CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand — Patrons at Coffee Cultures in New Zealand will shortly be breathing nothing but fresh air, with all 18 stores becoming completely smokefree from tomorrow – World Smokefree Day.
Coffee Culture is the latest to sign up to the Fresh Air project, a collaboration between the Cancer Society and Canterbury District Health Board with the support of the Christchurch City Council, which is aimed at stubbing out smoking in the outdoor areas in cafes and restaurants.
Coffee Culture Merivale and Sumner were part of the original 6-month Fresh Air Pilot launched in late 2016, and both cafés have remained smokefree after getting such a positive response from customers.
Now, after seeing the ongoing benefits their colleagues experienced, all of the owners of the 18 stores across New Zealand have joined the movement.
Merivale Coffee Culture owner Glenn Rewi says it’s great having all Coffee Culture stores see the value of going completely smokefree.
“When we started the trial it was always about providing the best coffee experience and providing a healthier and more pleasant dining space for our guests and staff. Other store owners have seen how positive it’s been for us, and the enthusiasm across all Coffee Culture stores to make the change has been huge.”
“Like any business, any change has also got to be good for the bottom line. It’s been good for us, so there’s confidence that making their outdoor spaces completely smokefree will be great for their business too.”
Martin Witt from the Cancer Society says that in their last survey over 95% of customers who gave feedback supported smokefree outdoor dining.
“We thought that most Cantabrians would support smokefree outdoor dining, but even we’ve been surprised how much appetite there is for it, and the appetite is growing.
Martin Witt says the number of outdoor dining venues who have signed up to the Fresh Air Project continues to grow, with an additional 23 joining since the pilot, and with the new Coffee Culture stores joining, there are now 55 in total.
“The word is getting out that happy customers mean happy cafes, it’s been a win-win. We applaud Coffee Culture owners for seeing the opportunities of going completely smokefree.”
Fresh Air pilots have also taken place in Whangarei and Nelson, and are being developed in other parts of New Zealand.
For more information, a list of venues, and for support to become a smokefree venue, visit: http://freshairproject.org.nz/