‘Great recovery’ ruined by coffee caravan thief
Gisborne woman Debbie Lamb's great recovery back into the hospitality business turned into a great recovery of another kind.
Ms Lamb's mint green coffee caravan she had spent months doing up was stolen from Gladstone Road last week. Her appeals on Facebook for information — a post shared more than 1200 times — led to a random call yesterday from a man who told her the coffee caravan was on his property.
Ms Lamb and her friends got the address and went to recover her coffee cart.
Ms Lamb spent 10 months painting and restoring the caravan, but it now sits battered and bruised and fleeced of everything inside.
Gone is her $4000 coffee machine and water pump, the door is broken after being prised open and there are scratches on the new paint work.
Debbie had been due to open yesterday. She had a spot on a patch of grass by Carpet Court, and had tables and chairs to sit outside it as well.
Instead of making coffees for the public today as planned, Ms Lamb is counting her losses and has decided enough is enough.
“I'm out,” she said this morning. Instead of pursuing her coffee cart dream Ms Lamb has taken up an offer of employment at Lake Ohau Lodge in the South Island. There she will work at the lodge, where accommodation is provided. She feels the hospitality work among the Ohau Range mountains is just the tonic she needs after a rough year.
Last week's theft has been the last straw.
The mobile coffee business was taken from outside Carpet Court on Gladstone Road some time late on Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning last week.
It was worth $18,000, she said.
Ms Lamb said the coffee cart business was supposed to be her “great recovery” after a cafe in town she opened last year didn't work out.
Despite all the upheaval, Ms Lamb wanted to say a big thank you to the community who shared her Facebook post, provided support and messaged her with information.
One person, who wished to remain anonymous, said they saw the coffee cart being driven out of town towards Tatapouri on the back of an “old-school” white flat deck truck with red stripes on the side.
“Despite it all, it has been quite beautiful to experience this community support,” she said.
Ms Lamb trialled her new business at Rhythm and Vines three weeks ago.
She said the coffee cart had a wheel lock on one side of the trailer.
Adding to the headache was that she changed her insurance provider the same day her coffee cart was stolen. She hopes this won't matter.
If anyone has any information about the theft, call police on 105 with the file number 210115/3246.