Gravity and Special Group bring new meaning to work experience with international coffee run

When Special Group took the Gravity Coffee business off Shine last year, the first problem it set out to solve was the packaging. And with that taken care of, as well as a new website courtesy of Fracture, it’s ramped things up a bit with an ambitious intern ambush.  


Kirstie Stanway arrived at More FM as a fresh-faced new intern and her first task was to make coffee for the breakfast show DJs Marc Ellis, Amber Peebles and Stu Tolan. Unbeknownst to her, she had walked into a marketing campaign for Gravity that was dreamed up by Special Group and she was on her way to El Salvador within an hour of arriving.

Stanway has just one week to travel to get the coffee beans, fly back and learn how to blend and roast, undertake a day of barista training from New Zealand’s champion barista and to prepare the perfect cup of coffee.

Her first stop was Monte Sion, Gravity’s coffee plantation in El Salvador, which is a 30 hour flight from Auckland and located 1600 metres above sea level. And she is already on her way back home through LAX, with a tightly wrapped package of goods from a central American country in her bag (“honestly officer, it’s coffee”). 

“It’s going to be a hard but exciting experience,” says Michaela Dumper of Gravity. “There’s a lot to take in. We don’t take any short cuts when it comes to producing coffee. Kirstie is going to experience that first hand.”

Special Group’s Tony Bradbourne says it’s an ambitious project and one week is right on the boundary of how quickly someone can achieve these tasks. But, much like some of its other work for the likes of Orcon, Unitec and MediaWorks, he says it’s all about focusing on Gravity’s amazing coffee credentials and dramatising the hell out of those credentials in a way that will create attention and likeability. 

As well as www.facebook.com/GravityCoffee, Stanway’s progress will be reported live every morning at 7:45 on More FM, and Bradbourne says clips of the journey, filmed by Tim Pierce of Robber’s Dog, will also feature on TV3 news (if nothing goes wrong on the homeward leg). 

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