New kid on the block. Well, new food truck in the parking lot. Meet Warwick McKiever, the chap who’s gonna be behind your pre and post-surf fuel-ups.
How long have you had Coffee’s Up?
I decided to become “Haz Bean’s” the official name of the business with “Coffee’s Up” as the surfing spot trailer. It took a while to find the trailer shell, which I then had modified. So I’ve been trading for about three weeks in total now.
What was the motivation behind trying the food truck concept in PE?
I’d been chef’ing at my hotel in the UK for a number of years, and noticed this type of trailer-based business becoming popular there & in Europe. Thought it was an interesting concept if done correctly. I’d started with the idea of driving a 40 foot RV through Africa, which would then have become Coffee’s Up. However the shit hit the fan in the Middle East and northern Africa, which scuppered that plan. After a few months back in PE, and looking for work in the safari industry without much success, I started browsing and looking for trailers. Eventually found the shell which I then kitted out.
You have a degree in botany – how did you end up going from plants to being in food & catering?
After getting an honours degree in botany at UPE, I became a game ranger/lodge manager at Shamwari for nine years. That threw me into the hospitality industry. I built a lodge in Zambia for an owner, and when that came to an end I moved to the UK. I managed a small hotel in Kendal, but ended up buying a hotel in the Snow Belt near Glenshee (Scotland). I had trained as a chef in the Navy, where I worked in the Submarine Base. That, combined with watching the ex-executive chef of Sun City (who worked for me in Kendal) prepare food; I decided to become the chef in my hotel.
You seem to know quite a few of the ballies on the beach, did you grow up in PE?
Being at UPE where a couple of my mates (Bunny and Tablet) were surfers, I met a number of other dudes like Gavin Macaulay, Zibi and Chappy during the first year. Through the years of the early “book club” I met Barry Heasley, Randall Davies and Mark Reed amongst others. I never became a surfer after slicing my leg with a skeg at J-Bay, but took up wave skiing, until I broke my board at Muizenburg during a naval compo.
Give us a quick run-down on what the guys can grab to drink or chow?
I offer good coffee and filling, tasty food for a good price. There are a number of different coffees and teas available. A well-priced breakfast roll may become a best seller in the future. Things will change as I gauge the needs of the community. Summer drinks like non-dairy fruit shakes and Glühwein in winter.
What are your best sellers so far?
Cappuccino’s, filter coffee, muffins and a pizza thing I make. The food items will change with the seasons.
Is the plan to be permanently based at the Pipe car park? What times are you open?
Yes, I am now officially licensed for the car-park at Pipe. I will be in the car-park from sunrise to sunset, depending on certain factors. I may not be there on Mondays.
How’s trade been so far? Busy?
I have to thank the community at Pipe for their support and friendliness. I have only been there for a few days but was there during the Grom trials this weekend, which was great.
I don’t drink coffee so got Margot to be my official coffee taster; she had the filter coffee and said it was lekker. I tried out the hot chocolate – and can see this being a winter post-surf winner. Bonus is that you can get your drinks in a proper cup and saucer if you’re gonna drink it there and not take away. Civilised kinda stuff for a beach carpark!
And a huge bonus for surfers is that you can leave your car keys and cell phones with Warwick when you head out for a surf. Catch waves without the stress, knowing that your stuff will be kept safe and not be affirmative shopped. No charge for the service, but I reckon it’d be good form to at least buy some coffee or a snack every once in a while to say thanks!
So there ya have it. Pipe’s got a new local! If you’d like him to stay local please give him your support.
(PS if you leave your cell with Warwick please turn it onto silent, else the poor ou’s gonna end up in a loony bin listening to a whole bunch of phones beeping & ringing incessantly!)