start asking for jobs at your favourite cafes/roasteries. The best way to learn is to just get involved but with the right people/companies. And my main piece of advice is never stop learning, never stop asking questions and never ever think that you’re finished ;).

What is your favourite food?

Marmite + Avocado + Vogels all together.

Do you have an embarrassing moment that you would like to share with us?

I do alot of our design work for our companies. When I recently designed our new menues at the Hangar I misspelt banana, I wrote bananah – with and ‘h’, got a whole bunch printed and we didn’t notice for a week. That was pretty shame!

Thank you for your time today Nick.

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