“I grew up in Dunedin and loved it down there. I was heavily into sport, I competed all around the world. I ended up based in Australia in 1990, and in 1994 I was in Germany trying to qualify for the Commonwealth Games and I injured my shoulder. I was a javelin thrower. 

I ended up playing rugby, played for Queensland a few games and then snapped my collarbone in 1995. So left collarbone, right shoulder. I got involved in sport administration and worked there until 2004. I was desperate to come home, I really missed New Zealand. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy Australia, there’s just too many things that will kill you over there.

Many of the things I learnt along the way, I get to pass on to the kids that I coach now. As a coach you’re always trying to find how that athlete responds best, and you’ve just gotta keep changing your hat to find it. I really get a kick from an athlete coming back and they’ve done their best throw. And that smile and the sheer joy, that can’t be beaten. 

I came to Christchurch in 2004. Oddly enough I was fully intending to move back to Dunedin in 2005, but then I met my wife. 

When the earthquakes hit, It was the moment that probably changed my life in many ways. I didn’t know what I was going to do. I was going to take a sabbatical and just chill out until I found it. 

A friend of mine said, ‘can you run my skate and snowboard store?’ I ended up doing that for 18 months and really enjoyed it, but one day, the guy who was turning up every day to sell me a coffee had ‘for sale’ on his van. I virtually bought it on the spot.

I knew nothing about coffee, but I like challenges, and I like learning about stuff. It was a little S-cargo van. That began the path to learning about coffee, we spent a long time learning about how it works. It’s really easy to make a bad coffee, and I’ve probably made my fair share along the way, but the challenge was how to make a really good coffee.”

– Paul

Charity registration number: CC57701