Opposite the big pride stairs and beside the big Pauanesia, meet your local light-filled space, quality focussed and worldly conscious cafe sneaked away in the middle of Auckland's High Street.
Ground Floor/35 High Street, Auckland Central, Auckland 1010
How would you describe Pink Neon in three words?
This one is so hard! We threw around many ideas such as "no assholes allowed" but actually figured it's more along the lines of "sassy, inclusive, caring" - there's three sentences for your three words request
Where were you right before Pink Neon/ what made you start Pink Neon?
I (Rosie) unfortunately found myself out of a job in the second lockdown, which was pretty stressful to say the least! I used to work for eighthirty coffee roasters, and approached the founder (and my very dear friend) Glenn Bell to see if he had any casual shifts coming up. Unfortunately he didn't, but he said he'd let me know if anything did. As soon as we went into Level 2 I went up north to stay with my partner's mum and get out of the city to figure out what to do next. Maybe a week into my stay I got a call from Glenn letting me know the beautiful space that was created by Dominic Glamuzina for eighthirty's High Street store (which Hayley and I had previously worked at) was coming up for lease, and would I be interested in taking it over as my own business. It was insane timing, and an amazing opportunity and I can never thank my wonderful whānau at eighthirty enough. Who gets to set up shop in such a beautiful space just like that!? So I said absolutely yes, and Glenn arranged a meeting with the landlord. I called Hayley from next to the fireplace up north and asked if she was keen to come on board! Luckily she said yes, haha. We had hilarious business meetings over facetime and a few days later opened. It was a whirlwind!
How did you two meet?
Our partner's both work for the same company, a New Zealand founded and based software development company for DJs called Serato. I think we first met around 8 years ago at a release party? Our very good friend Arna introduced us, and we got along right away. Later finding out we were born within a few days of each other, both were from out west, worked in hospo and liked heaps of the same music. It's pretty ridiculous, we figured we had been at the same gigs as one another throughout the years so we had probably met/walked past each other/waited in line for the bathroom or something and complemented each other's outfits
Tell us a little bit about each of you - an interesting fact or maybe a party trick.
I (Rosie) really like Mariah Carey, and can unwillingly make myself cry thinking about the Lion King or Mary Poppins Hayley is a craft addict who lives in an off grid tiny house. She always has, and always will, want to be a zookeeper.
Why did you choose matcha and thea?
We had a lot of people asking us to offer Matcha, and already had a great relationship with May (thanks Michael Tohu for introducing us!) so Thea was the obvious option! We also really appreciate the direct relationship with the growers in Uji and the organic certification, too. May is a woman of discerning taste when it comes to food and flavour, and we trust her judgement completely.
What's your favourite matcha item?
I (Rosie) am loving iced matcha with coconut milk, it's the best pick me up on a humid Auckland afternoon! Hayley's ultimate ice cream flavour is soy matcha.
What else do people need to know about Pink Neon? :)
All of our food offerings are plant based and we love using quality ingredients so folks who come in for some kai will only be served up the good stuff! We love to have a good yarn so if you feel like shooting the shit, stop by for a brew and a chat and enjoy our beautiful space for a minute. Plus we play some pretty amazing (and sometimes questionable) tunes, which is always a vibe!