Cali Press, (short for “California Pressed” juice) is an Australian juicer and cafe concept originating from Melbourne. Our clients acquired the New Zealand rights for the brand and, after setting up a small juice factory, needed to establish a retail outlet for their products. Their first site was in Graham Street in central Auckland. They proposed to create a new design concept for this which would reflect, not only elements from the Australian fit-out, but also the very simple and pure nature of the products they offered as well as convey the mood of California and its emergent health-focussed cuisine and lifestyle.

We set about designing the interior, which is quite a tight space given the amount of room needed for food storage and prep. We came out with a simple plan which uses essentially one long stainless steel prep bench (with most of the equipment and much of the storage under it), and a white service bench. The palette is very simple: blonded wooden floor, plywood, walls and joinery, floor white tiles, white laminate cupboards, black steel detailing and stainless steel equipment and workbenches. Decoration is by way of a Californian palm-tree mural that we had custom painted on the back wall and some simple signage. Seating is limited but is mainly to a bench seat running down the left side and some spaces in the window area, mainly for customers waiting to pick up their take-out orders.

Lighting is also simple and consists mainly of some exposed bulbs above the tables, LED strips above the workbench and simple LED spotlights set in cable trays. The shopfront was also tricky in that the existing windows are of a semi-mirrored glass, so seeing through this from outside is very difficult making the interior largely hidden. We added shop-front signage to make the inside more visible and, against the air-conditioner engineer’s wishes, our clients leave the doors open most the time so potential customers can actually see what’s happening inside.

The result is very simple, functional and very cost-effective one but, we believe, that it reflects the essence of the Californian simple and healthy lifestyle. Customers love it and the business has taken off with a second site we designed in Parnell now open with another one planned.