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Healthy treats for Taumarunui and Tokoroa

A new vision to see modern nutritious foods sold at Taumarunui and Tokoroa hospitals has led to an overhaul of the hospitals’ cafes.

Food and environment services manager Sarah Turpitt has led the change with an idea to make the space and food more attractive.

“I really wanted to make it a bit more exciting and attract both staff and the public into a neat space with great food,” she said.

The plan is by improving some of the food, snacks and coffee the cafes will begin to become contributors back to the hospitals’ bottom line.

“We have external businesses on site –in the way of the pharmacy and medical centres – and their staff and patients aren’t utilising the café as much as they could, so this a great opportunity to change that,” she said

One of the biggest changes will be frozen Take Home Meals which the cooks will prepare on site.

“We have noticed a big demand from people wanting meals to take home, especially from our shift workers. We have built up a stock of specially prepared meals that can just be heated and eaten on site or taken home,” said Turpitt.

Over the Christmas period both cafes closed down to prepare for the changes and learn the new production side.

Turpitt’s background as a lecturer at Wintec helped her upskill the teams and embed a new culture among the staff.

“I have really enjoyed the challenge of seeing this vision through. We have had some battles but I have a very strong will,” she said.

Turpitt said this is only the beginning and has more plans for both sites.

“My motivation is to get everyone eating better but also to make the cafes pay their own way.”

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