Starting out in independent hospitality comes with its fair share of challenges, but equally it can be just as rewarding. Business owner Alex has enjoyed a positive start to his venture with his mobile coffee unit The Good Stuff, making good use of the vast experience he gained working previously in hospitality.
We caught up with Alex to see how he’s found life as his own boss so far and ask about trading experiences as The Good Stuff:
What appealed to you about beginning your own independent hospitality journey?
A lot of things to be honest! But mainly because I had always worked within hospitality or retail in various management roles but I had never been self employed and allowed myself to be as creative as I want to be, and now I get to be creative,attend lots of events and most of all have fun while doing it!
Personally what is your favourite coffee to drink?
Oooh that’s a tricky one! But I think a flat white is my favourite, I am however partial to a dirty chai latte every now and then! If you don’t know.. I urge you to try!
Have you worked in hospitality prior to starting The Good Stuff?
Yes! I’ve always worked in hospitality or retail – I’ve worked for Starbucks, Costa, McDonald’s, Mitchell & Butler and also a petrol service station company! So a range of different things in and out of coffee, but all front facing (it’s what I love most!!)
Can you imagine a world without coffee?
Definitely not! – I am one of those people who has always loved coffee even before I worked in coffee shops or had my own van! – gets me through those tough early mornings especially!
It looks like you’ve put a lot of effort into your branding, how important a component of your business is this?
Massively! – I created everything myself from the logo, to the name, the business cards, cup logos as well as much more! I tried to be as consistent with a theme but also keep it as basic as I could (I am no graphic designer! Haha) and essentially just have my brand being good coffee in a vintage van!
Trading at a Porsche anniversary event looked pretty special! Talk us through how it came about and your experience there:
That was an amazing day! It came about through Porsche tendering out their event on a website, I saw it and immediately put a quote in to attend the event & got accepted the same day as they loved the look of the van and what I had to offer, really an amazing experience! I hope to do some more work with premium car brands in the future too!
What is the most important lesson that you’ve learnt whilst running your own business?
The most important lesson I’ve learnt is organisation, when you start working for yourself I found that if you’re not on top of your paperwork for example, your expenses and ensuring you keep and document all of it, it can quickly get on top of you!
What is the plan for the future?
My plan for the future is to hopefully one day have another van – a larger van and be able to do larger festivals – Glastonbury, who knows!
What led to you joining NCASS and how have you found your membership?
I joined a Facebook group called mobile caterers and everybody within the group advised me to join, I was provided with all the required food safety log books, all of the risk assessments and much more, it was the easiest process and something I will continue to be a member of!