After a solid 5-plus weeks in lockdown, we’re finally lifting the blanket and making the first moves back to normality. For the everyday kiwi, phase 4 meant semi-acceptable day-drinking, embarrassing TikTok’s, and buckets of banana bread. However, for small business owners, these 5 weeks were filled with uncertainty, sleepless nights, and fear. COVID-19 has pushed our country to its limits and tested our capabilities in ways we were unprepared for, however not all effects of this virus have been negative. This virus has proved how strong we stand together as a nation, and how willing we are to act selflessly in support and protection of those who might suffer more from the effects of the virus.
With this in mind, it’s now, more than ever, that we need to keep this communal camaraderie going. Local businesses have been doing their best to stay afloat during the peak of this pandemic, but it’s the aftermath which is going to be their biggest battle. Luckily, if we spend that extra dollar to shop locally, we can help breathe some life back into these affected businesses.
So why am I talking about this on my food blog? Our capital is built on hospitality. In fact, we’ve got the most cafes per capita in the world. That’s a lot of businesses, with a lot of employees, who are all going to feel the impacts of this pandemic. Below is a little list of things you can do to support these businesses who are desperately trying to get back on their feet – and remember – no task is too small, every little helps:
- If you can’t be arsed cooking spaghetti for the 11th time in a row or waiting in line for the supermarket, get dinner delivered or by takeout! About every café and restaurant (and potentially, bar) in Wellington are jumping on the take-out bandwagon, which for us means doing our bit and ordering our favourite food and eating it at home in our dressing gowns (such a tax right?). So, jump onto your social media to see if your favourite food places are offering delivery or takeout, and get to ordering!
- Buy local ingredients and products. When I say local, I don’t mean just Wellington (although we do have some pretty premium products made in our capital) – I mean the whole of New Zealand. Sure, sometimes buying international is cheaper and seemingly more economical – but spending that extra dollar on some peanut butter is the difference between a local business staying afloat or a multinational corporation just getting richer.
- When we can finally get our caffeine fix, source it from Wellington’s smaller independent cafes. I know the pull of a Venti double shot caramel macchiato is strong, but believe me, a flat white made from locally roasted beans is going to taste just as good – if not better. Our capital hails some of the best cafes in New Zealand, so it would be almost rude not to make the most of our brilliant baristas’ skills.x
- Quarantine means missing out on your favourite fast food snacks, which I bet you now realise you’ve under-appreciated this whole time. But why not try make your own supreme pizza or original recipe? The great thing about people being deprived of their favourite fried food, is that they’ll go out there and try re-creating it. 5 weeks into quarantine, there’s a recipe for about every fast-food favourite which look and taste damn-near close to the real thing. Not only can you feel the achievement of making your favourite food from scratch, you can also get the family involved for some bonding and learning time in the kitchen – with delicious food being the reward!
So, there you have it, 4 easy ways you can do your part in supporting our awesome local hospo businesses, whilst getting some fantastic food and drink out of it at the same time!
Kia Kaha, stay strong and stand united, New Zealand.