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HomeNEWSFamily-owned Dunedin cafe wins $10k to pull them out of the red

Family-owned Dunedin cafe wins $10k to pull them out of the red

Bryonny and Simon Smith are the proud owners of Alto Cafe, a community-focused gem nestled in Mornington, Dunedin. The couple purchased the sunny spot in April 2019 and were really hitting their stride when Covid-19 swept the world.

Continuing to serve up epic food and good vibes, and even support their community with sponsorships, competitions and donations, Alto Cafe managed to survive the first couple of years. But with the Omicron outbreak and a move to Red under the traffic light system their future – like those of so many other small hospitality businesses – looked more and more uncertain.

On February 15 2022, seven local hospitality suppliers launched Hospo Red Relief, an initiative to get the people of Aotearoa supporting the hospitality industry with their hard-earned dollars. Kōkako Organic Coffee, All Good, Karma Drinks, Innocent Packaging, La Marzocco, Almighty and ACME pooled together $10k to offer as a prize for one independently owned hospitality business and Neon Hive has pitched in with $5K towards a new website.

Customers could nominate their favourite spot by purchasing something from them, then uploading a pic of it to the competition website.

The campaign received over 1423 nominations, with over 480 unique establishments in it to win the prize. Earlier this month the winner was randomly drawn and it was Alto Cafe. They will receive their winnings at the end of the month.

“This is literally a gamechanger for us! Instead of checking the overdraft everyday, we’ll be able to breathe and start fresh, says Bryonny.

Wanting to pay it forward, Bryonny and Simon have decided to share $1,000 of the prize money with their staff to go and spend at other hospitality businesses in Dunedin.

While the campaign may be over, the hospitality industry still needs the public’s support.

“We could see from our own business and that of our cafe customers just how much Covid has been impacting hospitality, so the timing for this initiative was important as it helped raise awareness and generate support for the entire industry as well as the winner. Every dollar helps, even the ones you might spend online or contactlessly,” said Olivia Coote of Kōkako.

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