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Benajmin
24-11-13, 07:44
Hi All,

I am a newbie to the coffee making world but as me and my girlfriend are passionate about food and drink and love to meet new people and be out involved with the hustle and bustle on the street, we have decided to start our own mobile coffee van business and i have a few questions for anyone that is willing to help!

We are hoping to purchase a piaggio ape 50cc fully equipped including a francino 2 group dual fuel machine, i do love the look and style of a lever machine or should we stick with the semi automatic? is there any deviation in the end result of the coffee?
We are currently trying to secure a pitch outside a train station then we can get the ball rolling and buy our van, equipment, stock etc.

This process is proving to be rather daunting and we are trying to work through our business plan and we also need to propose an offer for the pitch! could anyone give a round about figure of what they feel is a necessary amount?

Does anyone have a contact who can help or even compose a business plan for us if we gather the information they need?

I am a perfectionist and would only want my customers to have the best coffee they can get so we will strive to make this happen. My girlfriend currently works part time in a cafe so she has a little barista experience but i have none and plan on taking a course and gaining some experience in the cafe - will this be sufficient enough to get us going and of course we can perfect our skills along the way?

We are also looking for a wholesaler who can supply our van with freshly roasted beans. Any ideas on where i can get the best ingredients?

Thank you for reading and i appreciate in advance any help given.

Benjamin

Glenn
24-11-13, 07:49
Hi Benjamin and welcome to Coffee Forums UK

Great to hear you are looking into training etc before you start as well. Initial impressions will count and you might only get 1 change to keep a customer.

A semi-auto machine might be easier than a lever to start with, but levers draw in the customers.

You will need to understand your costs (including beans, consumables, and general running costs) before proposing a pitch fee.

Have you considered becoming an NCASS member? They will be able to give you guidance too.

Benajmin
24-11-13, 08:01
Hi Glen,

Thank you for your quick reply. No i have not looked into NCASS yet maybe i will check it out.
Yes i understand i have on one chance and i would not want to sell anything that is not of the best quality and made with love and care.
Hence the research and trying to source out the best suppliers etc.

I am currently working on running - i have had mixed responses from calculations and measurements for coffee beans.
How many cups of coffee would you say a 1kilo bag of organic fair trade italian roast coffee will make?

I will also sell Homemade cakes and cookies.

The annual footfall for this station is 2million per year entering and exiting. I plan on supplying the am rush form 5:30am to 12 noon.
What kind of reasonable figure could i expect for sales in this time would you say?

Many thanks i will have a look in to NCASS

Mrboots2u
24-11-13, 08:51
Hi , your going to miss the home commute people there . People can tbe creatures of habit , and if they bit in the morning ,may expect to be able to get one one the way back , and if your not there then be a bit frustrated . Could mean they build their coffee fix into their route somewhere else if you see what I mean.

Benajmin
24-11-13, 09:10
Hi Mr boots,

Thank you for your comment, it is a good point i will have to find out if i will be permitted to stay through out the day or if it is only a morning pitch.

If so i will give ie a trial run to see what happens

Much appreciated

Mrboots2u
24-11-13, 09:21
Hi Mr boots,

Thank you for your comment, it is a good point i will have to find out if i will be permitted to stay through out the day or if it is only a morning pitch.

If so i will give ie a trial run to see what happens

Much appreciated

No worries having commuted myself previously for a few years , I was a creature of habit . Others might not be so fussy tho.

Benajmin
24-11-13, 10:03
Cheers for the advice. Does anybody out there know of a good barista course in London by any chance?

Charliej
24-11-13, 10:08
Just a little something to think about, at the railway station in town here , there is a similar sort of set up, but she is there until about 10.30 am then goes somewhere else , to a business park I think and then comes back to the station around 3.30pm so she catches both rush hours.

Benajmin
24-11-13, 10:13
Hi Charlie,

Thanks for your information. i will definitely look into this. I was thinking of driving round to all the schools in the area as theres is about 7/8 in a mile radius and i should imagine all that teachers will love a coffee and a cake during their lunch break.

Any business advisors or anyone that can help with a business plan - please do get in touch!

Rwjhr
11-03-14, 11:31
Hi just wondering where you have got to with this business, have you managed to progress it?

AliC
12-03-14, 10:21
Hi Charlie,

Thanks for your information. i will definitely look into this. I was thinking of driving round to all the schools in the area as theres is about 7/8 in a mile radius and i should imagine all that teachers will love a coffee and a cake during their lunch break.

Any business advisors or anyone that can help with a business plan - please do get in touch!

Best of luck with your venture. I would be incredibly surprised if any teachers would have the time to leave school for a cheeky cappuccino. They will either be doing a lunch club, supervising play or actually getting some grub down their necks...

I would petsonally stick to the station rush hours and business parks. Also consider if there are any large building sites around.