David Thomas


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I am New Zealand born, bred and raised. Born in Christchurch in 1954, then living in Dunedin, Wellington and Auckland. My childhood dream was to become an airline pilot, which I was very fortunate to achieve flying Fokker Friendships for an early domestic airline in NZ by the age of 20. This airline became Air New Zealand and I progressed through the DC-8, Boeing 737,767,747-200,747-400,777 and 787. In the 80’s we would spend three months every year based in Los Angeles flying to London and Frankfurt. 

During this time I would visit a cafe that roasted coffee and served espresso. This sparked an interest in me and on returning to Auckland I worked part-time learning to roast coffee. This lead to the opening of the Atomic Cafe in Ponsonby. I then separated off and owned Atomic Coffee Roasters from ‘96 until 2005. This was the very early days of espresso coffee in NZ. In ‘96 I
also visited Treviso and met a famous coffee family there (Goppion). Senor Goppion introduced me to an espresso machine manufacturer (La San Marco) from Gorizia. So my infatuation with all
things Italian began. I started Italian language lessons at Dante Alighieri in Auckland and would attend trade shows in Italy almost annually, which we would turn into a short holiday to visit different parts of the country. To this day I continue to represent La San Marco Espresso Coffee Machines in New Zealand, working alongside Segafredo. I keep my Italian lessons up with a one on one tutor and have many friends in the New Zealand/ Italian community. So it was a natural progression to join and be involved in the ICCNZ