a decent conversation with Goodness Gracious.
Based in the beautiful Tāmaki Makaurau, we're excited to introduce you to one of our longest serving decent customers, Goodness Gracious! With three must-visit coffee and bagel spots across Auckland, we sat down with founder, Greg to discuss sustainability, mental well-being, and, of course, BAGELS.
Hey Greg! First up, you’ve been with decent packaging for 10 years now - so epic! Can you please tell our readers a bit about yourself and how you got into the hospitality industry?
My first job after finishing high school was at a place called GPK in Dominion Rd, Mt Eden, Auckland. It was there I fell in love with hospitality and could see myself having a future and potentially a business in the industry. I had started a business degree at AUT but subsequently dropped out as I found I was learning more from practical experience. In my early 20’s I moved to Melbourne and worked for a couple of years to save as much as I could and get more broader experience. I’ve worked in everything from cafes to restaurants, bars and nightclubs. I’ve had a job that took me around Aotearoa setting up mobile coffee franchises and making coffee around the country.
You have three wonderful locations - can you tell us about these various spots, how long they’ve been open for, what inspired each of them?
Essentially the concept was a cumulation of my fifteen years experience in the industry and inspired by my time in Melbourne. I wanted to create an unpretentious space that had wide appeal, a place that people could use when tight for time or a little sanctuary away from the grind. I paid close attention to the failures and successes of others and provisioned to grow if the original spot hit. I opened Eden Terrace in February 2014, Parnell in June 2017 and Takapuna in December 2018.
We’ve worked together for a long time now, so we must be doing something right! What’s your favourite thing about working with decent packaging?
My favourite thing has always been watching the journey of the company. I love watching others succeed as I find it completely inspiring.
How else do you support sustainability in your coffee shop?
I'm always looking for best practices within the parameters of having a viable business. Trying to have the right waste streams; composting and recycling et al. Our contract coffee roaster aids positive transformation for the community of Kanungu, West Uganda so it’s a real positive to be involved in an indirect way.
All your bagels look amazing - favourite one on your menu?
Favourite on the menu is the bagel burger as it holds a sentimental spot for being the inspiration for the menu!
Over the past few years, what are the most important lesson(s) you have learnt?
The main lesson in the last few years has been to prioritize mental fitness. Being an owner-operator/entrepreneur involves long hours and high levels of dedication. So it's been important to make sure I've carved out time for self-care in order to maintain a healthy “work-life” approach.
How do you look after your mental health/what do you do to wind down/take a break?
In the day to day I make sure I've got time to get home and take the dog for a walk, a great opportunity to have some time to myself and decompress. I’m always making time to digest books that expand my ideas around life and business. Over the course of a month I try to make sure that I've had a few sessions out in the surf. It allows me to foster stronger relationships with my family and gives me solid breaks from “connectivity” as well as being great for my fitness and overall well being. I also play 8-a-side football with a core group of friends which are great at keeping one another grounded! Other than that, a reasonably balanced diet and plenty of water!
What are you most excited for in the future of Goodness Gracious?
I'm simply excited to still be here with all three spots still going, our youngest store is coming up five years and I'm really pleased that we’ve had some longevity as an owner-operator business across three spots for this length of time and especially given the trials and tribulations of the past few years.