Little coffee shack, big attitude
Picton has a new arrival - the first dedicated coffee cart to set up shop in the portside town.
Just in the nick of time too, it would seem, as Kirstie Paulin’s coffee cart - The Little Coffee Shack - has been going gangbusters since it opened its barn doors three weeks ago.
‘‘It’s been great, and being on the main drag and so close to the motels, people have been stopping for coffee. Or rolling out of bed and coming to see me for their first cuppa.’’
The Little Coffee Shack is located on the corner of High and Broadway Streets, parked right outside the colourful Helen’s store on High St.
Paulin’s cart serves up coffee with a little bit of attitude. She has the tattoos, the rock n’ roll hair-do, the great artwork on her coffee cups - courtesy of Swallow Coffee in Nelson - and genuine love for the people in her town.
‘‘My partner and I have lived in Waikawa coming up three years. But this is just my third week of business. I am really excited to have my coffee shack in Picton and have met some fantastic people.
‘‘I am a very people-driven person, I guess you could say, and I am so super excited about this new venture!’’
Like every food truck story, each enterprise starts with a dream - followed by the purchase of a shell of ‘ something on wheels’. And Paulin’s story is no different.
To realise her vision of bringing mobile coffee to Picton she had to travel to Christchurch to pick up a secondhand ‘‘wobble wagon’’, and get to work on designing and building it herself.
‘‘I brought the coffee cart basically as bare shell and built and designed the rest. It’s such a great feeling seeing the finished result and other people commenting on how fantastic it looks. I feel very proud.’’
Apart from the past four years where she was working on a deep-sea fishing boat, the Picton barista has worked for 14 years in the hospitality business.
This, however, is the first time the Paulin has stepped out on her own to do something she loves.
‘‘I have been wanting to own my own coffee cart for a very long time. I am very passionate about good coffee, and thought: ‘Right, I’m doing this and here I am!’
I love making and drinking good coffee always have. Espresso coffee is one of those rare products where consistent, 100 per cent quality matters.’’
And Paulin says she likes to specialise in locally made products.
‘‘My coffee beans are roasted in Nelson. I also do hot cocoa which is from West Coast Cocoa Merchants. It is rich, intense crafted cocoa and is certified through UTZ certified cocoa program (a label for sustainable farming).
‘‘I also have a variety of flavours including Mayan chilli hot chocolate, caramel, and deluxe. And also, my chai is sourced locally… I am also using organic tea from Keri Keri.’’
Paulin says her beautifully decorated cups are sustainable, made from plants products (no oil) and are biodegradable.
And are the tattoos part of the business model?
‘‘Yes! I have some ink and haven’t finished quite yet, you are never finished once you get started!’’
Little coffee shack owner Kirstie Paulin outside her new venture on Picton’s main drag.