At Robert Harris we're experts at making coffee for kiwi tastes, not only because we're kiwis but because we're passionate about what we do and know every day is an opportunity to do things better.
The coffee that so many New Zealanders
enjoy today began as one man's obsession with excellence. Robert
Harris was someone thinking ahead of his time. Bob, as he was
known, was determined to awaken tastebuds in New Zealand and had a
vision of creating great coffee for kiwis.
It all began in 1952 when Robert Harris opened a delicatessen in
Hamilton. He recognised a niche market for his European customers,
and began blending coffee beans. He also imported percolators,
grinders and coffee machines. At the time most people did not
have coffee grinders at home, so he offered three grinds: fine,
medium, or coarse. If customers moved out of Hamilton, they could
order their coffee by mail; Harris posted coffee in brown paper
bags tied with string.
Bob was a family man of many talents; a champion sportsman who
enjoyed tennis, bowls, golf and swimming. Amateur theatre was
another passion. He was a member of the International Brotherhood
of Magicians, and every year he was the Santa Claus at the local
The next chapter in the story came about when Murray and Val
Connelly took over the business after the death of Robert Harris in
1979. They introduced the Robert Harris brand into supermarkets
where, to this day, it remains a leading brand of fresh coffee.
As the brand's popularity grew, Murray and Val opened cafés in
Parnell, Takapuna and Wellington. Then in 1990, Cerebos Gregg's
bought the business, with the aim of taking it to new heights.
There are now over 40 Robert Harris Cafés nationwide, and their
number is growing all the time.
- Robert Harris Shop