My name is Warren Ferrar, I’m 46 years old, I lived in the South Bucks all of my life. We had a family Bailiff business which was sold in Jan 2018. I carried on working for the company that bought us and in March 2020 I was furloughed like many other millions due to the pandemic. During lockdown my office in Egham was closed and I was relocated to Monument in Central London. I’d done that commute on many occasions and knew that I’d be expected back in the office sometime soon. In Feb 2021 I made the decision that I wasn’t going to do the daily commute and needed to think of doing something else. I have a 3-year-old daughter and thought that I could be spending my time better than sitting on a tarin wasting 4 hours plus a day getting to/from work.
I thought about starting up a coffee shop but the costs associated with it were very high and if the location wasn’t correct then the business wouldn’t succeed. I’d seen a few retro coffee trucks before and thought I’d do some research into. I found a company called ‘Food Truck Masters’ through Facebook and went and checked them out. As soon as I saw the trucks, they were assembling I knew it was for me. They specialise in French Citroen H Vans. I paid my deposit in March 2021 and the expected arrival of the Coffee Truck was 1st July 2021. In May of that year, I was told that I’d be expected to be in Central London 3 times a week from 24th May. On the 17th May I handed in my resignation and finished that Friday. It was a very big step as I’d worked there for the last 25 years.
Over the course of the next few months the truck was sourced from the South of France and shipped back to the UK. It was a 1974 ex French Mail Van. Construction was delayed due to Brexit and I finally took possession of the truck on 29th October.
We needed to come up with a name for our new business and after much deliberation we decided to call it ‘Franks Coffee Truck’. My Grandad was called Frank and it’s my dad’s middle name. It was also my fiancée Grandad and Great Grandads first name so thought it was quite fitting that it should be FCT.
I wanted to support other local businesses in our new adventure so I needed to find a coffee supplier, dairy farm and bakers. Over the course of the next 4 weeks, I managed to find a company called Moneyrow Beans at a Farmers Market in Beaconsfield for Coffee who are based in Maidenhead and only roast in 5kg batches, Laceys Farm in Lane End who use Guernsey Cows and Stratton’s Bakers for our fresh pastries.
Over a 4-week period I was trained how to make fresh barista coffee, took numerous qualifications so that I was complaint in food safety and health and safety.
At the start of December, we sold our first coffees at Windsor Farmers Market and by the end of the month we had been to Maidenhead, Beaconsfield and Ascot Farmers Market.
At the start of the year, I needed to get more work but was finding it very difficult to get any pitches. On a day out driving around locally to source potential locations I came across Westwood Park in Little Chalfont, HP6 6PW. I emailed the football club and was surprised that they didn’t have anyone to supply coffee on a Saturday morning whilst the children were training/playing matches. After a successful day supplying coffee to the parents at Westwood Park, I thought I’d email the Parish Council to see if they were ok for me to be there on a more permanent basis. After exchanging a few emails, the Parish Council were happy for myself to be there. I’ve now been trading from the Westwood Park for 8 weeks and it’s been a big success with the local residents, dog walkers, families visiting the park/tennis courts and footballers on both Saturday/Sundays.
We’re currently offering a wide range of coffees along with speciality teas, cold drinks, cakes/biscuits and fresh pastries on a weekend. In the next month or so we’ll also be adding iced lattes/teas along with our Mr Whippy ice cream machine and ice lollies.
We’re currently trading from Westwood Park 5 days a week, Wednesday to Friday 9am – 1.30pm and Saturday/Sunday 8am to 4pm. As the days get lighter, we’ll be extending our hours and days that we’re at the park. We do suggest that you follow us on social media for updates on our times as it’s very weather dependant. We are also available for Private Hire where the truck can be used with its current facilities or made into a mobile bar.