La Marzocco Home got the chance to catch up with local legend Evan Thompson from Double Park Coffee. Growing up in the north-east outskirts of Melbourne, he and two mates developed a business that took mobile specialty coffee to a new level, installing two Linea Minis on the sidecar of a motorbike. Bringing the good coffee to the people – any time, any where!
Tell me a little about the business? How did it get started?
We’ve taken your old school mobile coffee van and Melbournized the heck out of it. Double Park is a specialty coffee setup like you’ve never seen before – two La Marzocco Linea Minis, bolted onto the sidecar of a vintage motorcycle… maaate! We’ve maximised the coffee quality, minimised the setup size, and can still hit a hundred k’s an hour on the freeway lookin’ like a boss!
There’s three young studs behind the scenes here at Double Park; Jake (our opportunist and problem solver), Sam (our business bandit, number cruncher and occasional male model), and me, Evan (our operations director, networker and brand manager).
We became mates a few years back after slinging spros together at a local café. With a collective passion for good coffee, good banter and good times, we decided that’s all we needed to go into business together. Keep it simple.
How did the idea come about? What came first, the coffee or the bike?
First up, what are we doing? Mobile coffee..? Yep sick, done. We can’t do a van, that’s been done. Can’t do a caravan either… What hasn’t been done?
Our resident problem solver, Jake plays a crucial role here… proposing a motorbike and sidecar,
Kids reading this at home, there’s a reason you don’t see any moto-coffo setups around like ours. How do you fit it all?
A couple of sessions brainstorming, designing and calculating, and a hint of winging it, and we were literally ready to roll. We bought a bike (café racer of course), had a legend fabricate the sidecar up for us, and next up, coffee machine decision time (the best bit)!
How do you compare the mini to commercial machines you have worked on in the past?
Jake and I had worked on LM’s before, so when we found out that they had released the new, powerful but compact ‘Linea Mini’, we had to test it out. We rocked up to the La Marzocco Locals party in twenty-sixteen, where the Mini was on show, had a play and we were pretty damn impressed. The brew pressure and temperature is just as consistent as the Classic and the steam power is phenomenal. The brew paddle takes a little extra concentration during extraction, but that just makes it more of an art form. Over all, it’s safe to say, we’ve fallen in love with the Linea Mini.
On this same night, Jets introduced herself, handed us a couple beers each and said, “gotta be double parked boys!”, and here we are with an epic business name! ((Thanks Jets (and no you can’t take the credit))
How does using two minis side by side strengthen your mobile business?
Could the Mini keep up with the volume of coffee we wanted to pump out? After a bit of research it was looking promising, so we bought two and bolted them on permanently to the top of a motorbike sidecar.
Possibly one of the best decisions we’ve made in our lives. Double Park has been in action for just over a year and a half now, and you betcha bottom dollar that the Linea Mini’s have smashed out tens of thousands of coffees. I cannot believe how good these machines are. We can pump out up to 200 coffees an hour consistently, and they don’t skip a beat. 15 minutes to heat up and we’re sorted.
How have your customers reacted to your set-up?
One of the best things about using the Linea Mini is that customers know that they’re in for a treat. We call it ‘the LM effect’, where just seeing the LM badge makes customers want a coffee. They know that we are serious about our coffee, and that surely we’d be using some sort of super cool boutique coffee roaster (shoutout to the absolute bloody legends at @commonfolkcoffee). Coffee is our number one product, so we’ve given it the attention it deserves.
Where are your favourite places to pull up shop? All-time favourite location?
The Double Park setup allows us access to places that most mobile carts can’t go. We can roll in through any standard double door, squeeze our way into your brunch party, and even sneak up to the rooftop of your favourite bar in the elevator. Our all time fave spot would have to be on our road trip up to Sydney. We took a pit stop in Merimbula to visit some mates, sun shining, birds chirping… what a day! We rode down to the beach, set the bike up smack bang in the middle of the boardwalk and brewed until the seagulls came home.
Perks of the job they say.
– Double Park
Phone: (03) 9404 2622