Nelson Tasman ideal for entrepreneurs

Nelson Tasman ideal for entrepreneurs

Posted on Wednesday 4 December 2019

Stephanie Fry and her family made the move across the strait from her hometown Wellington, to her husband Nick’s hometown, Motueka, six years ago. The couple run two successful businesses in the Nelson Tasman region, and also started New Zealand’s very first reusable cup swap initiative, CupCycling™, which is a social enterprise that sits alongside their IdealCup business.


What do you do for work in Nelson Tasman?

Along with my hubby, Nick, we own and operate Celcius Coffee Roastery and our IdealCup business in Motueka. IdealCup is New Zealand’s first reusable cup, designed and made in Aotearoa. We run IdealCup from here in beautiful Motueka and we have a manufacturing base with a team in Wellington too. We also facilitate CupCycling nationally in 106 cafés and counting – its focus is people over profit and working together to reduce the amount of disposable cups that end up in our landfills via a simple cup swap system. We have worked in the sustainability space for 15 years.


IdealCupsIdealCups | Photo: Supplied


How do you find the region as a place to work and as a base to do business?

I love that I’m able to run IdealCup from Motueka. When I need to travel for business, we have the beautiful new Nelson Airport gateway connecting me with the rest of New Zealand. And with Welly just a quick 25 minute hop’s just so accessible. Each week I spend a little time in Nelson City itself, for meetings, networking and events and I always enjoy the drive over and back – no traffic jams and the perfect length of time to reflect.


What drew you to live in Nelson Tasman?

Nick is a “local”, born in Motueka in the early 60s, one of six boys. He was raised on a tobacco farm in Riwaka and is a 5th generation ‘Motuekan’. Since we met 20 years ago, we’ve been coming to the region for years and years for holidays. Six years ago, we decided Motueka was where we wanted to put down our roots. Our son Harry is 17 and when we decided to make the move, even at 11 years old, he too thought it was a great idea. As a family, we all felt this was the place for us. It’s one of the best decisions we’ve ever made and we are all very happy. He’s made some great friends and has settled in to the rural lifestyle really well.


Motueka Waterfront credit Abel Tasman AquaTaxi 4Motueka Waterfront | Photo: Abel Tasman Aqua Taxi


What has surprised you since you moved to the Nelson Tasman area?

It never ceases to amaze me how many amazing, talented, and inspiring people there are in the Nelson Tasman region. Individuals and businesses, punching above their weight, doing amazing things in their own right. I hear about businesses all the time that I never knew were here that are doing such amazing things. It’s really motivating. 


What do you value about living and working in the Nelson Tasman region?

The climate for one. Being born and raised in Wellington and living there for 42 years, it’s such a wonderful climate here in Motueka. The beautiful scenery and the Abel Tasman on our back doorstep is amazing. We are so grateful to be in such a beautiful part of the world. I love working in Motueka. Driving into town, waving out to everyone you know, then working from the MOTropolis business hub alongside some truly awesome and inspiring business owner-operators. Motueka is a very special community.

We live just outside Motueka township in Brooklyn Valley, which is such a great little community in itself. We have a couple of hectares, a handful of sheep, a crazy dog and a cat who thinks he’s a dog too. We all love the lifestyle – so peaceful and uninterrupted, yet so close to the action when we come to work or want to play. 

A number of family members on both sides are here and it’s just wonderful to be able to live in such a beautiful region and to all share that. We have visitors galore all through the year, which is just awesome, as I love to entertain! Once they come, they don't want to leave.


To discover more about living and working in Nelson Tasman click here.