Our horsebox has been getting a lot of attention. We are insanely proud. It's a beautiful conversion and we now have the perfect work space to prepare and present our speciality coffee. But what’s the story? The horsebox is a vintage Rice model built in 1976. My mother bought it from a Newbury dealer soon after. We had a good couple of decades going to and from local shows and events with Joker, Solomon and Brightstar. It is full of great memories.
Following college I spent my career in London helping to set up a café chain, then pursuing a passion for speciality coffee as a barista and trainer. When I moved back to Oxfordshire in 2008 to bring up my family a mobile speciality coffee shop seemed the ideal way to put our beloved horsebox to good use. I set to with the designs.
A recent article in the ‘Horse and Hound’ wrote up our business as just one of many ‘genius uses for a horsebox that don’t involve a horse’. There’s some creative ideas out there and it’s well worth a read, (link at end of blog). One Facebook comment was ‘What a waste’. A sentiment which, in a way, I can understand. However reflecting on our first 9 months in business I can’t help but think what a fabulous new lease of life the horsebox is having. After many years un-used in a dark and dusty barn it is now out and about daily filled with the aroma of freshly roast and ground speciality coffee frequently, receiving compliments from admiring customers.
We’ve taken the horsebox to some horsey events but also food festivals, farmers markets, family fun days, open farm days, music festivals and more. It has happily opened it’s hatch in fields, parks and town centres, at stately homes, a castle, a railway station and even in a shopping centre.
I have since spotted many a horsebox left redundant, rotting away in a field. To me that is the real waste. So, I ask, how would you pack what you're passionate about into a horsebox?