It may be an unexpected obsession for a nightclub promoter and a DJ, but coffee is the passion that has united business partners Nick Pears and Neil Midgley.
For the last few months they have been gradually building up Motore Café, their authentic roadside service for those who like coffee on the go.
Now the venture has proved such a success that, from this Saturday, it is to become a six-day operation.
Old friends Nick, from Woodseats, and Neil, Nether Edge, kept bumping into each other in Braggazzi’s on Abbeydale Road, Tamper off West Street and Marmaduke’s off Fargate. And over their shared love of good coffee, the two came up with a scheme to launch their own independent café… with a difference.
First they drew up a business plan and persuaded the bank to back them. Then they found a traditional three-wheel Piaggio Ape van and had it converted to include a specialist coffee machine and water tank.
Their next obstacle was the city council – but officers were impressed with their plans and granted them a prime pitch on Howard Street, between the railway station and the city centre.
Nick’s friend Tom Wilkinson, a barista and roaster with Sheffield-based Pollard’s, taught him the art of making good coffee. He honed his skills by working for a coffee chain and also went back to college to brush up his business acumen.
The two finally launched Motore Café in September: “It was an immediate success,” says Neil. “We’ve built an army of regular customers who share our love of quality coffee.”
In fact, the venture has proved so popular that they are now expanding, and also introducing a loyalty card for customers.
Motore has its own unique blend of coffee, specially roasted by Pollard’s from Ethiopian, Costa Rican and Rwandan beans. They also offer teas and hot chocolate, as well as hand-made Sicilian sweets and fresh pastries.
Find Motore in Howard Street, Monday to Friday, 8am-3pm, and from 9am-4pm on Saturdays.