The Welcome Bay Community Centre is planning to open what could be the country’s first plastic free café, that will provide jobs and training for young people in the area.
Centre manager Anna Larsen says it will be a sustainable, not for profit, social enterprise.
“We are definitely going to have the environment in mind, because from here you can see the water and we know how much plastic goes off the reserve into the drains and into the estuary nearby.
“We are not going to try and go down the healthy food route, but we certainly want to be mindful of good quality food that people will enjoy.
“We would certainly like it to be ethically and sustainably sourced food.
“We’ll be providing organic coffee and we are looking at organic milk, but it will be difficult in the short term to provide organic food given the nature of what we plan to do.”
“The cups and things we use will either be reusable or compostable.
“We are hoping to be a plastic free café, selling excellent coffee with food different to other providers, and are not intending to compete with any other business.”
The Centre hasn’t settled on a name for the café yet, but is targeting to get it operational by August.
“I Hope we can call it plastic free café, it will be a challenging but, that will make it very special,” says Anna.
As for the Café, they are looking at a container that has enough room for food service area and a bit of space indoors and have weather protection for outdoor tables.
It could be purpose built but Anna says it will be a work in progress.
“Training young people for jobs will be a big part of the operation,” says Anna.
“We are looking to collaborate with EmployNZ and other youth training organisations to help give local youth employment opportunities and get them into longer term employment.
“One way we know young people can learn to engage well is through hospitality and that will be a key part of the business.
“We’ll be looking for a barista who’s got a heart for the community and for young people.”
There will be significant capital cost to set up the café and they are looking for anyone interested in environmental and social impact funding.
Businesses interested in helping out can get in touch with Anna on 07 544 9774.