Creating vibes in the yard

Opening just before New Year’s Eve 2020, The Yard offers things like simple affordable kai, Raglan Roast Coffee, teas and  juices as well as a variety of events from live music to vintage clothes pop-ups. 

Owners of The Yard Brian Ruawai and Naomi Tuaopepe, most notably known for their Cornerstone Roots and Soundsplash Festival work, have always been keen to reinvest their skills and knowledge back into the community, and with over 20 years experience being part of the Aotearoa music industry they wanted a way to support the local music industry in their hometown Raglan.

With first hand knowledge of the local and international music space,  including connections to artists, managers, agents, promoters and event managers, the couple truly believe in the power of the arts to provide value in communities.

“It has always been our goal to support a music industry in Raglan.” 

“Arts are an integral part of our environment and contribute to a community’s economic, cultural and social well-being. Becoming generative means we have a stake in the future and The Yard is just another step towards achieving those aims,” they said.

Apart from coffee and food, The Yard offers a creative space for community events, live performance and music, celebrations, film screenings, art exhibitions and innovative pop up events. 

In the seven months since they opened the doors they have so far hosted events like live music with Julien Dyne & Frank  Booker, a Dawn Raid film screening and vintage pop-up clothing market.

“All the shows have been amazing. Our first show was a colab with  ULOs with Cian who brought Julien Dyne & Frank  Booker, that was a standout.” 

“Others were Zoe Moon & Keeper, The Dawn Raid Movie Screening, KITA & Joe K & Pool Sharks was another cool show.”

“The 2nd Life Vintage clothing pop up sessions have added another vibe to the Yard and having the Acid Mince artwork adds to the creative space.” They said about some of the highlights.

“It’s a relaxed vibe and we have a very broad demographic and we like it like that. Our customers create the environment.”

While challenges always abound when starting a new venture the pair are optimistic to see the space grow.

“We’ve had our fair share of challenges already; there will always be breakdowns and sometimes you have to sit back, observe and offer creative solutions. The Yard has its roots founded on music, creativity, authenticity and vibe.”

While ideas are always turning in Brian and Naomi’s creative space – which also includes their office and music studio – they are excited  to implement new ideas and offerings. 

On what the future may hold at The Yard they hope to support local artists through things like a music instrument library, The Yard Recording & Live sessions, live producer nights, vinyl swaps and music mentoring.

They are also hoping to cook up some ideas for an extended evening menu.

The Yard – 9a Bow St, Volcom Lane.

Instagaram: @the_yard_raglan