Behind the Scenes of Buster Greens with Nick and Joe

Nick & Joe, Buster Greens

Nick and Joe are two thirds of the management team behind Buster Greens, a George Street café that satisfies modern brunchers and big brekkie enthusiasts alike.

Find Nick & Joe at Buster Greens

466 George Street, Dunedin North

Words by: Olivia Sisson
Photo by: Nancy Zhou

Buster Greens offers seriously delicious brunch on George Street. Their menu celebrates fresh produce and local products in a balanced and tasty way. Big breakfast enthusiasts can get their fill at Buster Greens, and local vegans flock here too. With reimagined eggs benny, colourful plant based dishes, cold press juices and a substantial smoothie offering, this spot is a do-not-miss.

Owner, Khusla, is the brains behind the concept and fit out, and together with partner Nick and head chef Joe, she's created a café that lives at the intersection of plant based eating and just really, really good food. We caught up with  Nick and Joe to learn more about how it all came together.

What are some of your favourite aspects of Buster Greens?

J: I really enjoy our eggs benedicts. They’re all totally different. Because we work with so much local, seasonal produce I’m always experimenting with new specials. I get bored easily in the kitchen. I’m actually about to do a mid winter Christmas special actually.  I also really enjoy our sauteed greens and our vegan beans.

N: We have a really great cold press juicer that we got from France. It makes some of the best juice you can buy really. It’s great to see how we’ve been able to build up a bit of a name here. We’ve got a good, honest product and it seems to resonate with a lot of people. We get lots of students, travellers in from Wanaka and other spots, locals - all sorts.

How do you source all of the fresh elements you use?

N: We have some really great suppliers that we work with, there are just heaps of cool local people that we get to work with which is awesome. 

J: We’ve got one supplier called Mike from Sea Breeze. He’s awesome and is able to grow whatever we want really. He does amazing hydroponic mixes for our salads. I just let him know what types of greens I'd like in our mixes and he grows them. The guys at Bay Road are also awesome and supply our peanut butter. We’re really lucky to have so many neat suppliers around us.

N: We also get some of our bread from a guy who bakes sourdough under the trading name ‘Body of the Year’ haha.

Almost everything at Buster Greens is made in house. What do you make that really stands out to you?

J: I’m very proud of the sauces, and the kimchi is a top one for me too. It’s excellent and I’m very proud of it. Our raw baking is also phenomenal. You have to have one of our caramel slices before you go. We’ve got a really talented full time baker here.

N: Yeah our raw baking has a huge following now. We don’t talk about it that much, but lots of people have caught on to it and love it.

Plant based foods have become more popular but some are still wary of the trend. How do you keep things approachable at Buster Greens?

N: We wanted to be really focused but not rely on a completely plant based menu. We wanted it to be a place where someone who wants a classic big breakfast can still leave satisfied, but someone who wants to eat more plants can leave feeling happy, too. Having that balance is huge for us.

J: Everything that we do needs to be good. There’s no point in chucking something on the menu if it’s not good. Each dish takes us a long time, maybe too long sometimes, whether it’s plant based or not. We experiment a lot and we’ve really got it down now.

All People