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Coffee begins with sea-side spot

“Lovely spot next to the harbour. Very nice coffee and the cheese scone was the best I have ever tasted. we will be back 😁 ”
“Don’t miss this gorgeous outdoor cafe /coffee cart at the marina. Super gorgeous . Delicious pastries” 😊
“Such a Great Find!!!For a Coffee and Relax and Enjoy The VIEW!!! 😊 ”
“Delish coffee, food and lovely people ❤🙏☕ ”
“Best coffee! and amazing baking! stunning setting! lovely staff 🥰 ”

Nelson’s coffee connoisseurs are spoilt for choice these days – so it seems fair that when choosing where to get your next brew from, to make a quick judgment based on the customer reviews available.

When you apply this evidence-based decision making to Ruby’s Espresso, it is a no-brainer.

Sea views to die for, friendly staff, amazing coffee and scrumptious baking. Owners Greg & Jo McCrostie and their team are ticking all the boxes, with people from all over the region raving about this waterfront coffee shop.

The fact it has gone from strength to strength since opening in 2020 is a testament to the team, but also one of the most exciting aspects of owning the business, says Jo.

“The highlight has been watching it grow. When I first thought of the idea for Ruby’s Espresso, I thought we may sell a few hundred coffees a week, that it would be a bit of a hobby. I did know it would do well because of the location, it was something to keep us out of mischief – but we had no idea it would do as well as it has.”

Based at Akersten Street at the Marina, the cafe has grown from an airstream coffee cart, to a shipping container custom designed in 2022, and is now destined to be one of the first cabs off the rank in a brand new hospitality precinct.

The couple are excited at the opportunity to further grow their cafe, Jo saying the development will be a game-changer for the community. “The whole area is going to be purpose built, with a retail space, bars, restaurants, all the way through to water sports facilities. The project is long term but we will be one of the first to move into a new building on the boulevard.”

Jo says Ruby’s has a few points of difference that make it a destination for locals and visitors alike. Aside from the beautiful waterfront setting and ample parking, the team has created a space that is a bit out of the ordinary. “We have some really funky furniture, our music is quite original and of course it is a really popular place to be when the sun is shining. During the summer, we will struggle to close the doors at 4pm to get ready for the next day. People love to sit with a nice drink or icecream in the sun.”

Their big flavoured coffee is a drawcard too, using local coffee roaster Sublime’s 52 blend and Oaklands milk – a combination no other cafe in the region uses. “It’s a great pairing by local producers.”

The popularity of the business means Jo is up at 5am each day to do the baking for the cafe, with the team operating the cafe from 7.30am til 4pm. Their hours cater to the large group of daily supporters made up of people from across the community.

Some visit from the surrounding businesses, others will call in on their way to work in town. “The majority of our customers, though, come to us as a destination. The parking is ample and people love to sit by the water. We get big groups of friends, rowers, cyclists, Waka Ama, mums and many more.”

There is a lot to be excited about when looking to the future of Ruby’s Espresso. While there is big growth on its horizon, the business will stay true to its purpose. It’s a place for people who like to sit down, in the sun, by the seaside with a cup of coffee and take it all in.

*The draft Marina Master plan will see Nelson Marina become a people focussed destination over the next 15 years to attract economic development, employment opportunities and safe access to Nelson Haven and Tasman Bay for all water activities.  It will also become a community space to ride your bike, walk the dog and meet up with friends for a coffee while enjoying a view of the boats.
Akersten St, Port Nelson, Nelson 7010, New Zealand
027 226 8434

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