A mum-of-five has revealed how she transformed a run-down old van she found on Facebook Marketplace into a luxury coffee cart with items from Bunnings Warehouse, and how you can too.
Zoe Crain, 34, from Tamworth, said it has always been her ‘dream’ to own a cafe – and now she has turned it into a reality with the help of her ‘handyman’ father who helped her convert the van into a stylish coffee shop on wheels.
‘We worked on it every day between 6am and 2 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 $5,000 on getting my dream van.’
Once she had bought the van from Facebook Marketplace, Zoe said the first major project was ‘stripping it out’ from all of the old materials.
‘I was nervous when we began, because I felt a bit strange about spending some of my savings on something that looked like a wreck, but my mum kept reassuring me that my dad is a builder and so it would be “the best van you’ve ever seen”,’ Zoe said.
‘When we started stripping it out and pulled the walls off, we realised that almost every piece of timber was rotten.
‘So we replaced the framing, put in extra pieces to support the door frames and worked out where the power points needed to be and how many we needed.
‘Once this was sorted, we were able to start thinking about the inside of the van – the wall sheeting, new roof linings and floor.’
Following this, Zoe said she and her father and 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 van 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.
The Roving Bean has since travelled around New South Wales going to festivals and events selling their delicious coffees and produce.
Zoe said the biggest event she has done has been Tamworth Country Music Festival, where she worked for 10 days straight on 16 hour shifts.
‘We tackled wind, rain and dust storms, but it was the best 10 days of my life and I can’t wait to do it again next year,’ Zoe said.
‘It really is a dream come true.’
Speaking about her tips for others who want to take on a bit of DIY in isolation, the mum-of-five said you absolutely must be patient.
‘Everything takes time,’ Zoe said.
‘But you can save money if you do it yourself. Even if you think you can’t, YouTube has great tutorials.’
Zoe also said shopping local and supporting local businesses can help to save you money.
‘Measure twice, cut once,’ she added.
‘My dad left me to do a few jobs and I’m so glad I measured twice on a few of them.’
Finally, Zoe said you need to use a ‘good paint’ and a good brush rather than a cheap one and the ‘results will show’.
‘We’re really pleased with the results,’ she said.
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.