Pukekohe cafe cleans up at awards

Columbus Coffee at Mitre 10 MEGA Pukekohe have come away with several awards at the annual Columbus Coffee Awards.

The cafe were overall winners of Giving Back to the Community, Brand Engagement and Manager of the Year. They were also finalists for local marketing.

Store manager Monique Porter who won Manager of the Year says receiving the awards was humbling. “I’m very proud, it was very humbling.”

Charlotte Cooper, a spokesperson for Columbus Coffee says, “Monique demonstrated that she lives and breathes the Columbus brand. She is completely committed to driving the business forward and goes above and beyond on a consistent basis.”

Monique says her award comes from, “Listening to the staff and the public. It’s a mixture of things, I’m just really excited.”

She says winning three awards and being a finalist for another “was over the top. We just kept getting called up,” she says.

There are 72 Columbus Coffee cafes throughout New Zealand, and the Columbus Mitre 10 MEGA team entered most of the 14 catagories. While the certificates have only been on display for the past few days, she says customers are happy for the team.

Monique says people are the reason she loves her job. “We have an awesome community. The customers make you feel like you’ve known them forever.”

She has been at Columbus Coffee for nearly five years and says she has enjoyed watching it grow. “There are still customers who have been here since we began.”

As well as receiving manager of the year, the Columbus at Mitre 10 MEGA Pukekohe franchise received the Giving Back award, which recognises significant work in giving back to the local community, not just financially, but with time and energy.

Charlotte says, “Monique and the team at Columbus at Mitre 10 demonstrated a truly superb level of commitment to giving back to their community throughout the entire year and across a wide number of community groups in a range of creative ways.”

Monique says, “It’s about thinking outside the square.” They have helped out various sports teams, and PTAs by organising events to help the community.

She says these awards would not have been possible without the help of the cafe’s 14 staff.

“They’re great,” Monique says. “They are such a loyal team. We couldn’t run this place without them.”

L-R: Rebecca Allen, Monique Porter (manager), Emma Tafale, Debbie Williams and Alani Skudder.