Meet The Barista: Paige Simoneau, Black Coffee Newtown

Paige Simoneau loves coffee, loves how other people love coffee and she loves making people coffee that they love. As the General Manager, Owner and Head Barista at Black Coffee Newtown in Wellington, Simoneau has always found herself behind a coffee machine.

Originally from Canada, she left her home nation to go backpacking in 2011. Three years later she arrived on the shores of New Zealand and fell in love. Working numerous jobs in hospitality, Simoneau was always asked to make coffee, however, had to learn the hard way that Kiwi coffee is incredibly different from Canadian coffee.

Simoneau’s favourite blend is Black Coffee Newton’s very own, which she had an amazing time co-desiging with Dark Horse Coffee Co.

“The proof is in the pudding,” expressed Simoneau.

While there are many defining features of a great coffee, in Simoneau's opinion, the right temperature and a good crema is what brings the flavour straight to your lips. Her go-to coffee order is anything black. Long black, Americano or Filtered. 

During the pandemic, Black Coffee Newton did experience larger volumes of takeaway orders, but Simoneau believes it was out of necessity rather than preference. She believes that when people go out, they eat with their eyes as much as their mouths, so latte art and in-house dining are all a part of the cafe experience.

Being the face of a coffee shop requires what Simoneau called being a “social butterfly 24/7” and while she loves her job, downtime is best served quietly. Book in hand, dog in lap, and in the sun by her man is what she called pure bliss.

"If you are serving right, a customer will leave with a smile on their face and come back for more."

Simoneau considers this to be the most rewarding part of her job, especially with Black Coffee Newton’s large community base, adding that the last few years have been an unimaginable struggle for many hospitality venues and the reason they are still open is because of the community support. 

“Thank you Newtown and thank you Wellington," she expressed. "You're the reason why we get to keep serving up the love.”