CRUMB - a good-looking coffee joint, but more than that: An inspiring story about jumping in the deep-end of your dreams -

Sometimes, you think you're just going to post some pretty photographs of a fresh-looking new spot, and then you talk to the owner and get all kinds of inspired by their story... 


Hugo Baird is only 24, but he ain't scurrrred. Or maybe he is, a little, but it didn't stop him jumping head first into the deep end of his business dream. He's just opened his own little eatery and coffee joint - CRUMB, in Auckland's Grey Lynn.

Hugo's known for ages that he wanted to start up something of his own. After working front-of-house hospo in Sydney for years (and saving), he moved home to NZ and landed himself a job working for celebrated NZ chef, Al Brown (and kept saving). 

He was a regular at Ariki Store in Grey Lynn (living just a couple of doors down), and often half-jokingly told the owners that if they ever wanted to sell up, to let him know.

Well a few months ago, they did. But they weren't selling just the corner store, it was the entire attached villa. Hugo spoke to a mate who he knew was keen to dip a toe in the property market, and they went to see the bank. It was a long shot, but after all-nighters putting together a full business plan, they were accepted for finance. Not as much as they thought they'd need though. They were doubtful the amount they had would buy it (this is a character villa and shop in Auckland central we're talking about after all) - but call it luck, providence, fate... they won the auction. 

Less than a month after being told it was going up for sale, the space was Hugo's. He handed in his notice and then had 4 weeks to make CRUMB happen. 
Hugo's girlfriend, designer Lucy Jamieson, created the CRUMB brand and graphics, with just about everything else being designed or built or sourced by Hugo himself. The result of a small space and a small budget, is a well-considered, laid-back design with nothing gratuitous.

If there's a lesson here, it's this - Jump in, go on. I bet you can swim.

Hand-painted sign by Sam Burton of Sure Shot (yip, those clean lightbox letters were done by hand)

Love those simple stamped cups

Artist drawing of the villa (CRUMB used to be one of its 4 bedrooms); hand-lettered menu by Sam Burton of Sure Shot

CRUMB owner Hugo Baird, 24

This delicious imagery was shot by Auckland-based
designer and photographer Josh Griggs for Fancy.


  1. Oh I love this lil story - its neat to think he will work so hard to make sure it is a success after working so hard to get it in the first place. yay, this has made me happier than I was.

  2. This place is the bomb. Those toasties!! And that coconutty-caramelly slice thing... oh my word!


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