Business owner urges customers to support local and stick to the rules

First published by The Waikato Independent
Written by Mandy Morris

Coffee Culture CCO Sacha Coburn encourages kiwis to “keep calm, stay caffeinated and stick to the rules.” Image: Supplied.

Thousands of businesses south of the Auckland border are preparing to re-open their doors following a change in alert levels from 11:59pm, Tuesday August 31.

As customers gear up to get their caffeine fix or favourite takeaway, small businesses are urging consumers to buy local and support their community.

“We hope that people understand, we’ll survive this [taking a financial hit due to covid] through the support of our community” says Sacha Coburn, Director and Chief Operations Officer of Coffee Culture New Zealand.

“Anything you can do to get out there and support local businesses is hugely beneficial.”

For businesses such as Coffee Culture, who operate in the customer-facing sector, preparing to shift levels overnight has been difficult.

“It’s really challenging preparing to open at level 3, while still in level 4, because it means our staff can’t go into the stores and set up,” says Coburn.

To accommodate this, staff are working outside of their usual hours. “Some staff are going to go into stores after midnight and do a deep clean, others are going to start really early on Wednesday morning, so we can open at 7 or 8 am.”

Coburn says her team is “really excited to be back and making coffee for our guests.” Image: Supplied.

Coburn says her team is “really excited to be back and making coffee for our guests”, and will be operating within the safety guidelines for level 3, including mandatory social distancing and mask usage. All Coffee Culture premises will also have crosses marked on the ground, to help customers keep within their bubbles.

Coburn urges New Zealanders to visit their favourite local places, despite the extra steps it might take to order in alert level 3.

“If you enjoy a place at level 2 and level 1, then please order from them at level 3. It’s those little bits of income that keep those small businesses afloat.”

Coburn encourages customers heading out to collect food to play their part.

“The Delta variant is like an entirely different virus. Even though we took social distancing pretty seriously, we can’t control what guests do outside our store,” says Coburn.

“I’m hoping this year, there’s a wider respect for the rules that are there to keep our guests safe and to keep our staff safe as well.”

This includes being patient with delayed wait-times, due to the additional procedures required for level 3.

“Everyone’s doing the very best to get the product out as fast as they can.”


Coffee Culture opens for contactless collection from Wednesday, September 1. Image: Coffee Culture/Instagram.

Coburn acknowledges it wouldn’t be possible for businesses to re-open their stores without New Zealanders adhering to lockdown protocol.

“We were super thankful for the team of 5 million that are following the rules that make it possible for us to get to level three.”

Coburn says although level 3 allows for more freedom, it’s still important to stay home when possible.

“If we continue to keep calm, stay caffeinated and continue to follow those rules, we’re optimistic that we will get to level two and can have people back in the store.”

Looking to eat locally at Level 3? Waikato Food Inc have prepared a handy guide. Check here for updates  Waikato Food Inc guide to local eating at Level 3