Cof­fee cart owner holds the right key to the per­fect hit

Nelson Mail - - NEWS - CARLY GOOCH

The key to the Cen­tre of New Zealand may be in Tracy Alexan­der’s hands but it’s the key to a good caf­feine hit she has a hold on.

Joker Espresso cof­fee cart is her new ven­ture at the Cen­tre of New Zealand’s Botanic Sports Field.

Af­ter man­ag­ing the Crema Espresso cart at the top of Trafal­gar St for six years, Alexan­der said it was time to go it alone.

‘‘I’m 50 soon and I wanted to have my own busi­ness ... af­ter work­ing on the Crema cart I thought, ac­tu­ally, this might be quite af­ford­able.

‘‘I love this park. Af­ter be­ing here for a few days and the peo­ple I’ve met and how it’s do­ing al­ready ... I might just stay here.’’

She landed a site at Nel­son Air­port, but turned it down as the cart had to run on a gen­er­a­tor for three months which was not vi­able. .

Rul­ing out the Maitai walk­way due to a lack of ameni­ties, she chose a spot on her door step and now has a two-month trial with the Nel­son City Coun­cil.

The site has power, toi­lets and park­ing, she said.

Some of her cus­tomers have fol­lowed her from Crema.

‘‘Tracy’s worth trac­ing down’’ said Paul Tre­wavas. ‘‘She makes the best cof­fee in town.’’

Jac Tourell said she had known Alexan­der for years. ‘‘ My kids have grown up on her hot cho­co­lates.’’

Alexan­der said there was more to cof­fee mak­ing than a good cuppa.

‘‘When it comes to baris­tas, it is about the cof­fee big time, but it’s also some­times about the per­son.’’

She said feed­back was over­whelm­ingly pos­i­tive with some say­ing it was ‘‘lovely be­cause now we ac­tu­ally feel like we got out of the of­fice, sat in a park, had a nice cof­fee and we’re ready to go‘‘.

The name ‘‘Joker’’ Espresso came from a pas­sion of Alexan­der’s.

She said dur­ing her 25-year ca­reer as a pre-school teacher she would dress up in cos­tumes which in­cluded a joker.

‘‘I love jok­ers but I also I col­lect joker cards ... any­thing joker.’’

The colour­ful cart, made by Nel­son Mo­tor Homes cost $15,000, slightly less than the $17,000 Ital­ian cof­fee ma­chine which runs on a power out­let in the park.

‘‘I’ve got the key to the Cen­tre of New Zealand,’’ she proudly said.


Tracy Alexan­der at her new ven­ture, Joker Espresso at the Botanic Sports Field.

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