Meet Matt Wilson from Seashore Cabaret.

160 The Esplanade, Petone, Wellington.

Seashor Cabaret Cafe owner, Matt Wilson
seahorse caberet linea classic on bench

Why did you decide to open a cafe?
When I was 17 years old, I used to collect pinball machines, and when Midnight Espresso opened on Cuba Street, I owned the pinball machine in there. Midnight Espresso was one of the first sort of alternative cafes in Wellington, there were a few, but not many. I became a bit obsessed with it, and I thought it was pretty cool so I dropped out of school, and opened a cafe – about 25 years ago today.

How would you describe the brand of your cafe?
I’ve owned 6 cafes and 2 mobile cafes in my time, and I don’t like cafes that you can buy from a catalogue, with the same sort of look, that can go out of date quickly. I wanted something that is more inviting, and that can attract everyone. All my coffee machines have had custom surrounds, I have owned 8 coffee machines and it’s the same guy who does the surrounds for me. It more of a “labour of love”. I love aesthetics and all of my furniture is hand-made, I prefer to not have what is in the catalogue and be unqiue so that is why I have the custom panels for my machine. The target market for this space is everyone, it’s about making people feel at home really.

Seashore Cabaret Linea Classic high legs

How long have you been using the Linea Classic for?
A few months now.

Why La Marzocco, and the Linea Classic in particular?
Before now I went for the more cheaper and affordable setup, as I was buying my own machinery. Then we started roasting our own coffee (Good Fortune Coffee Co.) – and I thought it was time to step up and get what is considered the “crème de la crème”. The classic appeals to me – I really like the lines of the machine and the workmanship of the machine. It is beautifully handcrafted. And we can afford it!! We’ve had a good couple of years now, and I decided that we would go for the best.

How many coffees are being made from this Classic?
We probably average at about 80kg a week, on the weekend 12 – 15 a day and on a quiet day could be about 6kg. So, anywhere from 300 – 700 coffees a day.

Seashore Cabaret cafe ambience
Seahorse Caberet committed to a classic - Linea Classic

What would you change about the Linea Classic if you could?
What would I change? Well, I have already changed mine! I have already made the changes with the custom surround. But I do kind of like the barista lights on your other machines where you can see what you’re doing. That’s probably the only change I would make I am happy with everything else.

What is your favourite memory from Seashore Cabaret?
Jacinda Adern made a special visit about 6 weeks ago when we became an accredited living wage employer, which has been a goal of ours for 3 years, so that combined with her acknowledgement of us achieving that meant a lot for us. It took a lot for us to get to that goal and to have the prime minister ring you up and ask if she can come in and talk about it is pretty cool.

Seahorse Cabaret exterior cafe