New businesses freshly baked in the city

LAURA BASHAM
Last updated 13:00 21/01/2013

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A host of small Nelson businesses are showing confidence by opening new stores.

Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce chief executive Dot Kettle said today they were a reflection of a slow rebuild in Nelson after a couple of tough years.

L'Artisan Bakery, which has been at Founders Bakery for seven years, has moved into the central city and will open its new bakery and shop in a Hardy St arcade in the next week.

Owners Charlie and Donna Ryan said the rent was higher but they hoped the benefits would pay for it.

"It's like a breath of fresh air, being in town," said Mr Ryan.

They wanted to be in town to increase their retail business. While now two-thirds of their trade was wholesale, they wanted their retail slice to be bigger.

"It's part of the process of bullet-proofing our business," he said.

Their new shop is in the Marble Arch Arcade, which leads from Hardy St to Montgomery Square.

The square also has a butcher shop, greengrocer and coffee shop. "It's how people used to shop, instead of going to the supermarket," said Mr Ryan.

Donna Robertson has opened her new shop in Trafalgar St. Her previous shop, Rome, was in the Realty Chambers building in Bridge St that was demolished in November.

Not only has she rebranded, with her clothing shop called Ice and her alternations business called Qic Clothing Alterations, but she has taken on new premises for a larger workshop at Wakatu Estate.

She said she felt confident opening in Trafalgar St. "I have a positive outlook because my position is perfect, my premises are perfect, I make my own product and cut out the middle man.

"I don't aspire to have a lot of money, I aspire to fulfil my passion and put food on the table."

In Halifax St, Marcel Van Arendonk has just opened his new business Passie & Co making sweet and savoury food. Passie was Dutch for passion and that was what he was doing, he said.

"Business is hard but I want to do this business as an expression of myself," he said.

He said he had made mistakes in business and it had been tough. Now he also cooks at a rest home as well as baking at his new business in the former Willow Nelson florist shop. "The thing that gave me the confidence to do this is because I can," he said.

He hopes to incorporate some flowers by Willow, which is now in Tahunanui. He has also bought an old ambulance which he hopes to turn into a food truck.

Other businesses that have opened this summer include Hangar 58 bar and restaurant in Collingwood St, Eatalian restaurant in Fashion Island, Rhythm and Brown bar in New St, Sprig and Fern Tavern in Tahunanui, and a furniture shop and Mexican cafe, Nicola's Cantina, in Vanguard St.

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Soon to open are Bel-Aire Tavern in Tahunanui and Krauts Restaurant and Bar in Montgomery Square.

Ms Kettle said the business openings were great news.

"Small businesses are the lifeblood in any provincial centre, to see that growth is welcome news. It comes after a couple of years when businesses went back to their core fundamentals and now we're seeing growth and confidence. That's why we need this slow rebuild.

"Nelson has been quite resilient and weathered the storm in the last couple of years. The results are now being seen."

- The Nelson Mail

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