Wellington food business owners are ready to open in Level 3.

People in Wellington are already dreaming of their first meal order as the capital prepares to lower its alert level overnight.

Kate Marinkovich, owner of Tomboy Cake and Cafe, tried out her new door, which will force her to pick up contactless.

Kate Marenkovich, owner of Tomboy Kekri and Cafe, is testing her door for contactless pickup during the final Level 3.
Image: RNZ / Hamish Cardwell

All New Zealand Cove 19 Alert Level 3 moves south of Auckland from 11.59pm.

Although Level 3 is notoriously known as Level 4, not everyone chose to open it this time.

Kate Marenkovich, owner of Mount Victoria Cake Shop, Tomboy, spent Tuesday preparing her store for contactless orders.

“I think I came running to the ground a little bit but, yes, I think we’re all good,” he said.

“We’re pretty organized and ready … more comfortable knowing we’ll get out of this lockdown than going into it.”

Marenkovich said working at Level 3 is a major team effort between him and other small businesses across the city.

A nearby cafe was delivering fresh bread to make sandwiches for her, and a local wholesaler helped her store some fresh yeast.

“I mean, through social media, I’ve also received some amazing push from other businesses that are not opening up to Level 3, but are just encouraging people to help local and small businesses. “

He thought businesses were making a “tremendous” decision not to open, amidst the delta tensions of the Cove 19, if it was a viable option.

However, opening the tomboy was a necessity for Marenkovich.

“I want to open up. I want to pay my staff and keep my business going, so … I’m a pigeon to do that.”

Remy Morris, general manager of Microgreens Wellington, said people also need to remember that food producers provide ingredients to the hospitality business.

But she was expecting it to be a quiet day of delivery, which was ultimately, because she knew that fewer businesses were opening up for techways in this Level 3 era.

“I’ve definitely seen a lot of places over the last year that were a little anxious to get things back on track.”

“It’s difficult for businesses to handle the takeaway model,” he said.

In Oriental Bay, people speaking on behalf of RNZ felt that moving to level 3 is enough, even though it is less of a change than seen going to levels 1 and 2.

Xavier Velota said she would go out on her daily walk outside her “crowded house” on Wednesday to have coffee.

“It’s not going to change much … I don’t think life really does change, we’re still in lockdown.”

However, going to level 3 allowed him to see the “light at the end of the tunnel”.

John and Gail Thompson were keen to support local businesses and thought it was worth going to Level 3.

“It’s a sign that we’re on the right track,” Thompson said.

“It’s a small change for us, but I think it’s a big change for some businesses, and as much as we can, we’ll help and support them through this change,” Thompson said.


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