Go-Go Gaggia goes for coffee in West Yorkshire

New street coffee service from barrister-turned-barista

Isn’t it terrible how hard it can be to get a decent cup of coffee when you’re out on the road or waiting on some small commuter station?  One former lawyer in West Yorkshire got so exasperated by the lack of latte that she gave up her profession to do something about it.  The barrister turned barista, Jocelyn Robinson, has now set up Go-Go Gaggia, a coffee shop with a difference: it operates from the back of a two-seater Smart car. 

“The whole idea was to keep it small and quirky, but to offer top notch coffee on the street,” says Jocelyn.  “It was my sister who first suggested trying to get a coffee machine in the back of a Smart car – she thought it would make people look twice, and it really does.”  

Jocelyn took the concept to Caffe Shop, the coffee specialist based in Ellend, Halifax.  Managing director Raj Beadle was bowled over: “I love the idea of taking good quality Italian coffee to the commuter on the streets of West Yorkshire.  The problem was getting everything to fit – not just the machine itself, but also the water, waste and extra batteries to power the espresso machine.  We needed a compact coffee machine and a compact system that would fit into this compact car.”

The machine they selected was a Gaggia GD2 Compact.  Measuring just 550mm wide, 540mm deep and 500mm high it’s certainly compact but even so it has two group heads, dispensing up to four espresso shots at once, and powerful steam wand for frothing milk.  “It’s designed for restaurants but it works great in a Smart Car,” says Raj Beadle.  “It will easily produce several hundred shots a day.” 

Caffe Shop supplied a special base for the machine that fits snugly into the back of the Smart Car, holding the GD2 firmly and featuring drawers for accessories including cups, lids, sugar and food items. 

“The GD2 works brilliantly – we haven’t had to modify it at all,” says Jocelyn Robinson.  “Because the car is what it is, it really attracts a crowd.  Kids, adults, everyone is fascinated to see how we can make cappuccino and espresso out of the back of a tiny Smart car.  Being a Gaggia, the machine looks great, and it’s red – just like the car.” 

The Gaggia name is a big customer draw, too.  “We’ve supplied Go-Go Gaggia with Gaggia coffee, Gaggia accessories and even Gaggia aprons,” says Raj Beadle.  “We also supplied Gaggia barista training.  People know the brand and associate it with great Italian coffee.” 

Every day Go-Go Gaggia is finding new opportunities to go for: “Originally it was all about hitting the train stations, but we’ve already had several businesses ask us to come to them on a regular basis,” says Jocelyn Robinson.  “Plus, the car being so small, it’s easy to bring great coffee to just about any event – football matches, street parties, you name it. 

“Our home made baked goods are a big hit, too, especially the gooey flapjack.  We’re planning themed specials – like Gingerbread latte in winter, and Skinny Latte with fat-free biscuits in popular dieting periods, such as New Year and summer.

“We’re also looking at putting solar panels on the Smart Car roof to recharge the batteries, which would make the whole concept very Eco friendly.” 

Go-Go Gaggia is planning to franchise the concept and, with help from Caffe Shop, is creating sales support material such as loyalty cards and branding.