If you happened to be walking or going for rainy-weather drives in the Sapperton area in the past few days, you might have caught a glimpse of a small peach-coloured trailer.
Next time you're there, it might be worth your while to stop and visit.
The trailer, the Little Miss Coffee Company, is New Westminster’s newest mobile café, and it has everything from coffees and teas to freshly baked banana breads.
Burnaby-based owner Michelle Lougheed, who has worked in cafes since she was 19 — starting with a seven-year stint as a Starbucks barista. Realizing her love for more aesthetically pleasing small-cafe environments, she began managing small coffee shops, moving from Victoria to Penticton .
After having her daughter, she said, she decided to begin her own small venture to have more flexibility. The Little Miss Coffee company — a name inspired by her daughter, she said — was born.
“Having a coffee shop is always something that I wanted to do,” Lougheed said. “The smaller trailer seemed like kind of a neat option as opposed to brick-and-mortar cafes. So I thought I'd give it a go.”
Plans for the mobile cafe were in the works for about a year, she said. Though she'd made up her mind last fall to go into business for herself, getting the trailer built, obtaining permits and reworking electrical and plumbing all took about a year, she said.
The mobile cafe is a one-woman business, owned and managed by Lougheed. However, the best-selling freshly baked delicacies are supplied by a baker friend, Connie Wan. She sources all her coffee from Oughtred Coffee & Tea in Delta, and all the tea comes from Granville Island Tea Company.
"I tend to move around quite a lot," Lougheed said. "So having a brick-and-mortar cafe seemed a bit too permanent for my liking, as well as, cost-wise, it was a lot more cost effective than having a whole building.
"And I kind of like the idea of being able to take it to events or go to a different city if I want to move ... and I like that it's something different."
Lougheed has been finding new spots for her cafe since she opened late last month. The first two days her cafe found a home at Columbia and Braid, then she parked by the Royal Columbian hospital on Thursday, andthe next day was in business opposite the Legion.
The mobile will be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays, weather permitting.
Although Lougheed might expand her operations to Port Coquitlam in the next couple years, for now, she intends on sticking around New West.
For the location, visit her Instagram page, where it will be updated every morning.