Meet the Owners

Sue and David Barrett

Sue & David are owners of Thorvald and Little River Estate dairies and the Junction Urban Grocer in Appleby, Richmond. They moved to Nelson in May 2003 with their eldest daughter Tessa who now works at the Junction having returned (fortuitously) from Christchurch in Feb 2020. They have two more children, Helena and Blake. All the kids attended Appleby Primary School, Waimea Intermediate, and Helena & Blake are currently at Waimea College.

Sue originally hales from a small farming community in the southern Hawkes Bay and met David while they were both working and living in Auckland. They knew raising a family and growing old in a big city wasn’t for them. Sunny Nelson and David’s enthusiasm convinced Sue that Nelson was to be their new ‘forever’ home.

David’s heritage is Danish, his parents immigrated from Denmark to NZ in the early 1950s. David’s father (John), whose middle name was Thorvald, had been a cheesemaker in Denmark, it seemed appropriate to name their new sheep milk cheesemaking venture Thorvald in honor of David’s parents. The distinctive Nordic design of Thorvald packaging is another tip of the hat to David’s ancestry, but he is very proudly kiwi having been born and raised here.

Sue & David came to Nelson in 2002 to be married and it was while on their honeymoon in the Tasman region they bought their home in Redwood Valley which remains the family home today. Since relocating here in 2003 they have established, run, owned, and/or co-owned several well-known local businesses including both Stoke & Nelson fruit & vege stores and the Sprig & Fern brewery plus several S&F taverns. These businesses engrained them in Nelson and the experience proved invaluable for their next venture. After purchasing the old Neudorf Dairy site in Upper Moutere in 2015, a chance meeting with a young French cheesemaker (Francis) and a young shepherd (Julie) set them on a new path and Thorvald was born.

Thorvald expanded to include Little River Estate in 2017 and then the Junction – Urban Grocer in 2018 when they took over the old Wangapeka cheese shop. Sue & David are incredibly grateful to their amazing team (total staff now 13) and recognize any achievements they have made are only possible with the help of the fantastic people around them.

Their commitment to Nelson/Tasman is set in stone. Sue and David are staunchly proud locals and incredibly grateful to this amazing region and its’ people for the support they’ve shown over the years. This is definitely home forever!

On a final note, David has promised Sue no more businesses (with crossed fingers) but being young at heart, he reckons there’s still plenty of time for them both to rustle up a few more adventures. Who knows, another winery?

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