Bean there – doing that

Cycleway barista: Miriam Ellis is enjoying great support outside her spot in Payne Park, Cambridge.

Two mobile baristas are using their coffee-making skills from quite different platforms.

Miriam Ellis parks her custom-made cycle coffee cart in Payne Park outside Resthaven in Cambridge while Te Awamutu’s Rebecca Petch plies her trade from inside a renovated caravan in the old Bunnings building carpark not far away.

Waipā District Council allocated Ellis the space for her Cycle Coffee Company cart alongside the Hamilton Road Cycleway.

“I guess they figured it was appropriate to have me by the cycleway,” said Ellis, who was previously a learning assistant and university lecturer before a mountain bike accident in November 2020 left her with a brain injury.

She and son Sidney moved to Cambridge last year and Ellis considered what next.

She has a lifetime love of coffee so decided to retrain and did a barista ticket at Wintec setting up last year at the western entrance to Cambridge where cyclists, Resthaven residents and passing motorists have come to look forward to her pithy blackboard statements.

Like last week’s “Tough times don’t last, tough people do!” which sums up Ellis’s ongoing recovery.

Meanwhile Petch, who was selected in the New Zealand Commonwealth Games cycling team last week, is making coffee to support her goal to compete in the Kiwi BMX team at the Paris Olympics in 2024.

The cyclist has the help of her best friend, fellow New Zealand BMXer Baylee Luttrell. Both are from Te Awamutu.

“I love making coffee and everything that comes with it, so I thought ‘why not do something I enjoy’. Long story short, Little Petchy was born,” said Petch.

Little Petchy is a 1961 Gypsy caravan she bought in Ōtorohanga, gutted back to its bones and renovated it to become a mobile coffee place.

The renovation included installing a rimu bench so when she is hired to provide coffees at weddings, Little Petchy looks the part.

Petch was selected for the Tokyo Olympic Games last year, edging out her training partner Cambridge rider, and former silver medallist Sarah Walker, for the sole spot.

Injury free for most of her career, Petch crashed in her first race, sustaining a shoulder injury – though she refused to blame it for being unable to qualify for the final.

Now she wants to give the Olympics another try but first there is the women’s team sprint competition at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham next month.

Ellis and Petch have both touched base and swapped barista stories.

Coffee time: Sherwood Forestry arborist Joseph Sturdy stops off for a coffee from Rebecca Petch, centre, and fellow Kiwi and Te Awamutu team BMXer Baylee Luttrell.

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