A veteran of the outdoor entertainment industry, Gerry Faulkner had grown accustomed to the snaking coffee lines confronting punters at events from Cairns to Adelaide – and the frustration it spawned.
The common problem, he found, was that every mobile coffee stall featured a single espresso machine to service thousands of people onsite. So Gerry proposed a simple solution to the problem.
He chose to fabricate a mobile coffee van, based on the Isuzu NNR 200 cab chassis, and equip it with two espresso machines to cut waiting times for coffee at events throughout Victoria. And so the Little Black Truck Coffee Co was born.
“The idea was that we could come to an event and set up our system with two machines running,” Gerry said. “We really rotate the crowds through and cut down the lines you see at these big events.
“So far we’ve had an extremely positive response from event organisers, clubs and associations. In fact, we’ve recently picked up some large contracts for Melbourne-based events and an exclusive coffee deal with the Otway Odyssey 100km Mountain Bike Marathon.”
Gerry’s first exposure to the Isuzu brand came via his father’s transport business. Based in Warrnambool, Whaler’s Freight has an enduring relationship with Isuzu Trucks and this was a key driver behind Gerry’s decision to purchase one for his start-up business venture.
“When I entered the market for a truck I had an open mind, but after weighing up the pros and cons of each, Isuzu was a clear winner,” Gerry said. “I needed a twin cab to transport staff to and from events, and the Isuzu NNR 200 stood out from the crowd. Unlike its competitors, the Isuzu handles like a car, and my wife Genevieve is able to drive it.”
Gerry purchased his NNR 200 from Winter & Taylor in Geelong, commissioning a Portland firm to manufacture the truck body. Nine months of design and preparation work was well over what he’d initially planned, but he said the result was worth the wait. “It’s a steel-framed body with aluminium cladding and total stainless steel finish inside.
“We have fresh and gray water storage, two espresso machines and grinders, blenders, and two fridges with 300 litres of storage. It’s fully self-contained and we use a generator so we’re well equipped for big events.”
The Little Black Truck Coffee Co is based in Warrnambool and services events throughout Victoria. With a host of spring and summer events and festivals on the horizon, Gerry and his crew certainly have their hands full. “We’re a one-of-a-kind business in Australia and we offer something over and above the competition,” said Gerry. “It’s not just the two espresso machines, it’s also our service, professionalism and use of an LCD television to display event-orientated videos or corporate sponsorship logos.
“At the end of the day, event organisers want customers coming back each year. We’re mindful of this and work to keep everyone happy with fast, quality espresso coffee from our new Isuzu NNR 200.”