Christchurch café’s rebirth in words and pictures

30 May, 2017 by
Hospitality Business

A book that captures the story of the renewal of Christchurch in words and drawings, tied in to that of a café’s rebirth, has not only won the Publications Category at Pride In Print 2017 but in an unprecedented move was announced as Supreme Award Runner-Up.

In the 24-year history of Pride In Print, there has never been a Supreme Award Runner-Up – only the Supreme Winner being lauded. However, the quality of the “Let’s Take a Walk” book printed by Christchurch printer Caxton was so exceptional, and the voting by judges so close, that for the first time an additional award was bestowed.

“Let’s Take a Walk” tells the story of the Crofski family which owns the C1 Expresso, an iconic Christchurch café located in the central city, that had to close after the major earthquake on February 22, 2011.

Devastation across Christchurch was accompanied by the tragic loss of 185 lives. The premises where the café was situated were demolished a year later and the family business came to a halt.


For a while, like everyone in Christchurch, the family was overwhelmed and at a loss over what to do next. After some time had passed, they saw how badly the city needed an injection of energy and creativity to jumpstart its recovery.

So they decided C1 Expresso would be a leader in the fight to recover from this massive tragedy. It was one of the first businesses to move back into the central city.

“Let’s Take a Walk”, designed by Alec Bathgate, tells the story with fold-out pages which show the “before” view of buildings and the “after” look of destruction.

Pride In Print judge Dickon Lentell says this is a story that could only be told in print.

“The Crofski family lost their home and business in the earthquakes but the opening of the C1 Expresso café was a sign of the city’s rebirth,” he says.

“It tells the story amazingly well with drawings of homes, buildings and the Cathedral suffering from damage. The book is tightly bound to ensure the drawings are held perfectly in place.

“This was a broken city that has been put back together again, and the book tells us how it was done.”

Interviewed at Awards Night, Caxton managing director Bridget Batchelor says being named the first-ever runner-up to the Supreme Award was an “awesome” achievement.

“I’m in shock really,” she says.

“Obviously, the judges found it difficult to pick between the two of us. It is awesome to be recognised for the hard work.”

Ms Batchelor appreciated the opportunity as a Christchurch firm to have been involved in a brave Christchurch rebuild story.

“It’s a job that we’ve never done of that type before. There were a lot of other people involved from within the industry — it was a pool of knowledge to pull it off.

“Every single element had to be exact [to produce the fold-out features] — every single one had to align.”

Priding itself on its book publications and already “very strong in that market”, Ms Batchelor welcomed the additional opportunities that this year’s achievements at Pride In Print will present.