Amidst the everyday madness of running their own business, Kate Bloomfield and Michelle Burns stop for a moment to observe the bustling scene going on behind the counter. Suits, hi-vis, mums and bubs, sweethearts, black coffee drinkers, green tea sippers. MADE Espresso Bar on Cashel Street attracts a diverse range of city goers, united by a love for good food, lovely brews and warm service. The co-owners agree there is nothing more satisfying than looking out at the assortment of people sitting down nattering away and realising that they've created something rather special.
Kate and Michelle met back when Kate was working in Michelle's neighbourhood deli. All it took was a coffee order to spark a conversation and the two were away laughing. Michelle began working at that same deli every Sunday and in between serving customers, talk of starting up something of their own began - and after a long two year process, MADE opened.
While the city indulge in their last few hours of sleep, Kate and her apron are in the kitchen at 5.30am stocking the cabinet with wholesome goods - when you believe in providing your customers with nothing but the best, there are no short cuts (or sleep ins). MADE make everything onsite and you'll be pleased to find the word 'organic' in front of the ingredients in their cupboard. Oh and yes, they offer trim milk (organic, of course).
Michelle works the 'mum hours', keeping the rush of customers happy in between dropping off and picking up her kids. In the lead up to reopening, Michelle and her Pinterest account were having quite the fling. While Kate was more interested in moving in as soon as possible and just turning that machine on, Michelle was having a rare old time picking out colours and decorations to adorn the café. The combination of greenery, brass accents, blues and whites, and coffee served in dainty teacups has given the space a fresh and modern, yet quaint, rustic and cosy energy - it's simply unique to the city.
You'll always spot a slice of banana bread, a slab of gluten free brownie, and a chunky chocolate afghan on offer at the café. "When we first started, the plan was to just do coffee and a little bit of food on the side, but we were amazed at how 50/50 it is when it comes to serving both." Alongside the sweet staples, Kate and Michelle mix it up on the daily with a selection of seriously good salads, bagels and sammies using bread from local baker, Grizzly Bagel (Kate swears by the stuff), and soup du jour during the chilly months.
Obviously there have been challenges throughout -- we'd all be a bit suspicious if there weren't! "Back when we were just starting out it was a bit of a struggle and there were moments when we wondered if we would ever really make it back into the centre. It was all a matter of trusting ourselves and believing in our ability to call the shots and do things our way."
This September, MADE turns one and Kate and Michelle are planning something special to say thank you to all of their wonderful regulars (and newcomers too, of course). It's all rather hush, hush at the moment, but you may be seeing a little bit more of MADE around Christchurch in the coming years. It's definitely a space to watch. Quick fire:Favourite Central City spot at the moment?Kate
: We've been to O.G.B a few times which was great... To be honest we don't get out much because we're on the floor everyday and sleeping in the weekends.Michelle:
The Colombo. What's your go to winter dish?Kate:
I've been eating a whole heap of daal with turmericMichelle:
A nice Moroccan stew with veges and beans... Mmm...The best thing to do in Christchurch during winter is...Kate:
Visiting the Christchurch Art Gallery and walking around Hagley on a crisp morning.Michelle:
Going to the Canterbury Museum.What's your current obsession?Kate:
Anna Jones - she's an English vegetarian chef, food stylist and vegetable devotee. I'm obsessed with her book "A Modern Way to Cook".Michelle:
Coriander and my Vitamix (coriander, mint, cucumber, coconut water - blend it all up and YUM).Favourite piece of street art around town?Both:
Everything is going to be Alright.