New cafe on track to serve coffee via model train


Rare Creations owner Andreas Niemann and his partner Lissa Bersamin in the cafe they built themselves.

BRADEN FASTIER / STUFF / Nelson Mail

Rare Creations owner Andreas Niemann and his partner Lissa Bersamin in the cafe they built themselves.

Cabinetmaker Andreas Niemann has always regretted selling his beloved childhood train at a low price to buy a moped as a teenager.

Now, decades later, he finally has a working model train again – as well as a bright yellow 6m long train car that he carefully crafted at his Māpua business, the art gallery. interactive wooden Rare Creations.

“Forty-five years later, I got my train back,” he laughs.

Isolated and with a full commercial kitchen, the cart took around 10 months to build and will be used as a coffee cart at the Māpua Drive site. An original feature is the functional model train with carriages, which can transport food and drink from inside the car, along the tracks to a covered outdoor seating area to serve customers.

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“We wanted to do something different. We wanted something interactive, ”he said.

Niemann, who started out as a cabinetmaker at 16 in Germany, has always loved trains. When he decided to replace the coffee cart that was previously at Rare Creations with one with a full commercial kitchen, he explored the idea of ​​buying an old train car.

However, restoring an old train car was a lot of work, so he opted to build a replica in his workshop, using wood, wood framing and stainless steel, plastic and composite materials. Her partner Lissa Bersamin did the detail work.

“It’s very practical,” Niemann said. “She doesn’t hesitate to get her hands dirty, just like me.

Niemann originally wanted a model train to run along the tracks under the roof of the coffee cart, but later decided to change direction and have it deliver food and drink to customers instead.

“I thought it had to have a purpose. “

The car has yet to open as a coffee cart as Niemann is still in the process of finding someone to take the lease. He would like to drive the coffee cart himself, he said, but just doesn’t have the time.

Rare Creations is housed in a former apple-wrapping shed that Niemann converted into an interactive wooden art gallery, which sells a variety of things, from furniture to toys and kit items made of metal and wood. Eighty percent of the furniture and 20 percent of the smaller items were made in his on-site workshop, he said, and the gallery featured plenty of items where people could press buttons and turn handles. to activate them.

“We’re trying to bring back a little creativity,” Niemann said.

“Guys hate stores, but here they can push buttons and it’s a little more interactive.”


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