Our friend and cafe owner Ben Boyle, owner of Ben cafe, recently opened up a second cafe downtown on Cross Street, affectionately named Little b. The shop has been up and running for about a month or so, and we have been by several times to hang out. Little b is in fact a smaller version of the mother cafe, Ben, but with some unique features that give it its own identity.
While it has the same marble countertop as its mother cafe, Little b has more of an edge. The lightbulbs dangling down on cords from the unfinished ceiling, graffiti-style artwork, along with the exposed pipe on the side wall, give the cafe a raw, urban feel. Little b also exudes a freshness that is exhibited in the wooden tree at the counter, and decorative grass bunnies that sit atop the large work table.
Jess, Ben’s partner, prepares all the baking and food for both cafes. She does all the food prep from the kitchen in Little B. Jess is quite the baker, and chef, for that matter. While Ben’s cafes don’t offer full meal options like most other cafes do, they do offer a delectable assortment of sweet and savoury snacks. Instead of trying to do it all, Ben has a clear focus on what he wants to provide for his customers and be known for: good coffee. Similar to another cafe back home we are quite fond of… Transcend, you will forever remain in our hearts.
Ben and Matty roast all the beans for the coffee served in the two cafes in Ben’s tiny 3kg roaster at the original location. Along with high quality, fresh-roasted coffee in his espresso blend, Ben also features single origin coffee, available in syphon. As far as we know, Ben is one of few cafes in Auckland offering this brew method.
Another draw to Little b is the building within which it is located. The Ironbank Building is an ecologically sustainably designed building, with a unique, modern design, but more importantly some key features that led it to be named second best office building in the world last year. Solar water heating, rain water harvesting, and a unique car stacking system are just a few of the features that set this building apart. When in Auckland, this is one cafe, and one building, to check out.