In 2011 large parts of Christchurch city were tragically flattened by an earthquake. In just a few seconds, many people’s lives were
A few years passed, buildings were pulled down, the ground was cleared for a new Christchurch. In 2014, Bink Bowler, our founder, arrived in Christchurch with a vision to build a new series of “coffee shops” for a new city. Like everything in the city, they would keep the idea of ‘the future’ in mind.
Luke Bowler, brother to Bink and Reuben Thorne, Canterbury’s son got involved and in late 2014 the first Black & White Coffee Cartel began to build. In February 2015 it opened at 83 Victoria St in the City.
The store opened loud and proud, immediately becoming iconic & loved by the people of Christchurch. It was among the first of the notable new cafes to grace Christchurch, kicking off a new café culture for a new city. It was and still is “just for the people that come here”.
Black & White Coffee Cartel Vision
Over the first year in the business, the guys prepared to expand via the franchise business model and founded Black & White Systems, the franchise division of Black & White Coffee Cartel alongside Alan and Raphael.
Recognising that the ‘old coffee franchises’ of New Zealand were tired and boring, the guys developed what would become New Zealand’s first micro-roasting coffee franchise, meaning each location would roast coffee on site, in full view of the guests. There was to be no cookie cutter approach, the philosophy is to bring “the funky, independent coffee shop” to the masses. Just like the original, the music would be louder, the service personal, the food individual to the location, the walls brighter, the furniture from different eras and the coffee prepared by creative baristas that are “just like you”.
In 2016 Chris Meyer signed up with Black & White Coffee Cartel becoming the first licensee of the Black & White Coffee Cartel group. From here, recruitment of franchisees began, they call them “Cartel Bosses”. Stores continued to open, with new franchisees signing up in Christchurch and now in the wider South Island, the recruitment process moves forward.
The vision of bringing the personality and charm of the independent coffee shop to the masses was going to be hard, it is contradictory. But the guys have pressed ahead delivering what they care and believe in, and their story unfolds as you read this, so pop into your nearest Black & White Coffee Cartel to understand their idea.