Dispense Espresso's Hamish Bell knows what makes a café great. Located in the Christchurch suburb of Ferrymead, Dispense Espresso is a petite site that punches well beyond its walls with great coffee and great food.
As winner of our World Coffee Day promotion (taking away a brand new La Marzocco espresso machine and a month's supply of Meadow Fresh and Alternative Diary Co Milk) we wanted to find out a bit more about this epic cafe.
Hamish, Dispense Espresso, Christchurch
OWNER / BARISTA
"At Dispense Espresso we are all about making simple food
honestly and well from local ingredients and suppliers."
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O U R M O S T P O P U L A R D I S H
Meyer Aged Gouda Sandwich (gouda from Canterbury cheese Mongers) with avocado, walnuts, greens and a beetroot relish. Equally popular fresh or toasted.
M Y P I C K F R O M O U R M E N U
Nothing beats a cheese and parsley scone heated with butter and a side of our in-house-made apricot, vanilla & whisky jam.
Tell us a bit about yourself and setting up Dispense Espresso:
My first experience in the hospitality business was as a school student, the dog’s body at this start-up café Switch in New Brighton. I was fascinated by coffee, from the plant, roasting and finally the finished product – the perfect coffee made by a talented barista.
"I W A S A N D R E M A I N
F A S C I N A T E D B Y C O F F E E."
I knew I wanted to own my own café, create my own brand, roasting my own beans. Before I could achieve this I realised I would have to put in a lot of hard mahi, and I did. I spent many hours at Switch Espresso, Black Betty and Supreme. I learned my craft with the help and support of some talented baristas.
In July 2016 it was time to make the leap. Dispense Espresso opened next to my father’s pharmacy and my journey began. Slowly, the locals came and their loyalty to me and Dispense Espresso humbles me. The support of a strong extended family and friends sustains me. I enjoy what New Zealand offers and spend time on the West Coast, camping and simply being at home reading, enjoying the many craft beers NZ has.
It's been a crazy year, but we hear the local industry has really been supporting each other in Christchurch. Tell us a bit about this.
Coming out of covid it feels like the local suppliers and small business owners have banded together to help support and prompt each other, with the likes of Canterbury Cheese Monger & Vic’s Bakehouse, both located just over the road. As well as the team at Viking Coffee getting me up and running with roasting, ongoing support and guidance.
What is one piece of advice you'd give others starting out in hospitality...
Create your own brand identity that you believe in and stick to it, don’t let others “suggestions/ ideas” throw you.
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You can find Hamish at
Dispense Espresso, 1005 Ferry Road, Woolston, Christchurch
MON - FRI 7.30am to 3pm
SAT 9am to 3pm
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A N O T H E R H O S P I T A L I T Y S P O T H A M I S H L O V E S I S
Joes Garage in Sumner. The food is simple and honest no fuss or frills always quick and friendly and a nice environment to be on the other side of the bench for a change.