Coffee Break
Whetu Tares, Brent Dawson and Dean Affleck enjoying a coffee break and supporting local at Fusee Rouge. Photo Ruthyrockstar Photography

Cromwell and District News encouraging a show of support for ‘Shop Local’

With Covid-19 Omicron moving New Zealanders to phase 3 of the traffic light system, it is a time for us all to take responsibility for ourselves and our community, especially for the next few weeks.

Staying connected will help us, and we are so lucky in Cromwell that there are great outdoor cafe spaces for us to catch up with friends during this difficult time.

Three fine examples are in the Cromwell Mall, all facing north to catch the sunshine. 

The Kitchen Cafe has the longest history of hospitality in this location. Many residents will recall that decades ago it was the tea rooms.  Owner Imelda Defreese says,

“Our outside space has always been a bonus, but never more so than now.”

The Kitchen Cafe’s busiest time of the day is early morning, as it enjoys a large following on the breakfast menu.  Imelda can’t resist bringing a bit of her Mexican flare to the menu -‘just a wee bit’ – and the apple cinnamon scrolls, too, are extremely popular.

Just along from them is Fusee Rouge (‘Red Rocket’), started by ‘Cafe Queen’ Glennys Logan, about 20 years ago, and now owned by her friend, Nicola Taylor.

Nicola says that the outside spaces are always a bonus during summer, though customers are still required to be vaccinated there too.  The cafe has adapted an app that allows non-vaxed or cautious customers to order and pick up in a contactless way.

As the only licensed cafe in the Mall, this award-winning cafe prides itself in being a place were customers can enjoy connecting with others while enjoying their coffee and food.

Trish Wilson, of Afix Cafe, is the local barista trainer and cafe food lecturer for Otago Polytechnic.  Trish says,

“Our biggest seller is our scones – cheese scones, date scones, gluten free scones.”

Her other big sellers are the large variety of GF sweet baking items.

All three women were full of praise for their staff and customers, and appreciative of so much local support in these worrying times.

Trish says, “Our customers are amazing.  They all respect the rules and regulations and understand that it’s not us making them – which makes our job easier.

Imelda agrees, saying, “My staff are dealing amazingly well with the restrictions. 

They are grateful that we are still open.  Our customers have been fantastic.”

Nicola acknowledges the difficulties of giving hospitality when no-one can see your smile. She says,

“We need our local meeting places, but we can only go on if we are supported. Our locals are extremely understanding, and we could not do what we do without them.”

So, whether sitting in the sunshine or keeping contactless with takeaways, let’s show our gratitude and support our wonderful cafes.