Meet the Owner: Jayden Lawrence, Buster Greens

As the owner-operator of Buster Greens in Dunedin, Jayden Lawrence believes that coffee is the centrepiece of any café, and making good coffee is what makes a café great. 

Hospitality has been a constant for Lawrence’s entire life; his parents owned (and still own) a café. So while growing up, he would fill in after school, on weekends, and during the holidays. 

Lawrence moved to Dunedin to study a Bachelor of Culinary Arts at Otago Polytechnic. Right after graduation, he got a job at the newly opened Vogel Street Kitchen and was there for several years. Vogel Street’s owner, Riah, eventually asked the chef if he wanted to manage a new café she planned on opening. The pair built Heritage Coffee to make its mark on the Dunedin café scene.

After some years managing Heritage, Lawrence’s next step was obvious. He had always wanted to own his own café, and when Buster Greens went up for sale, he and his partner decided to take the leap.

“We liked what Buster Greens had done in the year it was around and thought there was room to build on that.”

Buster Greens is modern and creative. The café serves Coffee Supreme’s Brazil blend, as the roast has a lovely smooth body. A trend seen behind its coffee machine is the rise in plant-based milks.

Lawrence’s tip for the at-home barista is to get a good coffee machine and a decent grinder, because freshly ground coffee is a must! It all begins with the beans, so don’t leave them around or try using them months later.

The café owner believes that flavour, texture and aesthetic are the defining features of great coffee. His personal favourite is a flat white or a short black.

“A good flat white shoelaces the quality of the coffee and barista skill, whilst a short black gives you a real sense of the flavour profile of the blend that is being used.”

Even in his spare time, Lawrence is all about food and coffee. He and his partner like to try out different eateries and cafés, hunting down favourite spots and flavours as customers and foodies. 

Buster Greens is a bright, vibrant eatery that prides itself on great coffee and wholesome, refined and flavourful food. You can visit the Café at  466 George Street in Dunedin.