RISTRETTO: Alby Wagemaker has had to cut his coffee dreams short. Photo: Ebony Graveur
RISTRETTO: Alby Wagemaker has had to cut his coffee dreams short. Photo: Ebony Graveur

Beloved coffee van grinds to a halt

“I SPENT the last two years getting this business up and running and, overnight, it has shut down on me.”

Alby Wagemaker’s coffee business was thriving but what was set to be the career equivalent of a long black is looking more like an espresso shot.

The Kensington Grove man traded in trucks for coffee when an auto-immune diagnosis meant he could no longer drive trucks for a living.

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Taking it in his stride, Alby launched Cacoffeny, a travelling coffee shop based out of a van, bringing his lifelong love to the centre of his world.

He would take the van through Laidley, Gatton and Hatton Vale, selling coffee and having a yarn.

Less than two years into running his business, the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc with his plans.

“My diagnosis means my opportunity to fight the virus – if I were to get it – would be significantly reduced,” Alby said.

“I’m part of that high-risk group they keep talking about.”

Serving coffee to customers all day and socialising is part of the work’s appeal but would also put Alby at risk of encountering someone with the virus.

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“Until there is a vaccine, I need to make sure I’m minimising any chance of getting the virus,” he said.

Alby had just upgraded his van in October before the fires ravaged the region.

“The fires buggered off and I could start getting the van out and about but then the virus came along,” he said.

He has listed the van for sale but is also offering it for rent.

“I’m lucky I don’t have a young family and huge mortgages. People are in worse positions than me,” he said.

“I least I can sit at home in the garage with my coffee machine and enjoy it.”

If you’re interested in buying the van, contact Alby on 0420 234 991.

Read more stories by Ebony Graveur.