Fightback against the $5 flat white: Hamilton cafe offers $2.50 coffees

By Ged Cann -
Coffix franchisees Thomas De Garnham and Adi Malal celebrate breaking even in only three weeks thanks to their $2.50 coffees.
Coffix franchisees Thomas De Garnham and Adi Malal celebrate breaking even in only three weeks thanks to their $2.50 coffees.

Caffeine addicts of Hamilton rejoice - there's a new cafe on Alexandra St and it's making coffees for $2.50.

What's more, they aren't charging any extra for takeaway cups, soy milk, syrup shots or an extra coffee shot.

Coffix cafe is the first branch of the company outside Auckland, and since the cafe opened its doors three weeks ago franchisee Thomas De Garnham said they had already broken even, covering their set up costs in less than a month.

"You can get a triple-shot soy mocha and it will be $2.50," Thomas said.

The only extra charge is for almond milk or coconut milk, which cost an extra dollar owing to the price of the product.

Coffix is coming up to its second birthday and currently already has four kiosk outlets in Auckland. The Hamilton outlet is the first walk-in Coffix establishment.

"The logical move would have been Wellington but we thought Hamilton deserved some love," Thomas said.

How do they deliver a good coffee for $2.50? Thomas said once you get beyond the "Kiwi $5 flat white mentality" it isn't all that hard.

"The main thing is people pay way too much for coffee... When we started up a lot of people told us we couldn't do it, but you can get a coffee in Europe for the equivalent of a couple of dollars.

"We roast our own coffee in Auckland, but the main secret is we keep our overheads really low."

These include only operating as a takeaway, meaning staffing costs are kept to a minimum and the costs of licensing and set up costs are negligible compared to sit-down establishments.

"We are not having to wash dishes so we don't need a grease trap or any of the other things other cafes need."

It would seem Coffix already has fans, with more than 50 10-coffee concession cards already being sold to regulars.

"Students are beginning to catch on, but most of our customers come from the offices," Thomas said.

If the demand keeps up Thomas said it wouldn't be long before Coffix began considering a second venue at the university or Te Rapa.

The company is also currently looking at sourcing biodegradable packaging.

The coffee is fair trade and Thomas said some time this year the company would be going organic as well.

"We are looking at getting more gluten-free, dairy-free and raw options for the food," he said.

Since opening Thomas estimated that 70 per cent of sales had come from coffee while 30 per cent was from food.

The standard coffee is served in an eight ounce cup, with the larger 12 ounce costing an extra dollar.

"The hardest part is that people perceive is as - dare I say it - cheap. They see our sign and think it won't be as good, when in fact we are on par or better than other cafes."

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