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Victus – A way of living. Nourishment, Sustenance, Community

Nick and Beth Schryvers, are the owners of Victus Coffee & Eatery located at 111 Bridge Street in Nelson, New Zealand. They have woven their personal journeys and professional backgrounds into a vibrant community hub that goes beyond simple dining or coffee consumption. Their journey to owning Victus is filled with experiences and coincidences that underline their dedication to the world of hospitality.

Both Nick and Beth have an extensive background in the coffee industry, which has profoundly shaped their business philosophy. Nick’s journey began in Auckland, where he initially worked in the production side of a coffee roastery. His career trajectory took him through various facets of the industry. “For me, it’s from roasting. I did production and then moved to roasting, and then moved to sales through to sales and training business management,” Nick recounts.

Beth’s path into the hospitality sector was equally robust but more oriented towards management within cafes. Originally from the UK, she moved to New Zealand in her teenage years. She started working in hospitality at a young age and like Nick, found a love for the industry early on. She grew her career over her 5-year span at Allpress Espresso in Christchurch, where she managed a number of their Cafes and looked after the Barista training for the South Island.

Their paths crossed in Christchurch during a challenging time when Nick’s son was undergoing cancer treatment. Beth had recently founded a charity initiative, called Kairos Free Store, that focused on food redistribution. This is where they met, and this meeting sparked a connection based on mutual respect and shared values, leading to their eventual partnership both in life and business.

When asked about the impetus behind opening Victus, Nick shares, “Right from when we met, we had a dream of doing hospitality together, and I think given our background, that can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. But for us, our heart was really, I guess, looking after people.” This foundational belief in nurturing and caring for their community is evident in every aspect of Victus.

The challenges of running Victus are multifaceted. Nick candidly discusses the intricacies of managing a bustling eatery, emphasising the balancing act required to maintain quality and manage costs amidst economic fluctuations. “People were a challenge, finding and retaining good people, but we have been really lucky and have fantastic and talented staff, many of whom have been with us since we opened our doors” he notes. Moreover, the reality of running a business includes the responsibility of ensuring their team’s welfare and maintaining a sustainable operation, a challenge that they both take seriously.

Despite these challenges, the rewards of their work are clear and fulfilling. “The biggest joy is giving people an experience that makes them feel better than when they walked in,” Nick asserts. He believes that the true essence of hospitality is the emotional impact, not just the tangible products sold.

Victus offers a unique blend of services and products. The menu is a testament to their commitment to variety and quality, featuring everything from expertly crafted coffees to fresh, vibrant dishes that cater to all dietary preferences. There is something for everybody. Healthy options through to something luxurious to treat yourself with.

As far awards go, Nick achieved ‘Outstanding Barista of the Year,’ and their café was honored with the title of ‘Outstanding Café of the Year’ at the Hospitality Awards in Nelson 2023. Additionally, they eagerly await the announcement to see if they’ve secured a finalist spot for ‘The Best Café in NZ’ at the Hospitality Excellence Awards, taking place in Christchurch this July.

Looking to the future, Nick and Beth are optimistic about the evolution of Nelson’s central business district (CBD). They advocate for thoughtful, community-focused development that enhances the liveability and vibrancy of the area. “We’d love to see Nelson CBD become a place buzzing with life, where community spaces thrive and people feel safe and welcomed,” Nick envisions.

In their spare time, the couple cherishes the natural beauty of Nelson. Nick, having traded mountain biking for disc golf, enjoys exploring local courses with his children. This activity not only offers him relaxation but also quality time with his family, reinforcing the importance of balance in life.

Victus Coffee & Eatery, under the stewardship of Nick and Beth, stands as a testament to their passion for coffee, food, and community. Their story is not just about serving meals and beverages but about fostering a space where every visitor can find a sense of belonging and enjoyment. As they invite everyone to experience Victus firsthand, they emphasise the unique, personal touch that they aim to offer every guest.

You can visit Nick & Beth and the team at 111 Bridge Street in Nelson, New Zealand
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