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Coffee cart reno: Mum creates dream business with $5000 van makeover

While most people spend countless hours and thousands of dollars before getting their business off the ground, one Tamworth mum managed to do it all for under $5000. After picking up a run-down old caravan she found on Facebook Marketplace, mother-of-five Zoe Crain, 34, and her handyman dad transformed the dilapidated rust bucket into a…

While most people spend countless hours and thousands of dollars before getting their business off the ground, one Tamworth mum managed to do it all for under $5000.

After picking up a run-down old caravan she found on Facebook Marketplace, mother-of-five Zoe Crain, 34, and her handyman dad transformed the dilapidated rust bucket into a luxe mobile coffee cart.

And get this: father-daughter duo used items mostly from Bunnings Warehouse to piece together this little coffee shop on wheels.

“We worked on it every day between 6am and two in the morning some days, but I’m super pleased with the results,” Zoe told FEMAIL.

“Around 90 per cent of the items in the van and the materials we used were bought from Bunnings and all up I spent around $5000 on getting my dream van.”

The finished product: Zoe’s own travelling cart, The Roving Bean.

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By no means a small job, Zoe revealed the interior needed to be completely stripped before they could even think of fitting it out.

“When we started stripping it out and pulled the walls off, we realised that almost every piece of timber was rotten,” said Zoe, who’d dipped into some of her savings in order to make her dream business a reality.

With the help of her builder father, the pair revamped the entire inside of the caravan including wall sheeting, roof linings and floor.

Zoe and her dad – with the help of her five children – painted the exterior of the van and “worked and worked and worked” tirelessly until they had something that looked less like a beat-up caravan and more like a coffee shop.

“My friend in Toowoomba made our cafe clothing outfits as well as the logo, which sits on the outside of the van,” she said.

Since its transformation, The Roving Bean has been a booming success. The business has travelled around New South Wales, providing food and caffeine to people all over the state while hitting some major festivals and events along the way.

After working her biggest event to date – the Tamworth Country Music Festival – Zoe insists the long hours and constant trade was still amazing and she “can’t wait to do it all again” next year.

“It really is a dream come true,” said Zoe.

Sharing the results of her handiwork on Facebook, thousands were impressed with Zoe’s efforts.

“OMG amazing! Finished produce unrecognisable from the start. Well done and good luck with the venture,” one person wrote.

“I absolutely love this! What an amazing job!” another added.

Giving tips for others who want to take on a bit of DIY in isolation, the mum-of-five said patience is key – oh, and Youtube is your best friend.

“Everything takes time,” Zoe told FEMAIL.

“But you can save money if you do it yourself. Even if you think you can’t, YouTube has great tutorials.”

With many food outlets and restaurants cautiously reopening after months spent in lockdown, shopping and supporting local businesses will help vendors like Zoe stay afloat.

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