Doctor Coffee’s Cafe
The last time I edited this page was apparently in early 2010. It is now utterly, ridiculously and embarrassingly out of date. So outdated is it, that I have decided to leave some of it up here, for posterity, and for the amusement of hindsight.
Doctor Coffee’s Cafe has actually happened. So has the Move To Canada. We packed a lot in to the last few years!
A few words of explanation. In 2009, I bought a little Ape van, and espresso machine, called it Doctor Coffee’s Cafe, and trundled about serving coffees out the backside of an ape on local markets and at various events. It was a lot of fun and I loved my Ape a great deal, but when my daughter Miranda was born, it just proved impractical to keep it going since I couldn’t take her with me when I went out in it.
So, I reluctantly sold it, and instead, leased a commercial unit in Darlington, and started my own cafe (with an actual roof!!) in the winter of 2010, with two friends who had their own ‘complementary’ projects that were supposed to operate within the confines of my cafe. It was called Afternoon Tease, but I then changed it back to Doctor Coffee’s Cafe when one friend left. There are many blog posts about all this!
Then, despite my love for the cafe, my hatred of Darlington won out. A need to make a decent living, to provide for Miranda and to make sure she didn’t have to grow up in Dreary Darlo were also contributing factors, and I finally took the plunge and started job hunting in Canada seriously. I did manage to find something and begun the tedious process of work permit applications, which eventually took ten months. So long, complicated and stressful was the process that I devoted a whole other blog to it, over at http://thereginamonologue.wordpress.com But we got through it eventually! I would like to say I “sold” Doctor Coffee’s Cafe, but sold is the wrong word. More like, ‘forced to give it away’ to a very undeserving person, after a truly epic betrayal of trust and friendship.
But moving swiftly on, I am in Canada, but not in Vancouver, and I am still working in coffee, partially self employed but not in a coffee shop. Doctor Coffee’s Cafe will rise again in Canuck form someday, I’m sure, but for now I am very happy here, and I will leave you with my vague ramblings and original ideas from so many years ago…..
This page really ought to be subtitled “The Grand Canada Plan”
Carl and I have been planning on emigrating to Canada for years now, but somehow life always seems to get in the way. As I am finding out to my annoyance, the process can take three years, and the Canadian embassy in London is only open for three hours a day, and it is impossible to actually talk to a human about your application…. but that is a different story.
I would love to move to Vancouver, and open
This is my beloved cafe plan. ‘Doctor Coffee’s’ because of the PhD. Whereas I’m sure I don’t actually need a doctorate to run a cafe, my research is teaching me a hell of a lot about coffee, and I’d like to put it to good use!
I’ve been looking up coffee shops businesses for sale in Vancouver, and I cannot quite believe how far our money can go over there, as opposed to in the UK. And it’s not just cafe businesses, the more I read up on emigrating, the more it becomes obvious you can just get a much better quality of life outside Britain. But anyway….
Doctor Coffee’s is going to be a Latino cafe. Most coffee shops tend to be Italian, but coffee does not come from Italy. To remedy this, my coffee is going to be bought in direct from the producers in Latin America, and I shall sell it as Latino coffee, exactly what it says on the bag in fact.
I am also going to continue with Cyberllama, which was my online shop selling fair-traded jewellery, giftware and clothing direct from Peru. I’ve had to take a bit of a break from Cyberllama since starting the PhD, but we shall reinstate it and sell Cyberllama goodies in the cafe as well.
Overall, I want Doctor Coffees to offer the best coffee I can get hold of, and the best, authentic Latino food I can cook. Hopefully I can get as many fair trade ingredients as possible as well. It’s going to be a fun, funky and colourful place, and I can’t wait to get started!
Why wait until I’ve finished the PhD and moved to Canada? I don’t want to actually open a permanent cafe where I am now, but that is no reason to postpone the idea entirely, right?
One morning in Costa Rica I woke up voluntarily at 6am, thinking “I want a coffee van!”
After a little further research, I found these:
They are little Piaggio Ape vans, tiny little 50cc things, which can just about fit me driving it in the front, and a 2-group espresso machine in the back, along with a water tank and mini-generator to power it. I can then take it where I want and serve espresso on the go! Better still, you can drive them on motorbike licenses (I don’t have one of these either, but I’d MUCH prefer to learn to ride a bike than have yet more car lessons. Bel does not do cars.). I am more interested in getting the Ape’s big brother, the Ape TM, which does 40mph so I can I can actually go further than Darlington town centre in it, but worry not, they are still just as cute!
The more I think about this, the more plausible it sounds. It is not insurmountably expensive to set up. It is a good excuse to get my license. And, given I won’t have permanent premises to keep up, I can do it part time around university initially, and go full time when I am done. Hopefully it will also be a good basis for the bigger cafe in the future too. I am seriously going to try.
I made some very useful friends and contacts in Nicaragua and Costa Rica as part of the Spilling the Beans research, so I can get my coffee directly from the farmers in Central America, no middlemen, and complete traceability. So, Central American espressos, my own brand signature drinks (UBER-COFFEES return!), hot chocolate made with 75% cacao from Nicaragua – and my infamous cakes if there is room in the back of the van!!
Watch this space – t’will be coming sooooooon! [edit: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!]