20 years of Kōkako

Celebrating 20 Years 

They say it takes a village to raise a child and that was certainly the case when Kōkako was just a fledgling. We’ve taken a moment to reflect on where we’ve come from and celebrate those who have joined us on the journey. Come along for the ride.


Auckland's first
organic coffee roaster

Helen and Christian, inspired by their recent trip to Europe, their passion for organics and a kōkako bird recovery programme translocation, release Kōkako to the world in Auckland's Aotea Square.


Kōkako's first
permanent home

Onwards and upwards, Helen and Christian take over a small café on the corner of Parnell Road and Ayr Street in Parnell that still serves Kōkako beans to this day!


Backing up our

With a growing family, Helen and Christian handed Mike the reins to Kōkako in 2007. By 2009 Mike had the Kōkako supply chain third-party certified through BioGro NZ and Fairtrade. We've worn these certifications with pride ever since.


Setting up shop in
the old post office

The Kōkako team swiftly transformed the old Grey Lynn community hub into a light, airy and welcoming café space, with a focus on serving great coffee and vegetarian food. Our office team moved in upstairs and we roasted inside the café initially before moving the roaster across the road into an old car garage.


Moving to compostable packaging

We partnered with Kiwi-owned packaging business, Convex, to develop a compostable packaging solution suitable for the coffee industry. We still use their packaging today, which is all made in their Hamilton factory.


Becoming climate

Knowing there are unavoidable carbon emissions in our supply chain, Kōkako helped Fairtrade Netherlands adapt their carbon offsetting system for the New Zealand market. We've been offsetting our carbon ever since.


Growing up

We outgrow the roastery across the road from the Grey Lynn café and jump at the opportunity to expand into a bigger space in Mt Eden. With that, the Grey Lynn café is sold to excellent operators who uphold the Kōkako standard.


Bucket scheme

In October 2019 we launched our first fleet of buckets after our team questioned why we were bagging local delivery orders into 1kg bags when we could take advantage of visiting our Auckland wholesale cafe customers twice a week. By October 2020 68% of our customers were on board and over 8,000+ single-use bags were avoided.


Commercial Bay

When we heard about Commercial Bay opening in downtown Auckland, we thought this could be the moment to open an innovative flagship coffee bar in the city — something that had been on our wishlist for years. With the help of some talented friends, we installed a counter made of 8880+ used 2L plastic milk bottles, and kitted out the space with the best gear around to bring a considered speciality coffee experience to the people.

Countless great people have been a part of the Kōkako journey. We interviewed 20 of them... it just felt like the right number.