A bustling line of coffee-lovers at your doorstep each morning is every coffee shop owner’s dream. For Rick Caspersen of Mambo Coffee, this dream had become a reality, but it also brought about a challenge with wait times for morning coffees climbing to 20 minutes. How to cater to peak hour demand without breaking the bank by relocating or expanding?
With a spare coffee machine and some imagination, Rick came up with a brilliant solution for catering to the morning’s crowds without blowing the budget or interrupting trade. He created a funky annex out of a shipping container. He’s not the first to see the potential in these steel boxes. Shipping container coffee shops, restaurants and even retail stores have been turning heads all over the world, from Old Montreal’s MUVBOX to Christchurch’s Re:START project.
The cost to create additional space could have been substantially higher had Rick not decided to use a shipping container. He had some mates help him relocate the shipping container to the site and he modified it himself, hiring an engineer and electrician where needed. A friend donated a huge outdoor vinyl movie poster to use as an awning, and it cost him $80 to stitch in anchor ropes. The furniture is all ‘up-cycled’. “We used old fence palings for chair legs and Chep pallets for table tops,” explains Rick. “The focus was street grunge, and people seem to like sitting on milk crates”. A Brisbane artist, Sofles, was invited to graffiti the shipping container, adding to its underground appeal.
But don’t be fooled, Mambo Coffee’s shipping container coffee shop is a gathering place for lawyers and hipsters alike. While the shipping container was undergoing it’s slow transformation, it created a talking point within the local community. Rick recalls that passers by were intrigued by what was going on, and since its completion, it has served to bring people of all walks of life together for their morning coffee ritual.
When asked why Rick chose a shipping container, he explained that while it added to the street grunge feel of Mambo Coffee, it is also able to be closed up and relocated at a later date. “I can take it with me if I decide to move on,” he says.
Sunshine Coast City Council was helpful when Rick approached them with the idea. Their requirements were that he anchor it to a concrete foundation for safety reasons, and were happy to guide him through the process. Some of the bureaucrats he dealt with during the process are now regular customers.
In the two years since inception, Mambo Coffee has gathered a devoted following throughout Queensland. They have achieved this simply by roasting and serving consistently great coffee both at their signature outlets and through their wholesale customers’ espresso bars. They also conduct barista training in the annex on Saturday mornings. For more information visit www.MamboCoffee.com.au.
If you would like more information on sourcing shipping containers to suit your unique circumstances, or simply want a shipping container to buy or hire, call Premier Box Shipping Containers at 1800 601 194, or click to Get a Quote Online.