A 1967 Citroen camper from Paris has experienced a rebirth of sorts, thanks to a team of redesign experts in England, and the very detailed and specific dreams of the owner/operators of Håndverkeren Kaffe og Te in our charming town of Sandefjord.
The former camping truck-turned-mobile coffee bar is a perfect compilation of retro-chic styling and color, quality coffee, and a pair of owners whose passion for their craft pours out as smoothly and richly as every delicious cup they serve up. And the result of their labor of love is fun and whimsical, and unlike anything else around this area.
After chatting for a few moments with Terje and Tabitha Hals, the braintrust behind Bønna, I sat at the accompanying table, painted the same playful shade of green, and slowly enjoyed a lovely pour-over. And I observed the parade of people who stopped, stared, waved, gawked, and then usually proceeded to step up to order a drink.
Children dragged their parents by the arm to get a closer look. One van made a near u-turn so the driver could run over to place an order. And no matter who walked past, one thing was always true: no one could take a look at Bønna without a smile on his or her face!
I love the enthusiasm and energy that are so evident in the Bønna pair as they talk about their coffee shop on wheels. It is clear that this is so much more than a job for them. Terje showed me around and shared details about the process of converting the van. Tabitha smiled broadly as she shared how much fun it is to see the reactions of passersby when she and Terje drive Bønna around. Honks, waves and countless 'thumbs up' have come to be the norm anytime they set out.
In between customers, I continued to chat with Terje & Tabitha - and before I knew it, nearly an hour had passed! But it was so interesting to hear about the journey of this little camping truck in France, its adventures in the speciality refurbishing shop in England, and now its new life on the corner of Kongens Gate and Jernbanealleen.
Bønna is a coffee wagon with great coffee. And yet, it is much more. While quality coffee is important, it is even better when those serving the coffee do so in a way that expresses their skills and flare for coffee craft.
Håndverkeren's popular hot drinks are served via their mobile shop. It's the same quality and the same service we in Sandefjord have come to know and love at the little shop on Kongensgate - just out on the streets!
Sandefjord residents - and those just passing through: be on the lookout for this delightful piece of nostalgia. Stop by for a warm drink, and maybe a pastry on the side. And be sure to tell them Notes from Norge sent you!
You can follow Bønna on Twitter and Instagram: @kaffebrenneri
|Takk for en skikkelig flott opplevelse, Tabitha & Terje!|
(og for at dere var så tålmodig med min dårlige norsk!)