Kia ora ano!
Yes you read it right - I’m officially in the process of opening my own gallery AND coffee bar!!! After submitting our resource consent (council shit) a few weeks ago and the building consent being submitted today all of my dreams and ideas are now on a fast track to becoming a reality - well kind of. Because of the nature of our set-up (changing a shed in a residential zone to a commercial space) there’s a-lot of processes (above) we need to go through, but, we’ve hired the right people to navigate us through this initial phase and I’m a big believer in sticking to what you’re good at and hiring specialists where and when you need them. Getting all of our permits signed off will be the trickiest phase of the process so I’ve hired a planner and architect to not only make it way less stressful, but, also more efficient - because time is money!
Anyway, to give you some clarity around the new venture I’ve answered a few questions about L’ARTE (pronounced LATTE ((clever I know))) which is the name of the new business to keep you up to speed.
What is L'arte?
L'ARTE is going to be a gallery first & foremost, but, to get as many people through the doors, my wife and I decided it would be a smart idea to do espresso coffee as well. In saying that, the aesthetic is going to be heavily influenced with the gallery in mind and my hope is that when you first walk into the space, you'll instantly feel like you're in a gallery first, coffee shop second - much like the picture below.
Who is L'arte?
Because L'ARTE is a gallery AND coffee shop, it's going to be a collaboration between my Reuben James brand and Sublime Coffee based in Nelson, NZ. Owned by Emma & Dan Hennah, Sublime have been roasting and distributing their coffee since 2005. They also own 3 (don't quote me on that) coffee shops, two in Nelson and one in Palmerston North. Talking about Palmerston North, this is where I got my first taste of Sublime coffee and since that day, it's my go to spot if I'm ever in town and need a hit. Not only that, I've spent a bit of time with Emma & Dan and I can see their passion for coffee extends beyond the business and they're in it for the love of it - that really resonates with me and it's exactly what I hope to achieve with the gallery.
Why am I opening L'arte?
As a photographer who sells prints, the goal has always been to display my work; so being able to have an exhibition every day will be a dream come true. I also LOVE coffee and feel optimistic that the two will go really well together. The other goal for opening L'ARTE is to fund some of the ideas or collections I have in my head. My 'Iconic beaches of New Zealand' series is a good example of this as the cost to do it well is extremely high - think helicopters, large format camera systems and printers.
Where is the gallery?
Foxton Beach, New Zealand - in a shed underneath our flat next-door.
When is it going to be open?
All going to plan, I'm hoping to have it up and running by Spring in order to give me time to hone my barista skills in preparation for Summer - which gets crazy busy around here! As well as perfecting my own skills, in those first few months I’d love to bring in at least one staff member who can run and work the bar so that I can regularly update the gallery. Although I want to be present in the gallery 95% of the time, it’s important to me to remember why I’m opening L’ARTE so shooting will be a high priority as well.
Inspiration for the space?
Rather than write about my inspiration for the gallery I thought I’d end the blog with a montage of images I’ve pinned to my Pinterest account and hopefully that gives you an insight to the aesthetic and vision for the space.
Not much of a sign off this week just a thanks for reading and I look forward to sharing the progress with you and then making a coffee for you!!!
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