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Grounds for trouble

Joseph's flat white offends customer

MARYKE PENMAN
Last updated 09:06 06/12/2013
Joseph Columbus
BAD ESPRESSO: A customer was horrified to see Joseph holding a Columbus Coffee cup in a nativity scene outside the Smales Farm cafe.

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A nativity scene outside a popular coffee shop has left some customers with a bitter taste in their mouths.

The display outside Columbus Coffee in Smales Farm includes life-sized figurines of baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph, who is holding a takeaway coffee cup in his right hand.

A customer, who does not wish to be named, says it is an exploitation of Christianity.

"I think it is in the worst taste possible and most people, I think, would find it offensive.

"It is just not an appropriate place to be advertising your product." Columbus Coffee Smales Farm owner Jason Hayde says the cup was put there by another customer.

"Somebody that has used the facility has put it there. We didn't even know about it to be honest until an older gentleman brought it to our attention. And we did have a bit of a laugh, we're just normal people," Mr Hayde says.

The nativity scene has been arranged by the building owners, he says and is in a separate building adjacent to the cafe.

Harbourside Church executive pastor Paul Zaia says he can understand why the coffee cup has caused offence.

"Christmas is a really significant time of the year for Christians and to use such an occasion of historic significance, or denigrate that, does leave a slightly bad taste in your mouth."

But it is not enough to put him off the brand, Mr Zaia says.

"We're certainly not going to boycott Columbus Coffee over this. It is just probably not the smartest idea, that's all."

At the time of going to press yesterday, the coffee cup remained as part of the nativity scene.

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