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Thread: Starting a Mobile Coffee Business

  1. #1
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    Default Starting a Mobile Coffee Business

    Hi guys

    I'm starting a mobile coffee van soon, and to keep costs down I'm thinking about converting one of these...



    as ridiculous as it sounds, I believe it could be a very practical vehicle to do it in, as it has double side access, and a large, square space.

    My dad is a joiner and I think to save cash I will get him to do the 'shopfit' i.e. work surfaces, partitions, shelving etc, and I'll get the equipment myself, and then hopefully just get someone to hook up the gas and make sure the machine is plumbed in correctly.

    Does this sound like a feasible plan? Is there anything that I'm missing completely?

    Any help appreciated,
    Thanks
    Michael

  2. #2
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    Hi Michael

    quite a bit bigger than my Ape!! Looks a great vehicle if you are going to be moving around a lot (stopping on industrial estates etc). I would highly recommend a Fracino contempo dual fuel machine (that's the one I use - never had any trouble with it so far!).....or a lever machine. If you have any questions or need any equipment when you are fitting it out, let me know!

    all the best

    Andy

  3. #3
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    Looks like an interesting project.

    Always cool to have a visual hook, and that gives you a gigantic amount of working & storage space. If it doesn't impinge to much on your project, keeping a record of the process of conversion and any issues you find would be an amazing resource for others looking to do similar projects in the future.

    I would recommend a lever machine for a few reasons;
    1. Need less/possibly no electric supply to the machine
    2. Less to go wrong
    3. Levers are coooooool!

    Good luck mate
    You read it, you can't unread it
    [ Co-owner of Peel&Peel Independent Coffee, 22 St Michaels Road, Northampton | Independent Barista Trainer ]
    [ Collector of coffee makers ]
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  4. #4
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    Wow that looks like it has some awsome potential. One of my good business friends has coffee vans put together up here in Sunny Scotland and they are wicked. he uses the VW Transporter and gets them professionally kitted out with power management gear and he uses the Fracino dual fuel machines as well. Check out www.espressoservices.co.uk and you can watch the video of his vans and thats him in the video too. Might be worth giving him a buzz for some pointers and advice. Really nice guy and is always happy to help.
    Good Luck And All The Best!!
    Dave
    Domestic Espresso

  5. #5
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    Lovely van, I agree with awlred lever machines are SOOOOO sexy as long as you can multi-task. My only words of advice would be to check with insurance companies first before converting as I think they can get a bit funny if you do the conversion yourself but you should find one that's OK with it.
    Good luck.

  6. #6
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    Hi Dave, I'm the guy who works in paisley and comes down to pester you guys about using your training area! Will be down next week actually!

    I've spoken to James about the conversion as I was originally thinking about a Vito, but trying to save money, and milk floats are cheaper! Still working through this project, but finding that planning the route is very difficult! I don't want to tread on the toes of snackbar owners as I've heard horror stories of them getting nasty, but most industrial estates/office parks seem to have something similar nearby.

    Does anyone know whether scotrail/network rail are up for letting traders into their stations?

    Events will be a big focus, and I think the size of the van will be beneficial at them.

    Thanks again
    Michael

  7. #7
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    Aw yeah i didn't think about your username! Jump in anytime mate i'm always here slaving away! The Vito is good as well for the vans and i remember James having one for a period.
    As for the train stations, my mate in Largs had a small coffee trailor and applied to have it either inside or just outside the boundaries of the station but turned out they were demanding rediculous things and wanting far too much for it. I don't know about other stations as i know and have seen some with the sloppy joe vans outside. Don't ask you don't get but the shows are a definate winner so i would chase that avenue! Anyway will see you when you pop in. Ciao!
    Dave.

  8. #8
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    Hey Micheal,

    Yeah James is a top dude and I have one of his conversions, awesome.

  9. #9
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    Swifty, any pics of your conversion? interior/exterior etc? cheers!

  10. #10
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    Are any specific licemnces needed for these mobile set ups? Am thinking not for buzzing around factory to factory and selling sandwiches, coffee, etc, but you need something from Council if you park up somewhere in town all day. A real newbie question I know but useful to get a sense of what may be required besides van and stock.
    ---
    Dave

    Brewsmiths Coffee & Tea - a relaxed independent coffee shop and meet space located in Birmingham, B3 1EU. Happy to help wannabee shop owners!

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