Dad quits his job on an oil rig to turn his passion into a business

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 30 Oct 2017

An East Yorkshire father who has spent 11 years working as a deep sea diver on a North Sea oil rig has decided to take the plunge in a different career by launching his own barista van.

Daniel Sturdy, of Beverley, has renovated an old horse box into his street food café cart, hitting the road for markets and events across the region.

The father of two says the business venture is an effort to create a career around his passion for coffee and not spend months at a time away from his family for work.

The ‘Barista Box’ will also be eco-friendly, recycling and pressing used coffee grinds to create blocks that can burned in a traditional log burner.

The renovated Barista Box

“I just wanted to make a change. It all started about 12 months ago when I was working on a diving job with my mates. We were offshore and were having a drink and chat,” he said.

“I just love good coffee and obviously you can’t get it over there. We have rubbish coffee but when you are working twelve-hour shifts in the sea the coffee just keeps you going.

“I started diving in 2006 and I’ve just spent so much of my life away from my family. I have a five-year-old and a two-year-old now so I want to spend more time at home. My wife is working with me as a team, so family has been really important to all of this.

Daniel Sturdy pictured at work

“When I returned it was all I could think about, the possibility of working with coffee instead of leaving the family all the time.”

Read more: Street food company opening restaurant in former Pine-Apple store in Beverley Road

He said that after returning home he saw the opportunity to turn his passion for coffee into a career, and set about transforming an old horse box into his barista business.

Daniel Sturdy pictured renovating the horse box

He said: “When I came back and had a day out with family shortly after I had a coffee at a similar stall and was really disappointed. I thought I could do a better job so set about doing it myself.

“So I bought the horse box which completely stripped out and renovated myself. I wanted to make it something a little bit different.

The Barista Box

“I didn’t want it to be a ‘press a button and coffee comes out’ business, so we are using a traditional duel fuel gas lever machine. It’s trickier but you get a more authentic coffee. We are buying our coffee locally as well, from James at the Blending Rooms.

“I’ve spoken to a friend who is able to press the leftover grind from coffee into burnable logs so we have added that green element too.

“We have quite a few upcoming events, like Christmas markets and light switch-ons. It’s something we are really passionate about so just want to get out there and make a success of it.”

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