How coffee is helping many through COVID

Difficult time: Three Flamingos owner Brad Pettitt has many takeaway customers telling him how pleased they are to still be able to order a coffee during lockdown. File picture: Sylvia Liber.
Difficult time: Three Flamingos owner Brad Pettitt has many takeaway customers telling him how pleased they are to still be able to order a coffee during lockdown. File picture: Sylvia Liber.

There is nothing Three Flamingos' owner Brad Pettitt enjoys more than starting the day with a freshly brewed coffee.

And the feedback he has been getting from many of his customers is that caffeine has been helping them get through the COVID pandemic.

Mr Pettitt enjoys hearing that because it is motivating him at a difficult time for this business. When NSW went into lockdown in 2020 he was trading from a smaller venue and was able to service customers takeaway through a front bi-fold window.

The support he had from the Albion Park community helped keep the doors open. But two weeks prior to the present lockdown he had moved to a larger site next door and and that is presenting bigger a challenge.

"I hired a bunch of staff and now we find ourselves in this situation when we have more staff than we need," Mr Pettitt said.

"We are trying to do what we can to limit the damage to them and try and keep the business afloat. We didn't qualify for the business grant payment because the comparison period is 2019. We were a much smaller cafe then so our numbers now are still greater than what they were back then."

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But Mr Pettitt is grateful for the Federal Government's financial assistance for his staff who have lost hours.

While coffee has been the core business at Three Flamingos each day during the lockdown from 6am. But Mr Pettitt has also been trying to spread the word about meal deliveries on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights as he tries to keep the business afloat and his staff employed.

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"We do the food and Ghelato delivery ourselves," he said.

Mr Pettitt said the further tightening and extension of restrictions had reduced foot traffic to the cafe for takeaways.

He said those who do need to go out for essential items have been telling him how great it is to be able to still get a takeaway coffee. Many tell him how it has helped them get through home schooling.

He is so grateful for the support of people ordering takeaway coffees and delivery meals he has been searching for a way to give back and provide some relief and hope to the local community.

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His coffee supplier Toby's Estate Roasters helped him come up with an initiative that will soon give three people in Albion Park 150 reasons to turn any COVID frown upside down. During a random flyer drop to letterboxes in the suburb in coming days three flyers will include pink tickets for free coffee for the remainder of 2021. Mr Pettitt hopes by spreading the word about the takeaway coffees and meal deliveries will help generate more business for Three Flamingos and create more hours for his employees.

This story How coffee is helping people through the pandemic first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.