Coffee cart owner holds the right key to the perfect hit
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.