A Surrey coffee house which launched just last summer, is expanding its offering by launching a mobile van. Donna (or ‘D’) Godfrey, 55, is the owner of D’s Coffee House, a café in Manor Green Road in Epsom.
The café, not far from Court Road Recreation Ground, opened in July last year, and has already grown a reputation as a post-lockdown favourite for the town. It has received rave reviews for its welcome greeting and some of the nicest poached eggs and avocado. D said the last year had been a successful one: “All the plates are spinning and none have dropped yet – It’s been quite positive, I’ve had such amazing feedback from everybody, it’s such a lovely community spirit round here.”
Over the last two years, there have been a number of cafés and pop-up coffee vans that have launched as a result of people changing careers throughout the pandemic. But in D’s case, she had been in the wider food and hospitality industry for almost 30 years before launching the coffee house, working in pubs and restaurants, although getting her own independent business like this was always the aim.
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She said: “It came from years ago, when I went to Goodwood [Festival of Speed] and I just loved the concept of it, and how fun it looked, going to events myself, and festivals, how they were lacking in certain key things, and a good coffee was one of them. Just as we bought this place, we decided within a few months that we wanted a coffee van to hit the community in the park, everyone’s going we should get a coffee trailer – That spurred us on really, so we’ve done two things in a matter of nine months!”
After issues with a generator, they are hoping to be up and running week commencing April 4, and in the near future attend small events outside Epsom.
D said some of the things that appealed to her owning a coffee van was the flexibility, the lower overheads and the ease of running it your own way. It will have similarities and differences to D’s Coffee House – it will use the same D’s Blend coffee, but will in its early stages have wraps, biscuits and crisps over the poached eggs, avocado, salads that the shop specialises in.
For all the popularity D’s Coffee House has seen since last July, it’s not an industry without risk. D points at the increase in national living wage and the rise in costs for energy that is affecting the country as examples of things that can cause challenges for small businesses on a budget – for a coffee house and a coffee van, it’s never as simple as just serving coffee and food, there are so many things that go on behind the scenes.
But as consumer confidence grows again after the pandemic, D said serving coffee had never been so relevant. “It’s much needed, coming out of lockdown, the community can come to a little hub and get that great service and a smile everyday and be consistent.”
D’s Coffee House is open from 8am-4pm on Monday-Friday, 9-4pm on Saturdays and closed on Sundays. Updates on the opening days and times of the coffee van are expected via the Coffee House’s social media accounts.