Young Aberdeenshire man launches retro coffee van pop-up

Austen Morley has opened a pop-up espresso and cocktail bar – Morley’s Coffee - at his home in Forglen.

By Dawn Renton
Thursday, 6th May 2021, 12:00 am
The idea came to Austen whilst travelling in Australia
The idea came to Austen whilst travelling in Australia

Austen is serving hot drinks, iced coffees and traybakes every Wednesday to Sunday inclusive from 10am to 4pm until the end of May.

The home bakes he is serving include flapjack and brownies which are being supplied by another young person - Alice Lane who runs Bakery Lane in Inverurie.

The ‘bar’ is an iconic, fully restored 1971 Citroen HY van which Austen will hire out – fully staffed - for weddings and events after the pandemic.

Morley's Coffee mobile coffee and drinks bar

The idea came to him whilst travelling in Australia – which has a huge coffee culture – and after working in London for a short spell.

Austen said: “I knew that the city life was never a long-term option for me, so decided to move back home to the countryside and to try and bring some of those good things that I experienced from the city back for rural people to enjoy.

“It has been fantastic meeting so many people who have made the effort to come out a try out my pop-up, on the opening day in early April, I probably had 25 car-loads of people throughout the day, despite the hail and wind.”

Austen is sourcing all of his supplies from as local as possible, and his ethos is to support small Scottish, independent brands.

Covid, he says, has given him time to do a lot of research into choosing the right suppliers who uphold his values of local, small, independent and ethical.

Austen added: “My plan was to act as a local pop-up for a few months until events hopefully start to open up in 2021.

“Then the plan is to make the drinks’ bar a private event hire for weddings and corporate functions.

"I’m very excited to get going.”

Austen is a registered bartender, so has a personal alcohol licence, and has a traders’ licence for Aberdeenshire which will allow him to run pop-ups which he was planning to try out either in Turriff or Inverurie.

Customers can find Austen at Turfhill House, Forglen AB53 4LR.

He accepts both cards and cash for any purchases made.

Austen has been involved with and supported by Jane Craigie and the Rural Youth Project for the last two years.