If you're in the hospitality industry, chances are, you've heard of Worktones. If you haven't, keep on reading because this lot are the best workwear makers in the biz.
Our friendship started when we met Worktones' founder, Huw, at the annual Paramount Holiday Markets in Sydney a couple of years back. We’d set up shop and were trying to win over the hearts of local Sydneysiders one Mugs Not Drugs Stacker Mug at a time. Huw was there too, but it was obvious he had already won over the hearts of the locals by the constant queue of Worktones admirers. At the end of the day, we were trading our leftover coffee with the other stallholders' goods, and you can bet we beelined for the Worktones stall with our eyes on their tote bags. After only a few uses, we reached out to Huw to chat about creating our own bespoke Coffee Supreme pieces.
Two and a bit years and four Coffee Supreme x Worktones products later, we're finally catching up with Huw (pictured below) to chat about Worktones’ happenings, his go-to takeaways in lockdown and of course, his favourite Supreme coffee. Put the kettle on and have a read.
Q: Hey Huw, tell us about Worktones. What is it?
We make uniforms and other nice pieces for the hospitality industry but are finding that our ideas and offering are moving much wider than hospo. In the last couple of years we’ve worked with bakers, brewers, florists, artists, ceramicists and a growing number of hotels both here in Australia and overseas. It’s all fun and we’re really working on interesting avenues to further push the idea of merchandise and branded products. Let’s call it a revolution!
Q: What led you to starting Worktones?
It was a happy accident really, I’d come from a clothing background and had taken some time out after leaving my previous business. A job was put in front of me for a hotel uniform and off we went. I was really fortunate that a couple of people took a sizable leap of faith in me and my ideas.
Q: Who and what do you look to for inspiration?
It varies day to day, honestly I can find inspiration in the most mundane of places. I’m constantly taking photos, most of which are awful on my phone. I have loads of old magazines and archives of tear sheets or bookmarked ideas on the computer. I still surf through Tumblr, Pinterest and even a few blogs and find that one picture can spark a whole range of ideas (and emotions).
Q: What’s your coffee setup at home?
I use the V60 by Hario, I usually make a pretty weak pot to start the day. I really enjoy the routine starting with hand grind.
Q: Got a favourite Supreme coffee?
Yeah, I’m pretty keen on the annual Christmas Cracker. We borrowed that blend last year at Worktones and gifted it out to some of our friends and collaborators.
Q: Smooth or crunchy?
Crunchy (full stop).
Q: Favourite lockdown takeaways in Sydney?
Woof! Bar Suze Fish & Chips, COPO Sandwiches, Lox in a Box Schnity Bagel, Good Ways Deli Cheese & Apple sanga and Baked goods from Marta. I could go on, but our movements are limited and thus my picks come from within a 5km radius to my house.
Q: If you could make a custom apron for anyone, who would it be and why?
Oh, probably Coffee Supreme : ) Well I think we’ve ticked a couple of dream clients in the last 12 months, we make Aprons for Sean’s in Bondi which is my all time favourite and more recently we did a custom job for Neil Perry, for his new restaurant Margaret. I really like the aprons we make, and I’m so pleased to see them worn, especially whilst I’m eating.
Q: What’s on the horizon for Worktones?
After all that’s been in the last 18 months or so, we’re really just trying to find some continuity. We moved into a new office at the start of 2021 and our team is growing so that’s our main focus. Aside from that we have a load of great client work leading into spring and are building back up our website offering that is also slowly taking shape in our showroom as a proper shop.
You can still snag yourself one of our Worktones Market Bags or Team Caps on our online store, but stock is limited so we’d recommend getting in quick. We feel pretty lucky to have some of our own bits and pieces featured over on Worktones’ online store, too. If you’re keen to get yourself geared up or create your own custom goods, head over to the Worktones website here.