Commuters can now enjoy a morning caffeine fix at a new coffee kiosk at Ōtāhuhu Station thanks to a social enterprise designed to benefit the community.
The Southern Initiative worked with Auckland Transport to create the opportunity for the exciting food and beverage social enterprise called Fale Kofi on a six month trial and potentially a prototype for what could be done in others places.
Picture: Affirming Works CEO Ann-Helen Rasmussen (left) and Māngere-Ōtahuhu Local Board chair Lemauga Lydia Sosene open Fale Kofi at Ōtāhuhu Station
The kiosk is run by Affirming Works, which already has extensive experience in successfully running community cafes, supported by a cooperative of The Southern Initiative, oneCOOPERATIVE and Roots Creative Entrepreneurs. The cooperative business model will add more social, local, Māori and Pasifika enterprises over time.
Māngere-Ōtāhuhu Local Board Chair Lemauga Lydia Sosene had the first cup of coffee at the opening and said it was great to see a local enterprise given the chance to show what it can do and for locals to benefit from the significant infrastructure investment going on in the area.
“Often small enterprises find it hard to compete against bigger businesses for a site like this and what this will do is help Affirming Works build its capabilities and continue to employ local young people so they are on a much more even playing field in the future.”
The kiosk is only a small space but big on innovation and community impact with its outstanding and unique food and beverage offering with a focus on providing nutritious and affordable products.
Fale Kofi doesn’t sell sugar-added drinks and plans to offer free misshapen fruit to children. The food and drink options are sourced from Pasifika, Māori and local producers wherever possible and are ethical trade. In the future, Fale Kofi will offer a text-and-collect service for busy commuters of authentic Cook Island meals from the oneCOOPERATIVE.
With an eye to treading lightly on the planet, all waste will be recycled and the stunning Māori and Pasifika inspired fit out, designed and built by Roots Creative Entrepreneurs, is made from recycled and upcycled materials.
South Auckland’s unique Māori and Pasifika identity is being promoted by the kiosk through its cooperative business model, products, design and bilingual signage.
The kiosk demonstrates new models of economic development that puts people and the environment at its heart and fosters collaboration rather than competition. All profit goes back into supporting great community causes.
“There’s a strong appetite in South Auckland for business that delivers sustainable and shared prosperity” says TSI specialist adviser Joel Umali.
“Fale Kofi will show that we can deliver great service and products, be commercially viable and have a social, environmental and cultural mission. It’s a win-win for customers, Auckland Transport and the local community.”
The kiosk is just one example of the many ways the council family is working hard to make Ōtāhuhu a great place to live, do business work and play. Ōtāhuhu-Middlemore is one of 10 areas across the region identified for special priority and where a coordinated approach is being undertaken to drive transformation.