A little over a month ago, the team at Streamline Espresso shared a link to Stuff’s Love Your Local Awards on their Facebook page and asked Wairarapa, “Do we deserve your vote?”
It turns out that the staff of the silver bullet coffee caravan did indeed deserve locals’ votes and they’ve been announced as the winner of the Wellington regional prize for front-of-house service.
Business owner Jean Jenkinson said she and the team are stoked with the win, but she was also quick to add that it reflects the family-like relationship they have with their customers.
“The past few years have been really trying for everybody,” said Jenkinson.
“We pretty much treat everyone like they are friends, and we get to know all their names and have a joke around with them.”
A couple of their regulars have also gotten good at “giving it back”, Jenkinson laughed.
Streamline Espresso has been operating for over five years in the Epiphany Church carpark in Solway, Masterton.
The team comprises Jenkinson and her daughter Tianna Jenkinson, along with long-time staff member – and “part of the furniture” – Jenna O’Donnell.
Jenkinson said that for them, the business is about setting people up for the day “with a coffee and a smile”.
“If someone comes in and they don’t look happy, we’ve got to make sure they smile before they leave, you know – like, that’s the goal.”
This dynamic is apparent even in the 20 minutes the Times-Age interview takes place, with one customer quick to offer up congratulations on the award.
Normally two people will work for the busy morning shift, and Jenkinson guessed they pour a couple of hundred coffees every morning.
“Jen and I’ve been doing it together for so many years, there’s almost this waltz between us,” said Jenkinson.
“There isn’t a lot of space in there, there’s no way you could have two people in there that didn’t get on.”
Also chuffed with the local win is Masterton Mayor Gary Caffell, who said he’d heard from “the man on the street” that it is a special place.
“It’s great for a small business, it just shows how you how much they are appreciated by the people.”
Although Caffell hadn’t yet visited, he has given his assurance he is planning to head there at some point and offer up congratulations.
“Not being a coffee drinker myself I haven’t tried it, but they’ll be on the list now for sure.”