The Plastic Free Raglan team sat down for a cuppa with
Emma, owner of The Hut which opened last December on Rangitahi Peninsula.
We have been stoked to have you and The
Hut open in Raglan. What’s been your highlight of your journey so far? It’s
connecting with the community who share similar values, working towards zero
waste. I love the challenge of finding ways to reduce my waste as a hospitality
business. There are many things we can do such as use local
re-filleries to minimise packaging, support suppliers that allow you to BYO
containers, and say no to single use items such as throw away cups. I am always
looking for ways where I can improve
What’s been a challenge
you’ve experienced? Gauging how much food
to make and sell each day! Food waste is something I’ve become very mindful of.
Not only for environmental reasons but also for how it effects the bottom line
And why is food waste
so important to you? It doesn’t seem right
to send food or coffee grounds to landfill when it can be composted, and reused
to grow more food. When I started this business I set myself the challenge to
work towards zero waste, being mindful of inhouse processes and ways to reduce
all waste streams.
was the 2nd café in our community to ban single use cups. You did it
right from the very start and we are so proud of you! What percentage of
customers don’t have a keep cup on them already? Are these customers more
likely to sit for 5 mins? Or borrow an ugly mug? The % of people without a
BYO cup of some description is very low. Suprisingly when I explain I don’t
have throwaway cups, customers will either find a reusable cup from their car
or are happy to borrow from our mug library. In other cases they don’t mind to
stop, use our have-here cups and enjoy the views. It’s been great to see people
embracing new habits and returning with keepcups next time.
to support and walk alongisde hospitality businesses in our community. But we
do challenge businesses to BAN SINGLE USE CUPS. Often the response is the very
real fear of losing customers by removing this option. So we are curious how
many people have you had to turn away? I would say about 5% decide
not to order. They are mostly people from out of town. When we have a
conversation around the kaupapa here in Raglan and Rangitahi it sometimes leads
to them realising they have time to sit and stay for a while with a real cup in
have any hot tips for cafe’s not yet taken the plunge to remove single use
options makes it easier. Offering have here cups, a borrow system and encouraging
to BYO. And don’t get disgruntled if people come with a dirty cup. I’d
much rather wash one then use a throwaway. I’m launching a cup loan system for
regulars who want to takeaway. These are double walled, stainless steel cups
with silicon lids. The idea is; customers will pay a fee to loan the cup, which
is either refunded on return or replaced with a new cup next time they come for
The Hut is surrounded by
building sites on Rangitahi Peninsula. We think you’re a prime example of
#tradieswhogiveashit What’s been your experience sharing a single use cup free
cafe with all your tradie neighbours ? It has been great, smooth and surprising! So many
tradies working in Rangitahi are local tradespeople who already support the environmental
culture in Raglan. They all have their own cups, borrow and bring back ugly
mugs, love eating our pies off real plates, sitting and having a chat.
is next on your journey to zero waste that you’re seeking out solutions for? I would love to
eliminate the tetra packaging our alternative milk comes in. I have swapped my
bakeware out and use silicone muffin trays and baking sheets instead of single
use baking paper. Any unavoidable foodwaste gets composted but it would be
awesome to get a community compost happening on the peninsula in the future.
The Hut is located on Rangitahi Peninsula and open 8-2pm Monday-Friday. @the_hut_rangitahi
If you’d like more support for reducing waste in your business, or organistion. Get in contact with us firstname.lastname@example.org or pop into the Xtreme Zero Waste office. If you’d like to be a further advocate for the reusable kaupapa then tag us in your pics @plasticfreeraglan.nz We will always re-share.