Grabbing a coffee becomes serious business

GERMARI HERSELMAN
Last updated 09:03 18/07/2014
Sophie Stammers, Renee Paterson and Emma Pilcher
GERMARI HERSELMAN
DAILY VISIT: Richard Sweetzer, left, and Richard Bristed share a daily coffee at Figaro’s Cafe in Blenheim.

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Coffee shops have become a popular place to do business for Marlburians.

The increased availability of wi-fi in cafes has seen an increase in number of people making a cafe table their desk.

Le Cafe front of house Charleigh Marshall said they have at least two or three customers a day that make one of their cafe tables their office.

Yesterday alone they had three business meetings at the cafe and interviews are a normal sight for them, she said.

"It provides a neutral ground for people to meet and a more relaxed environment. We also have many customers that work from home that meet all their clients at our cafe," Marshall said.

Ritual Cafe on Maxwell Rd owner Matt Hellriegel said customers meeting for business reasons was good for business and had become part of daily life at the cafe.

"To me it's a great compliment, to know we provide a space where people feel comfortable to do business and confident to bring clients to," he said.

Regular customers are the backbone of a cafe and so providing customers with an environment and a product they enjoy and come back for is essential.

"We get to know our customers by their coffee orders and their mugs, they often bring in their own mugs to have their coffee in," Hellriegel said.

Ritual Cafe front of house Sam Hague said she has served a lot of business clients, some doing interviews and others having regular team meetings.

Hague said they had the odd customer that lingered longer than expected over a cup of coffee, but in general customers seem to be really considerate and leave when they were done, she said.

"We more often have customers that don't have a lot of time and pop in for a quick bite to eat or a takeaway coffee," she said.

Figaro's Cafe owner Beck Hill said they had business customers in daily and they become regulars at the cafe.

Richard Sweetzer and Richard Bristed, both from Blenheim, were two regulars at Figaro's.

Sweetzer said he was now semi-retired and visited the cafe daily. He sees people working at the cafe all day, including lawyers and real estate agents meeting clients.

"It is a great way of meeting new people and really becomes a lifestyle. You meet new people simply by passing them the daily paper to read when you are done with it," he said.

Richard Bristed said he visits the cafe every second day and has met people there for business in the past himself.

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Fran Roche, the owner of Fix Cafe in Market St , said business customers were the norm for her.

Her cafe was in the heart of town and surrounded by businesses, so it did not surprise her.

"Customers meet here to get away from their offices or for privacy, others work from home and this is a friendly space to meet clients," she said.

- The Marlborough Express

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