a decent conversation with Victus.
Victus Coffee & Eatery is a friendly cafe that lies in the heart of Nelson City. Serving up fresh food and the finest range of coffees, it's a must-visit spot when in the South Island.
We chatted with founders Nick and Beth about their commitment to sustainability and community engagement, the story behind the name, and their popular savoury waffles.
Hi Nick and Beth! First up, can you tell us a bit about Victus and how it all started?
We had always dreamed of having our own cafe, and creating a space that was driven by community, excellence in food and beverage, and genuine hospitality. We’ve spent most of our professional careers prior to this in wholesale specialty coffee, and had looked at spaces we could make our own for some time, but with little success. An opportunity came up to buy an existing cafe right in the heart of Nelson, and we jumped at it. We took over on a Friday, had three intense days of renovations, painting and refreshing, and opened again that next week as Victus Coffee & Eatery!
What's the story behind the name Victus? Does it have a special meaning or significance?
The name came to us much earlier than the business, in the early days of dreaming and vision boards. We had looked at setting up a free-store in our local neighbourhood of Victory (Beth was the founder of the Kairos Free Store in Christchurch before moving to Nelson). During a scrabble game I tried to play the word Victus, and after dredging through a dictionary found out it was an old Latin word meaning “nourishment or way of sustaining life”, which for us really embodies the importance of hospitality and human connection, as an integral part of sustaining life.
What made you decide to use our sustainable packaging?
It’s always been a top priority for us to be able to create a sustainable business. One that maximises our social impact, while minimising our environmental impact. Not all packaging is made equal, and not all sustainable packaging is made equal either. decent products were the perfect blend of functional, affordable, and sustainable, and present our food and drink in the best way possible!
Congratulations on being finalists in the Nelson Hospitality Awards! Can you tell us what you love most about your local area and the community?
Thanks so much! We’re super proud of our team and what we’ve all been able to build, so to walk away with a couple of awards is a great win! Nelson is a pretty special little town. Big enough that there is always plenty happening, but small enough to build a great local community. People live differently when they’re anonymous, which is a big problem in some big cities. Nelson strikes a good balance. It’s hard to walk down the street and not say hello to a friendly face. It’s also full of some wonderfully creative and innovative people and businesses, all while not taking itself too seriously either. Everyone still makes time to enjoy their hobbies, or try some new ones.
What have been some memorable moments for Victus on its journey so far? What are you most proud of?
We’ve had plenty of memorable moments. One would have to be in the early months of opening, when Nelson was hit with a huge storm and floods. We didn’t have the option to open, so decided to pay it forward and support the emergency workers with coffee and food. Seeing the community get in behind it was amazing. Everyone wanted to help!
Your menu looks delicious! Can you tell us what menu items would you recommend for first time visitors? Tell us the crowd favourites.
Thank you! We work hard to create that fine menu balance of cafe classics alongside unique eats. Our Savoury Waffles are a top pick for sure. A Japanese inspired Okonomiyaki waffle with sriracha mayo, crispy shallots, fried egg and bacon. What’s not to love! The sweet waffles are a crowd pleaser also, and are GF, DF and Vegan to boot!
Can you share any upcoming plans or projects that the Victus team is excited about?
Summer is always just around the corner in Nelson, so that tends to be a project in itself. We’re looking at doing a whole new ‘summer coffees’ menu, with a few unique additions!
Thank you again for chatting with us, can you please tell our readers where they can find you?
Come and say hi!