A COUPLE who love coffee and vintage vehicles have combined their two passions by selling drinks from a 52-year-old Citroen van.

On the Hoof Coffee Co. recently received a boost from former Dragon’s Den personality Theo Paphitis after winning his Small Business Saturday contest.

The business, set up last year by Christian Shepherd and Zeta Cuthel, has a regular pitch outside a Tesco store. It also goes to as many events as the pair can reach in their 1967 Citroen HY van. Called Maurice, the vehicle has a top speed of 45mph.

Zeta said: “We’re both crazy about vehicles and coffee and we wanted to try and do something a bit different. There are similar vehicles but there didn’t seem to be anything similar in Dorset at the moment.”

The Bloxworth-based couple decided they wanted to serve local products and came across Sherborne roaster Reads Coffee. They chose its Sumatra Bourbon blend as their preferred flavour.

They also serve Dorset Tea and the brownies of Bridport-based Bayside Bakery.

Maurice can be found five days a week parked outside Tesco in Dorchester.

“We’re really enjoying it there. We do events and some private parties but we wanted to find a patch that we could do all year round, because events are quite seasonal,” said Zeta.

“We get a lot of positive feedback.

“We’ve got a lot of good coffee shops in Dorchester but where Tesco is, there isn’t anything, so quite a lot of people like to have a coffee before they embark on their shopping or have one as a little reward when they’ve done their shop. We also get quite a lot of people who are travelling and who stop off for coffee.“We are allowed to have table and chairs out the front so customers can have a sit down and drink their coffee.”

She said the business’s profile was boosted last month when it won Small Business Saturday, the weekly competition in which Theo Paphitis picks deserving businesses to retweet.

“He’s got a huge following on his Twitter profile. The thing I found amazing is how supportive the other owners are in retweeting,” said Zeta. “He chooses six owners a week but it’s under one per cent of all entries.”

On the Hoof is also looking to be sustainable, with compostable cups and accessories and a 30p discount for those who bring their own cups. “We are mindful of the environment and are always looking at ways to improve,” said Zeta.