A COFFEE shop in a horsebox is ready to take on an international coffee brand at Bournemouth Station.

The Little Green Coffee Box is the local business punching above its weight with Starbucks set to open a new branch

Emily Fisher and Chris Howes began the business in 2017 and moved to their spot at the front of the station four years ago.

Emily said the coffee box is David versus Starbucks’ Goliath but that she sees them as two very different businesses.

She said: "Starbucks is a bigger name, so that’s a worry.

"I’m hoping that it won’t be too detrimental and the regulars that we’ve created and that we’ve forged relationships with will still continue to support us, as they have done through Covid, rail strikes and various other happenings.

“Although it’s competition, it’s wildly different,” Emily, 28, said. “We are a couple, who live in Bournemouth. We support Green Label Kitchen, they supply our cakes, they’re from Bournemouth Triangle.

“Our coffee’s from Shaftesbury. The two of us who built the horsebox five years ago still work in there.

“So even though it is coffee, to me it is wildly different.”

The pair began the business selling coffee at events but looked for a permanent home to make the venture more sustainable.

They spotted a gap in the market for a local, independent brand to move in at the station, and after a year of negotiations, opened the hatch on their renovated horsebox in 2019.

They faced adversity almost immediately, with the uncertainty of the Covid lockdowns, but Emily said the business was ‘Covid ready by default, rather than design’.

“I remember when we read the news report that morning that cafes would be shut, we thought, we’ve poured so much money into this and so much time and effort and it’s not going to work,” she said.

“But the really sweet thing that ended up happening was that takeaways could stay open.

“We ended up building a customer base, some of which still come to us, from being the only place where you could go for a walk to get a coffee, during Covid.”

The business has gone from strength to strength since, recently installing a newly renovated horsebox.

“We do this because we enjoy it,” Emily said. “I don’t want that enjoyment to be taken out of it by pushing it too far.

“I think the customers, especially for my other half Chris, they would say he’s the happiest man they’ve ever met in their life. If you come at five or six in the morning, on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday, he’s usually got some disco on, and he’ll be belting out something or other. People like that vibe.

“So I think we want to keep it small and personal.”