What does your cup of coffee mean to us?

We’ve all heard what a cup of coffee means to you, but do you know what it means to us?

The eight-week lockdown and shut down of businesses, schools, social lives and watching the tragic events unfolding globally has without a doubt been one of the biggest, scariest upheavals in our lives. But as we reached the end of our lockdown and moved to Alert Level 3 of the four-level Covid-19 system, re-opening our business even only partially is looking very different to how it was when we closed. What a difference eight weeks can make!

After the initial freaking out, the lockdown has given us time to stop, think, reflect and re-evaluate. It has enabled us to think and to focus really hard on what we do well, what we can improve on and ultimately what we value. We realised that people get really sick of their own cooking and their own company really quickly. That is because people are social – eating is social, and having a trained professional cook a meal for you is absolutely one of life’s great pleasures. We also love our routines and we love that familiarity of our favourite café. It makes us feel safe, important, valued and part of a community.

What we realised about ourselves and our business, Pembroke Patisserie, during this absence is how much we love and miss our community. What we also came to realise is the importance our place has for people to meet, socialise, check-in, catch up, share. All those little daily, weekly, monthly interactions are just so intricately linked to our social make up. In this time of great uncertainty, connecting with your community, checking in on friends and supporting your local business is as important now as ever.

At Level 3 Pembroke Patisserie didn’t reopen for takeaway coffees for a number of reasons, mostly to do with safety and managing risk to our staff and customers. But also, logistics, feasibility and managing waste. As most of you know, we are single- use cup free and it was always our intention to stick to that. For us, not re-opening for takeaways or contactless coffees has made us seriously evaluate why we do or don’t do anything, but everyone is different and we all have our reasons for doing the things that we do. This is not a judgement. I am in absolute awe of the lengths businesses have gone to get themselves up and running safely and efficiently in what can only be described as extremely restrictive and difficult conditions.

It wasn’t an easy decision for us, but we know it was the right one. Why? Because for us, what we discovered, is that your cup of coffee is not served contactlessly. Something about that word just doesn’t feel right. Creating and serving a coffee is ALL about making contact! It is a social interaction. It is a greeting, an acknowledgement, a smile, a conversation, a connection, a routine, a highlight, a treat, a little luxury. To remove any doubt, we decided to wait until social interactions are socially acceptable again and we think it’ll be worth it. We can’t wait to open our doors to the Wanaka community again this Thursday, May 14.

We have all heard and seen the stories of people hanging out for their favourite coffee after lockdown. So we asked our talented team of Allpress Espresso -trained baristas what making coffee for you means to them, and here’s what they said.

 “One of the things I love about making coffee is the experience with the customer and the care you put into each cup knowing what it means to that person. Much the same as when you are cooking for your friends and family, you want them to love the meal because you made it with them in mind. It’s a connection. You know certain things they like and how they like them, and the fact that you learn and remember those details means you care.” – Rachel C.

“For me it’s mostly about the customer connection, which is also the part that I miss most right now.” – Rebecca W.

“I’m looking forward to being able to create smiles with my coffees as I hand them over the counter, and maybe even the occasional ‘we started making your coffee when we saw your car pull up’. I like feeling like I’ve improved someone’s day even slightly, and I guess that’s what I’m looking forward to the most.” – Rachel M.

“I feel like a part of their lives as I usually interact with them in small talks about their previous day or plans for upcoming weekend. I see their happy face when I am handling our perfect coffee full of flavour with a perfect latte art to make their day. We are not saving lives but definitely making them easier.” – Misha V.

“You can’t imagine how happy I am to see that I give so much just with just a coffee. For some it is one of the best ways to start the day. When I say ‘have a lovely day’, accompanied with a coffee, it’s not just a polite expression, it’s that I really mean it. A good coffee, a beautiful smile immediately gives a positive day. And positivity is always needed.” – Mélanie R.

Coffees are nothing without the talented, skilled baristas that make them for you. Our Pembroke Patisserie baristas are a team of wonderful, professional, caring, competent women. Never has there been a time that is more important to support your local café, your favourite café, your favourite barista who knows just how you like it, because it means so much more than just a cup of coffee. We can’t wait for this Thursday when we can reopen the patisserie and welcome you back in. Serving your favourite coffee with your favourite pastry will never have been so sweet.

We look forward to reconnecting with you again soon.

In the meantime, stay safe, stay home – we’ll come to you.
Love Kirsty, Matt and the Pembroke Patisserie team x