Hub makes its coffee a social brew
Coffee drinkers at Trentham’s Hub Cafe are ‘‘paying-it-forward’’, choosing to share their love of the bean with those less fortunate.
Customers buying a coffee can pay for a second brew which is then available, at a future time, to someone more in need through their taking a tag off a communal wall and redeeming it, owneroperator Vladimir Miller said.
‘‘It is quite different but it’s been really well supported.’’
Some customers opt to donate their every fifth coffee, giving back the ‘‘free’’ drink earned on the Hub’s loyalty card.
‘‘Whatever way it’s done, it works,’’ Miller said. ‘‘These people are trying to support the community they live in.’’
Those enjoying the pay-itforward coffee are grateful.
‘‘We make it as incognito for them as we can. We have about three or four people who come in each day, we know their situation and we know it’s something positive for them. Others we see every few days or so.’’
‘‘It’s built and built. We’d get more than 10 donated a day now,’’ said Miller who makes 70 coffees a day from his 5.30am weekday start till 3pm.
‘‘This is a place for people to be respected and feel they belong. We get people from all walks of life in here. It’s a real nice mix,’’ Miller said.
The Fergusson Dr cafe’s pay-itforward approach underlines that is it aiming to be a business with a social conscience. Along with its affordable food, second-hand goods and a welcoming community space,The Hub Cafe Op Shop is out there on its own.
The Op Shop arm of the business is busy with community donations of goods steady and their knock-down prices appreciated by shoppers.
‘‘I’ve had ladies in here crying with happiness because they’ve been able to buy some things for their children,’’ Miller said.
A former youth worker, Miller, 26, originally planned for the The Hub to be a venue more for younger people but has been surprised by the wide range of customers it is attracting.
Miller was born in Russia and, as a four-year-old, was adopted by a couple in Lower Hutt where he grew up and continues to live. ‘‘I have no memory of Russia, my earliest memories are with school here, ‘‘ he said.
Since its start in February, the cafe has also supported people overseas. The To Russia With Love Aid Project is close to Mil- ler’s heart and The Hub is also supporting the Trentham-based Dugdale Charitable Trust (which owns the cafe building) in funding stationery needs for junior school students in Uganda.
More than $1000 had already been donated.