AN Invercargill cafe owner will shout coffee for front-line responders throughout this year to thank them for their efforts during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Main St Cafe owner Jerin Nadar said since last year, when the cafe opened, he had wanted to show his appreciation for front-line workers.
The “free coffee 2022” initiative was just a small gesture to acknowledge those keeping the communities safe during Covid-19 times, he said.
“During this difficult time, there are people with their work, proving every day that they are our real heroes in the coronavirus pandemic.
“Like in the Marvel movies, the hero saves the world from evil with superpowers.
“Similarly, this time with this pandemic, our doctors, nurses, police officers, firefighters and all first response professionals are doing their job without hesitation.”
Mr Nadar said he had not worked out how many coffees would be given away during the year, but the feedback from the community had been great and he was ready to give away as many coffees as were needed.
Some people had asked him to extend the gift to other occupations, such as supermarket workers and cleaners, but Mr Nadar said he had to focus on first responders to enable his business to continue operating successfully.
“We would love to be able to give back to every emergency services worker, but … I feel those are the people who are on the field, tackling this problem.
“If I give free coffee to everyone, I might not have a cafe able to give free coffee to first responders,” he joked.
Police officers and firefighters approached for comment said they were thankful for the initiative, but they could not favour a specific business or accept gifts.
Barista Ayano Motodane said two firefighters who visited the cafe on Friday were, however, pleased to receive the free coffees.
“They ordered two coffees and one scone and when I told them they only need to pay for the scone, they were very happy.
“I hope they feel how much we appreciate and are thankful for their work.”