Markets a Highlight for Coffee Crew


When it comes to brewing up a satisfying cup of coffee on the go, Christine and Richard ‘are here to serve’ – literally. The Nulkaba couple are the smiling faces behind one of the Hunter's most delicious mobile barista-made coffee enterprises, Lava Coffee Hunter Valley.

Christine says it has been a joy to work alongside her husband in the successful side-venture, which they complete on top of their regular fulltime jobs.


"This whole coffee van idea came to me when attending industry seminars in Sydney. I’d often hear attendees saying during the seminars how much they’d love a good coffee,” she said.


“I discussed this idea with my husband and thought it would be good to do something together and still have my full-time job. It took a good 18 months of looking around Sydney and our local area until I discovered a guy in Newcastle who was interested in selling his van.”


After securing their first mobile coffee headquarters, the couple set about fitting it out properly, while Christine also completed her barista training, Food Authority and Food Supervisor’s courses. Since then, the couple has been popping up everywhere, from private functions, morning teas, nursing homes and celebratory events to corporate events, schools, workplaces, auctions and sporting events.


For almost eight years, they have also been warming the hands and stomachs of visitors to the monthly Handmade in the Hunter artisan markets.


“We started selling coffee at Handmade in the Hunter Markets when Karen approached me all those years ago. We love this market; it's been a real highlight for us to be there,” Christine said.


"We meet so many beautiful people from all over and have had so many come back on the day and tell us our coffee was excellent. This instant feedback is a great way to continue to serve great coffee and not ever become complacent with the running of the coffee van. After all, we are there to serve!”

Of course, COVID put a bit of a dampener on markets and events for a while, but the couple were able to keep the business running by gaining accreditation with local government to operate a covid-safe van outside their Wine Country Drive premises – no doubt delighting locals!


The slowdown also gave them almost two years to create and launch their brand new, state-of-the-art coffee trailer to the market. With ergonomic improvements to assist with preparation, and the ability for the pair to serve customers out of the elements, the new trailer was created by other local businesses and is fully fitted out with brand new equipment from their distributors.


Stop by and taste the coffee for yourself at this month’s Handmade in the Hunter Markets, held at Sobels Wines from 9am to 3pm on Saturday 22 + 29 January and Saturday 5 + 12 February.


Visit www.handmadehuntermarkets.com.au for more information about the markets.