Only two months after completing a hospitality training course, Lisa Jones has launched her own coffee cart business in Whanganui.
Just over a year ago, Jones and her partner Ash Baker moved to Whanganui from Upper Hutt, following family on both sides who had already made the move, and looking to get away from a bigger city.
"We decided that we wanted to come up here, and not be in the hustle and bustle of Wellington. I like it here. I like where we are, and that it's just a hop, skip and a jump to go anywhere, really," Jones said.
They were still exploring career options when Jones decided to enrol on the hospitality, Level 2 training course at Training For You, wanting to get barista work in cafes.
But instead, within the first few weeks of her training, the couple started to consider the possibility they could set up a coffee cart together and work for themselves.
"We did a lot of background research first, and we did it all ourselves," Jones said.
"While I was training, Ash was doing all the investigating – finding out who to talk to, sorting a permit, working with the council. He looked into the trailers, the coffee machines.
"He was doing the background while I was learning how to do the coffee. We had to do a lot of investigating and planning to make it work."
The pair identified an opportunity in their local community.
The pair have secured a site at the Aramoho Shopping Centre and their business Joker Coffee began trading last month.
"We had quite a few issues with getting started," Jones said.
"We got sockets put in, and then our plugs were wrong. It was just small things - the wrong pipes etcetera. It was quite deflating at times, but we knew that we just had to keep pushing through."
The name Joker Coffee is a fitting and clever amalgam of both of their last names – Jones and Baker.
"We're here to have a laugh. We're here to have fun. We want to make people happy, that's all we're worried about. Coffee makes people happy. Jaffas and chocolate fish make people happy, and hopefully our service does too," Baker said.