The journey so far...
September 22 2015
We received a flyer through the door on the May Bank Holiday Monday, advertising the New Brentford Market starting up on 12th May 2013. My wife turned to me and said ‘you should start up our coffee dream from this Market, of which I just looked at her in admiration and said ‘they probably already have someone, & i don’t know even if I can do it, she just looked at me and said, you can do anything…
The following day my wife made a call on our behalf to Brentford High Street Steering Group (BHSSG, and introduced herself and our Company as a local independent Coffee business serving short shots & silky milk…
We were sent application forms, legal forms to fill in & certificates to produce, although we had over 15 years of coffee experience between us, we only had 6 days before the first coffee was to be served.
Within 6 days, we underwent Food Handling Courses, purchased Business Insurance, we bought a gazebo, borrowed a commercial machine & grinder from a friend, made a bench, from old timbers to serve from, dressed & designed it in a slick & up cycled look, bought cups & lids and came up with a Company Name, to my uncomfortableness my initials were used within it & Coffee NV was registered.
Packed & ready for Market on our first days trade.
We opened with all the other traders on that great Sunday, the only thing I remember from the day, was working from one brew head as one broke half way through the day, the burr of the grinder, and the change chinking in our little money box. I don’t think I looked up once.
The Sunday’s that followed were just great, I loved being a part of something, building something from it’s very roots, the support that we felt and the opportunities we were given, we really can not thank BHSSG and all the public that supported us in those early days and even now at Brentford Market.
Coffee NV Market Stall
It wasn’t long before each Sunday became more successful for us due to all the local support and we decided that we had to evolve and grow our initial ideas, this is when we decided to purchase a van & convert it.
As the name Coffee NV didn’t sit with me that well, I wanted to come up with a name that encouraged thought, excited possibilities, enabled people to learn more & engaged people to the world of coffee, whether that be exploring with us or travelling to locations & learning more about coffee or the countries & companies that produce, make or supply coffee. An environment where knowledge of coffee is shared.
The Eureka moment came, whilst I stood in our lounge looking at the Atlas map we had just put up, wondering which country I wanted to travel to next, it came to me, ‘The Coffee Traveller’ The van travels, the coffee travels, it was perfect.
The next 8 months, was all about getting the van rebuilt and launched, We pulled on our sights of our travels of Central America, The Far East & Africa. Becks came up with our strap line, ‘the journey not the destination’. we came up with primary & secondary font & colours & our little brand was starting to come alive.
The van launched the following March & we started to do lots of local events in it, weddings & each week returning to where it all started Brentford Market.
Our Van launch
Since it’s launch we have been so fortunate to have been given other opportunities working alongside some of the Greatest Street Food trucks & traders in London such as Bishopsgate in The City, Covent Garden & Earl’s Court to name just a few.
These defining moments that we were fortunate to have, really gave us the confidence to open up our ‘Base Camp’ 58 Thames Road, Chiswick, which is now open.
Our Van outside ‘Base Camp’
Here at 'Base Camp’ we believe we have created a little bit of Central America and bought it to W4 serving great coffee from a variety of different brewing methods, using our LA Marzocco GB5, Marco Uber Boiler, Mahlkoenig EK43, Syphon, V60, Woodneck & Aeropress.
We love what we do & are enjoying the journey that we are on, we have lots of plans along the way, to open more shops & launch new products, but what we want to do before all that is give our customers the greatest experience possible, whether that be within our private garden on the brew bar manipulating the coffees to taste or just sitting outside watching the world go by.
The Lab at 'Base Camp'