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Founder’s Café back on firm ground with support from Crombie Lockwood

Updated: Apr 14

Amie-Jo Trayes has brought an old Nelson staple back to life with the renovated, rejuvenated Founders Café. But the excitement of the new has been tempered by uncertainty in a changing world for small businesses.

The freshly renovated Founders Café, formerly Founder Brewery, incorporates a vintage vibe that’s in keeping with its location in Founders Heritage Park. The area is a bustling hive of activity, where the Nelson Railway Society train takes visitors on a scenic ride and there’s an old Bristol B170 Freighter plane to investigate. There is also a maritime museum, artisan shops, live music events and plenty more. But everyone replenishes at Founder’s Café.

“We used lockdown as a time to rebrand and refurb the entire building with the landlords,” says Amie-Jo. “What I’ve done is take it back to what it was; we’ve got a great range of craft beers on tap, Kono wine through the local iwi, barista-made coffee, and great New Zealand comfort food. People come and they don’t just stay for 10 minutes; they stay for two hours. And they come back again too, which says to me we’ve got it right.”


Insurance advice through uncertain times

Despite the positive refresh, the continuing uncertainty of COVID-19 and its impact on the hospitality industry means Amie-Jo took the decision to go back to teaching for extra financial security.

Being time-poor means Amie-Jo is reliant on having the right people alongside her, including Crombie Lockwood as her insurance broker. “With belts tightened, we had to reconsider what we could afford, what we could live without,” she says.

“Rachel at Crombie Lockwood was completely understanding. She offered support around making changes to our cover, as well as alternative payment options in case we needed them.”


“Times are trying, and we already have enough to struggle with and think about. The last thing you need to be worrying about is what could go wrong and how to cover it.” – Amie-Jo Trayes


“In my role I specialise in small to medium businesses, so a key focus of my discussions with clients has been how can we keep costs low without compromising on essential protection”


Rachel Foulsham Broker - Commercial, Smart Business


With the pandemic continuing to influence how businesses operate efficiently and survive, Crombie Lockwood Nelson broker, Rachel Foulsham, says that providing reassurance and practical advice remains crucial.


“Times have been tough on small businesses everywhere. A resilient business, especially in the hard-hit hospitality sector, should be championed. I am so pleased to see Founders Café not only surviving but growing in its position at the hub of Founders Heritage Park. It’s a fantastic place to go and a great example of a passionately run family business.”