Treasury raises bar for CBD retail and hospitality


Carolyn and Andrew downstairs at the Treasury. The Burrow Fresh is behind them. Photos / Paul Brooks

Andrew Tripe and Carolyn Nicklin have one vision: to create a place in Whanganui based on quality and style. A place that would feel right at home in Wellington, let’s say.
They did it with the Treasury.
This is where the National Bank was located. When Andrew and Carolyn bought it in 2016, it was still equipped like a bank, with ATMs. The transformation to what she is now has been enormous. The couple worked a lot.

“We wanted to do something for Whanganui,” Carolyn explains. “Something good that would raise the bar a bit. “
They call it “mastige”. No mass market and no prestige: it’s in between. To everyone.
“It’s an agglomeration: a collection of like-minded things,” says Andrew. “What shares the same ideas is offering great products and services to a range of different companies.”
He says they also wanted to honor the building, its history and its majesty.

The treasury includes various businesses up and down, all of which contribute to Andrew and Carolyn’s vision.
“Sam Su’a is New Zealand’s best hairdresser,” says Andrew. Sam occupies a large space upstairs. Next to him is David Kerridge, with a concept store for unique selling and sharing. Both offices have similar steel framed glass doors, supplied by Sam.

On the ground floor, behind the doors to the street, is a food and retail area, enhanced by a paint job done by Andrew and Carolyn themselves. Here you’ll find Burrow Fresh, Storied, Soul Fuel Superfood Bar, Burrow Select and more.
Next door, with an entrance from Majestic Square, is the Maria Lane Restaurant and Bar, which is also part of the Treasury.

“All of these people provide an experience, so that the people of Whanganui come out and have something a little different,” says Andrew. “At Maria Lane, for example, the customer experience is incredible.”

Haidee Connors owns Soul Fuel.

In 2008, she had an accident that resulted in paralysis of her right arm from severed nerves. This led her to take various pharmaceuticals that masked her pain and anxiety, rather than tackling the cause.

“About five years ago I started researching foods and how they impact every chemical balance in your body. I gave up on meat and dairy and about four years ago I was become entirely vegan and raw, plant-based.

“It took me completely away from pharmaceutical drugs.”

Her food research led her to create the Soul Fuel company.

“I want people to be in better health. I want people to be more aware.”

Soul Fuel offers a range of foods and drinks with your health in mind, from vegan nachos and raw treats to smoothies and juices, bagels and super delicious foods.

Soul Fuel is a perfect match for The Treasury.

The fuel of Haidee Connors' soul.
The fuel of Haidee Connors’ soul.

Bryce Mason and Belinda Pilcher exploit Maria Lane.

“Maria Lane was the parking lot for the bank, and now we’re moving into the bank,” says Bryce. He talks about the wine and cocktail bar called ‘Next Door’, which required the removal of pieces of wall and the creation of a new entrance to the restaurant. It complements the restaurant and makes Maria Lane a big part of the Treasury.

Bryce doesn’t like to define his restaurant / cafe style but will say, “Great seasonal produce”.

It favors the European dining experience, now that Maria Lane now extends beyond its original boundaries, all the way to Majestic Square and Victoria Ave. The menu is varied but you will find temptations like the “duck stew” and the “Siciliana spaghetti”, as well as the main cut fries (with aioli) and fried chicken Maria Lane. It evolves, but they pride themselves on exceptional service.

Maria Lane fits well with the concept of The Treasury.

Storied is the brainchild of Carolyn Nicklin.

“I am really passionate about ‘slow fashion’.

“Things that people can have in their wardrobes for a long time. Things that are beautifully made, well designed, ethical fabrics, ethically produced, sustainable, trans-seasonal, and they will bring you joy every time. that you will wear them.They make you feel special.

“I started Storied because I wanted to introduce different New Zealand brands to Whanganui and I wanted to support these designers.”

Carolyn offers products from four New Zealand designers… “As well as my tiny line of knits which are made here in Whanganui. The brand is Storied. It also offers a range of jewelry designed and made in Whanganui by Amla Meijer.

“It is important that all the brands I stock share my philosophy: socially responsible, ethically made, natural fibers…”

Storied is a natural fit for The Treasury.

The Terrier Select and Stories.
The Terrier Select and Stories.

Burrow Fresh has a range of edible treats, French pastries, and delicatessen – and makes great coffee.

Caleb McNabb is director of Burrow Fresh and Burrow Select. He says the dough used in the pastries comes from France. This is the real thing.

“We want to offer this authentic experience.

“Everyone loves our chocolate and almond croissants: we have our special recipe.”

The coffee is Hawthorne and everything is fresh each morning.

Caleb loves to work there.

“It’s like working in another city, but it’s still your hometown.” Caleb is from Whanganui but has been away for a few years. He returned during the Covid. “It’s different from the way I left it. It’s one of the most beautiful cities – there is so much more to do.”

Burrow Fresh is suitable for the Treasure.

Upstairs, through large glass and steel doors, are David Kerridge and his new business, Mothwerk.
“My background is that of a creative director in advertising and photography. I lived in Ireland until about eight months ago. The Covid brought him back to New Zealand.
“I’m a designer, but I’m interested in people and communities, sustainability, and I wanted to combine all of my interests into an experience in this space.
“I love Whanganui: it’s my favorite place in New Zealand.” He and Andrew met and discovered a mutual philosophy.
Her studio is a design and retail space. “During the day I will be selling items of local origin and from Scandinavia, Japan, England and Ireland.
“It’s a minimalist philosophy, to slow down life a bit, to be careful what you do.”
His articles are not mass produced, but created with love by artisans, unique pieces, intended to last as heirlooms, although functional. Things like natural air purifiers and ceramic squeezers, which are also works of art. Anything he has in stock would make an original gift.
The space includes a fern, a touch of nature and it’s all part of the slowing down theme. Vintage items are scattered around to add interest.
He also wants to build relationships with local artists and allow them to record podcasts in his studio.
Mothwerk and The Treasury are made for each other.

In the next room is The Studio, Sam Su’a’s hair salon. It’s a large, bright space, with an ever-changing view through the large windows, overlooking the trees and Victoria Ave and Majestic Square.

“It’s about achieving that mark, maintaining high standards, it’s a quality thing,” Sam said, when asked how his company fits into Treasury’s vision. “That’s all I wanted to do, from service, customer experience, good quality products, attention to detail, it was something that looked good on me. If that is not quite correct, I am not satisfied with it. Even just creating a space where every little thing mattered.

“It’s perfect.”

Sam designed the space.

“I’ve been influenced by being in Auckland for 11 years. I’ve seen a lot of good quality outfits and systems that look and feel upscale.”

He brought it all back to his hometown.

“I knew I could offer something different… and people would take it. He says locals embraced the Studio and the high standards of manufacturing.

“It’s about making sure the experience is right,” Sam explains. “We’ve been open for six months now and are packed every day.

“[Senior stylist] Alice [Hyland] is full-time and she has her clientele… it’s a great atmosphere, clients love it. “

Sam says Alice’s cuts are very precise and she has a great relationship with her clients.

The Studio works well with the vision of the Treasury.

Alice Hyland and Sam Su'a in the studio.
Alice Hyland and Sam Su’a in the studio.

The Treasury is hosting a midwinter celebration from June 30 to July 10, during which tenant businesses will be running specials and deals. Now is the right time for the Whanganui to report to the Treasury.

“There should be something for everyone,” Andrew said.


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