Music + The Rise of Multi-Purpose Spaces


As the hospitality and retail landscapes continues to transform, multi-purpose spaces are on the rise. We caught up with Jacob Mathews, co-owner and manager of café-florist crossover The Botanist to learn about the benefits of operating from a multi-purpose space, and how he uses music to ride the mood du jour.

“When you work in a multipurpose space the different businesses sort of feed each other; a lot of people that come into the café end up browsing the floristry, and vice versa - people that come in to check out the plants often grab a coffee or stay for lunch. The plants and greenery in the space also help to create a really peaceful setting.

Personally, I think music is very important. I notice a big difference when music is playing - it really does help to create the right atmosphere. You can easily play around with different types of music to support different times of the day, or the different clientele you’ve got in. I find it adds quite a bit to the overall experience. 

Without music, a store lacks energy. These days music is involved in almost everything that we do, from shopping to just kicking back and relaxing. So when you’re in a situation without music, it is quite noticeable. When you don’t play music it also highlights other noises that go on in the café that you don’t notice as much. You can tell that customers react with music, even if just on a subconscious level. 

When it comes to staff, one of the biggest things is trying to get them to understand that we have to play music that is suitable for the clientele, not just what they like. We do try to find a balance because you want to enjoy what you're listening to but it must be within reason. For us, we probably cater to an older demographic, rather than your early to mid-20’s. 

What we try and communicate is an atmosphere that fits in with the time of day and the clientele. So, if it’s a sunny afternoon we’ll have more upbeat music playing, versus if we want to bring it down and relax, but mostly we just take it day by day.

We really enjoy creating playlists – it’s a cool way to discover new music and keep things fresh for both us and our customers. 

And what is our desert island song? If we had to play one song all day every day - would be Banana Clip by Miguel off War and Leisure."



The Botanist holds a OneMusic licence, which grants them the permission they need to use music. Having permission to play music in a business environment is required by law under the NZ Copyright Act (1994), and is a non-negotiable start to making the most of music in business.

OneMusic offer simple annual music licences that grant businesses permission to use virtually all commercially released music. As a member organisation, after administration costs all money collected is returned to music creators as royalties. A OneMusic licence gives you peace of mind that your business is on the right side of the law, and ensures that music creators are fairly compensated for the use of their music.


Originally published in NZ Retail Magazine