Little & Friday would have to be one of my most favourite places to eat in the entire world. It’s not only because they have the best doughnuts on the face of the planet, and believe me I have eaten my fair share so I know this, but it is because of the overall experience, interior and atmosphere created in their humble stores.
First started in 2007 by Kim Evans, Little & Friday occupied a ‘Little’ retired butchers shop over on the North Shore, and was only open on the ‘Friday’, hence the name Little & Friday. However, the store rapidly out grew its little home and has now expanded and taken up residency in multiple locations across Auckland.
One of the things I love most about Little & Friday is when you first pull up outside the Belmont store you are completely submerged residential area, so straight away you feel really relaxed, like your popping over to a friends house for a cuppa. The façade is nothing pretentious, it feels very honest, I love the fact that you can see the kitchens and the pottery room where the plates and saucers are hand crafted by a local potter, you can even see the remaining hints to the structures past life as a butchers.
Walking through the front door you are greeted with a window stuffed full of mouth-watering pastries, salads and sandwiches. The interior finishes reflect the foods values: raw and honest, no faff. The white subway tiles laid in a herringbone pattern and some ceramic mosaic details are simple and clean and add some pattern and interest without detracting from the product. The wooden shelving creating a dynamic way to display jars of preserved fruit, books, plates and tubs of fresh honeycomb.
The dining area of the Belmont store has a charming eclectic vibe, with local art splayed on the walls and an assortment of indoor plants thriving on floating shelves, which appear to be made out of some form of cornicing. There is a successful collection of seating options, from bar height tables to bench seating and stools. I like the variety of options available to customers as the seating will often dictate the way in which a space is used, for example the large bar height tables with stools is ideal for individuals who are making a quick stop for coffee or tea, or the lower more intimate tables for a casual date with friends and family. My favourite table in this store would have to be the large out door table, it doesn’t get much more homely than that! What a fabulous location to organise a meal with a large group of friends, family or colleagues on a summer’s day.
I love the transparency of this place. You can see exactly what ingredients are in your food and where your food is being prepared, you can see the exact same ideology repeated into the interior, every finish visible and true. The log fuelled pizza oven reinforcing that rustic, honest feel. The crate of eggs casually left next to the oven really enhances this atmosphere of feeling very much at home, that there doesn’t need to be this traditional strictness about keeping the cooking and produce separate or hidden away from the customers.
The Newmarket store has the same core values as the Belmont store, but has taken a slight step away from the ‘home away from home’ aesthetic, given this is a central city location it is completely understandable. You still have the same variety of seating options; a coffee & quick stop stool area and then the traditional tables with bench seating and stools, but the main difference I notice is things are more consistent in terms of the same style of chair repeated rather than having an assortment of styles like Belmont, I think the consistency is what gives this store a more traditional café vibe over Belmont.
My two favourite details from the Newmarket store are the beautiful polished concrete floor which looks very well loved and worn, and these beautiful bead details on the partitions and pendent lights which have a similar aesthetic to the style and texture of hand crafted plates and cups.
Overall I think Little & Friday has been really successful in carrying through the values of real produce that is beautifully presented and are a real visual treat to look at and eat, and then reflecting that into their interiors in a way that really highlights their products/produce and presents them in a relaxed yet thoughtful manner which is inviting for customers. I would highly recommend heading over to one of their stores and enjoying their atmosphere and interior, you may as well have one of their donuts while your there to complete the experience!