Here at The Big Coffee we are always blown away by the imagination, ambition and passion that our customers bring to their businesses when they work with us. Over the next few months, we will be sharing mini ‘Customer Spotlight’ blogs from customers who have had a Mobile Retail conversion with us.
The year 2020 was undoubtedly a year of adversity, uncertainty and business challenges. Thankfully, it was also a year of resilience, bravery, birth and expansion for many businesses. So many people chose to finally take the plunge, with new startup businesses popping up all over the country, and existing businesses pivoted to change their business model or expand to meet the new gaps in the market.
One Scottish family chose to develop their existing successful coffee shop DRIFT Coffee + Kitchen with a new mobile coffee van conversion. DRIFT Coffee + Kitchen is a place where everyone is welcome, offering vegan and gluten free options with a special focus on customers’ dogs, with homemade pupcakes and puppuccinos (check out their Instagram @drift.coffee.kitchen for cute dog photos).
Taking their business past the usual bricks and mortar expansion, in 2020 they decided to add a newly converted Mercedes Vito coffee van to reach new customers in the area of Troon in Scotland (and beyond). Not only have they been able to build up a new customer base beach-side, they have also used the van to cater outdoor events such as corporate meetings, parties and local events. The van conversion functions completely ‘off grid’, meaning it can be driven to any location without the need for external power and water sources.
Stuart from the DRIFT team drove their shiny new conversion away in February 2021, and we recently got in touch to see how they were getting on and asked him to share an insight into a day in the life of a Big Coffee customer.
Tell us a bit about DRIFT coffee. Where did your inspiration come from for Drift?
“DRIFT is a family friendly and dog friendly coffee shop in Troon, South Ayrshire. It is a family run business, and had a facelift during the lockdown period with the addition of the DRIFT Dugs Wall of Fame, (where customers can get Polaroid pictures of their dogs pinned up), and photos from a local photographer of the kitesurfing and windsurfing that takes place on our local beach. The main inspiration came from what our local community love and enjoy, and a desire to be different from other similar businesses.”
What has the DRIFT coffee van added to your existing business?
“Our coffee van has allowed us to take DRIFT to various locations and serve our local community in local parks and sports grounds where there are no other facilities. The main focus has been coffee and cake, but because we have a coffee shop and kitchen, we also use the van for private event hire. Serving buffet-style food platters made in our kitchen along with fresh drinks from the van. (Can be seen on our FB and Instagram accounts). The shop and van complement each other and the quality of the vehicle and livery has made it a recognisable brand that the local community enjoy and support.”
What does a typical day look like when you’re working the Drift van? How is it different from the shop?
“The van is a great way to meet new people and offer quality DRIFT products not only to our regular customers, but also gives us the ability to reach new customers who may not have known or heard about us. The van operation is weather dependant, but it’s a relaxed and enjoyable addition to our business and it’s great to be working outdoors on a sunny day.”
We are so pleased for Stuart and the DRIFT team. If you are interested in starting your own business with a van conversion, give us a call and we’ll be happy to chat you through our mobile retail options.
To find out more about DRIFT Coffee + Kitchen, follow their journey on Instagram (@drift.coffe.kitchen) and Facebook (DRIFT Coffee+Kitchen). You can also follow @thebigcoffee for more of our amazing customer conversions. If you have one of our conversions and would like to be featured in a future Customer Spotlight, please get in touch with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.