Cate and Jason Hall are passionate about smokefree. They run Ripe Coffee Company and have three 100% smokefree cafes in Lower Hutt. Smokefree is important to the Halls because of the effects of smoking on the community.
Last year they joined the Turning the Tide movement when they made their Moera cafe, Mo Town, completely smokefree. “What we’re noticing is that we’ve got more families coming here with young children and they’re confident that they won’t be subjected to second-hand smoke and that’s a really good thing,” Cate says.
The Halls have been leaders in smokefree dining in Lower Hutt since the early 2000s. Jason says when they opened their first café in 2000 there was a history of people smoking in cafes and bars, “We didn’t want to alienate people, but then we realised that, you know, the smokers were alienating people, so it sort of came about that we were one of the first ones back in the early 2000s that stopped smoking indoors in our café in Jackson Street”.
Cate says they haven’t noticed a drop in customers since going completely smokefree. The Halls have recently taken over Origin Café on Jackson Street that they previously ran as Go Bang. Making it 100% smokefree was the natural thing to do and their other café Small Batch on Waione Street is also smokefree. Cate says that café owners have nothing to lose in going smokefree.