The UK-based mother-and-daughter team of Alison Vann and Amy Vann have naturally opened a mobile coffee van — technically, a converted coffee SUV — focused on plastics-free service.
Under the name Wavi Coffee, the mobile coffee shop has been a long time coming for the Vanns, who have been taking the new operation on tour throughout their home regions of Devon and Cornwall.
With experience in food photography and marketing, Alison Vann had been cooking up a coffee shop concept for a decade, eventually settling on the mobile strategy while relying on the professional barista experience and additional training of her daughter Amy.
“How about we twist this idea of a permanent place into something that moves around and have a bit more fun with it?” Alison recently told DCN.
From within a converted Landrover Defender 110, Wavi sells organic coffee and allergy-friendly baked goods at music festivals, food festivals and other events throughout Southwest England. Customers are treated to house-made syrups, gut-friendly food with clean ingredients and drinks served in home-compostable paper cups and lids.
“When you look into food and events, there’s a lot of plastic behind the scenes,” Alison said, noting that they work with suppliers to try to eliminate plastic packaging or other plastic waste. “That’s one of the things about working with smaller suppliers, you can ask that of them. We don’t have any single use-plastic on the van.”
For roasted coffees, Wavi turns to the Stronghold blend from renowned Cornwall-based roasting company Origin Coffee. The Vanns said they source as many products as they can from local vendors, both to support local businesses in Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset, but also to minimize their own carbon footprint.
An appreciation for nature is reflected Wavi’s beach-loving aesthetic, which includes a menu printed on a repurposed surfboard. While customers see a unified brand with a service window, the logistical challenges to operating in a compact mobile environment are real, especially given the need for a refrigerator and a generator.
The outdoorsy Wavi brand, the undulating Southwest UK landscape and the off-road muscle of the Land Rover itself can sometimes overshadow the fact that mobile coffee service requires a delicate touch.
Said Amy, “We have to communicate with the [event] organizer to make sure we’re on flat ground.”
Moving forward, the Vanns plan to launch an online shop that will allow for direct delivery of their house-made syrups. They also plan to ramp up event organization, combining things like coffee service and beach cleaning, all while keeping personal well-being and environmental sustainability at the forefront.
The Wavi Coffee shop is now moving throughout the Southwestern UK. Tell DCN’s editors about your new coffee shop or roasting company here.
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Libby Allnatt is a writer with a passion for trying new coffee shops. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.