Maido! In conversation with Tara Bennett of Provider and now, Maido!

Situated on the corner of Flinders St and Patterson Lane in Sydney’s Darlinghurst, you will find Tara Bennett of Provider Store’s Maido Coffee. It’s a joint venture between the Provider business and Artificer Coffee. It’s also Provider’s third location, after the recently built Provider House that opened its doors in 2023.

Just like Provider Store, Maido Coffee feels calm and tranquil with Japanese-inspired timber panelling and antique furniture absorbing Darlinghurst’s morning sunshine. There are endless nooks and corners to admire, from shoppable home goods and Artificer beans to a stack of lifestyle books to flick through. The coffee is nothing but hot and delicious. The service, even warmer.

A month into opening, Above The Clouds caught up with Provider Director Tara Bennett to congratulate her on the opening with gifts from our friends at New Balance. We chat about the Maido Coffee space, her inspirations behind it and her favourite places to visit when in Japan.


Congratulations on the opening of Maido! Maido is now your third Provider location after Provider Store and Provider House. What was the vision behind opening a café?

TB: Thank you! The vision was to allow people to get a sense of what we do behind the scenes. Maido is in the Provider Studio (our office). It’s where we make candles and get creative so we wanted to open this up to our community. It also made sense to have a store, a form of accommodation and the next be hospitality.

Can you tell us how and why you collaborated with the Artificer team for this project?

TB: I have known Shoji and Dan for a really long time. Dan and I are always talking about projects together and one day I sent him a pic of what we were thinking about doing and literally within weeks we were setting it up. Artificer and Provider have a crossover in values, aesthetics and customers, so it made sense to do this together… not to mention it’s the best coffee.


Maido, just like Provider Store feels like a little gallery with endless things to look at, read and shop. Whether it's the candle workshop, groceries, books or decor. Can you walk us through some of your favourite parts of the space?

TB: The best part about Maido is that it’s a creative space. Sure, it’s a place to drink coffee and shop but it’s also where we come up with ideas and make things. I think it feels really special to be able to have a coffee and also watch us make candles. I hope that gets carried onto our customers so they feel a sense of inspiration.


The name “Maido” comes from a greeting learnt from your time in Osaka. Are there any cafes, restaurants or other institutions in Osaka and Japan more broadly that have inspired you?

TB: In Tokyo, I always go sit at the bar at Path and order the Dutch pancake. It takes 30 minutes to make so it forces you to slow down and enjoy the space. I am without a doubt at T-site bookstore in Daikanyama. It’s my fave place ever! In Kyoto, Wife&Husband is one that has always inspired me ever since my first trip. It’s a tiny little backstreet cafe that is filled with antiques. Sugari is another place in Kyoto that I think is just super inspiring. It’s a ramen bar but they have no signage outside. It gives you this sense of discovery and once you’re in the building it is so amazing and the food is incredible.

What are the places that you will always return to on your trips?

TB: I have spent a lot of time in Nara and I always love going back because the deer are so cute! In terms of shops, D&department is one I visit wherever I am. The mix of Japanese artisans is always very inspiring.

Provider store is openly and outwardly committed to responsible sourcing and production whilst respecting “slow” craftsmanship. How do you apply this to the cafe universe?

TB: Teaming up with Artificer was the first step. They’re a small roastery, they do one thing and they do it well. Using their beans makes way more sense for our ethos than using a big business. We also have very little wastage.

We also use all our candle cups as the coffee mugs and the furniture is mainly Japanese antiques. The pieces we sell in Maido are the same as the store… Handcrafted and slow-made.

New Balance Maido

New Balance was the brand of choice when ATC and Maido came together. Why New Balance?

TB: NB felt in line with us because they’re a heritage brand that makes a long-lasting product. The shoes are practical and aesthetically pleasing, just like what we make.


Dylan wears the 1906R Harbour Grey, Tara wears the 1906R Silver Metallic and Rosie wears the Women's Made in USA 990v6 Grey


Bec wears the Made in USA 990v4 Grey.

What are your future ventures or projects that you are looking forward to? What can we expect from the Provider Universe in future?

TB: We are currently in the process of expanding our Provider collections and I am always looking out for spaces in Tassie to open something fun.

What is your coffee order?

TB: The first one is a pour-over that I drink in bed with Pocari, the second is an oat piccolo.

And your favourite accompanying treat?

TB: Right now anything Biscoff. Tony's Chocolonely Sea Salt caramel chocolate and the panna cotta thing on the menu at Poketo.

You can visit Maido Coffee at 7/9 Flinders St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010.

Thank you to Tara, Dylan, Dan, Bec and Rosie of Provider Store, Maido and Artificer.

Maido Coffee @maidocoffee
Articificer @artificercoffee
Provider Store @theproviderstore



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