Real community spirit breaking out in Ponsonby

In a concerted move that may see a long overdue diminution of selfish individualism, we, in Ponsonby, are seeing an unprecedented level of community cooperation breaking out.

And now, under Level 3, through many ingenious re-inventions, many Ponsonby businesses are offering contactless service which has proved incredibly popular.

I spoke to a friend who stopped to chat as she cycled past my front gate. She told me how their family of four had just loved being able to have takeaways again. Each family member had a choice, and so for four nights they had take-outs from local restaurants.

She enthused about the food and the service. One restaurant was so busy their food was 30 minutes later arriving than they had ordered. The delivery person was so apologetic, had extras with the order, and a personal note from the proprietor. My friends were so impressed.

Just a couple of hundred metres up the road from my home, Five Loaves has a contactless structure outside for pickup orders. It’s so impressive you could just about live in it. A builder friend of Five Loaves’ owner, Michael Riordan, discussed it with his friend last Friday night. By Saturday morning it was built and ready to go. This morning, as I walked past, there was a brisk trade in coffees going on, with the contactless structure quickly becoming a major local landmark.

A number of local businesses have done so well they have declared that they have ‘almost made a profit’. The plan for most has been about service, positioning them for the time when they can fully open up again. Portion sizes have unanimously been declared ‘very generous’, and quality has been declared ‘exceptional’.

Viv Rosenberg, GM of Ponsonby Business Association, is very excited with the ingenious ways business has been transacted in such trying circumstances. She told Ponsonby News how impressed she has been with the service and the quality of food her family has eaten from local restaurants.

The council, too, has worked closely with a lot of inner city businesses over the last two weeks to ensure premises are safe and hygienic and to help them facilitate takeaway and delivery service.

As Viv Rosenberg told Ponsonby News, Ponsonby is “virtually open”. She also told us, “The sense of community, love and passion has always been strong in Ponsonby, but now more so than ever.

“Businesses have worked hard to adapt to the changing landscape and our community is supporting them. There is no doubt it will be a long, hard road back to the ‘new normal’ but I am confident that with all those positive attributes our community has displayed, we can do it.”

The ‘I Love Ponsonby’ website, which is bright and user friendly, lists 102 food and coffee outlets, 79 fashion related businesses, and 53 other retailers open for on-line orders and contactless delivery. You can view and shop at your favourite retailer or restaurant via their new directory.

Let’s keep this positive, kind, community cooperation and togetherness going and prospering, long after Covid-19 has been eliminated.

It will do wonders to our self esteem and our wellbeing.

‘Stay local, shop local’ has never had so much gravitas.
(John Elliott)