Victoria, British Columbia is a pretty great little place, an old colonial-era harbor town at the tip of Vancouver Island. A ferry ride is required to reach it from nearby Vancouver, BC, or across the international border from Washington state. The city is known for its famed botanical gardens, stunning scenery, and roaring food and beverage scene, including a long history of third wave coffee to rival any city in western Canada. We always love an excuse to check in with Victoria, so let’s take a look at Routine Coffee Supply, a very cool vintage Suzuki truck that’s been converted into the city’s next great mobile coffee experience.
As told to Sprudge by Garrett Olson.
For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?
Routine started as a pour-over pop-up, allowing specialty coffee in unique spaces. During the pandemic, I decided to build out my dream third-wave specialty shop, but on the go. I found a 1991 Suzuki Carry truck that had been locked away in a storage locker for many years in central Alberta. During the next year, my dad and I designed and built the entire truck to be completely self-sufficient in a unique package. Now, Routine has become an integral part of the community here on Vancouver Island. From participating with Rifflandia Music Festival for a pop-up cafe, teaming up with Oatly exclusively in all of our pop-ups, to weddings, and most recently, a month-long residency in Arc’Teryx Victoria store as their community spotlight.
Can you tell us a bit about the new space?
The truck is a 1991 Suzuki Carry truck from Japan with a custom aluminum enclosure on the back. Due to the truck’s small footprint it is an ideal fit for most spaces in Victoria. The truck is in its inaugural season. The truck is complete with a two-group espresso machine, two grinders, a FETCO brewing system—all housed in a tiny package. Once you open the hydraulic gull-wing door it exposes a custom built bar with the generator and water tank all hidden in the back.
What’s your approach to coffee?
I want to bring specialty coffee to everyone—from enthusiasts to your parents. I focus on medium to light roast coffees; using roasters such as Process, Loveless, and Kurasu. I try to showcase coffees to people in a way that allows the focus to be on learning and trying new things but maintaining the integrity that allows the coffees to shine.
Any machines, coffees, or special equipment lined up?
How is your project considering sustainability?
From the beginning the focus was on how to achieve the model in the most sustainable way. We installed a 100W solar panel to help offload as much load from the generator as possible, with potential to increasing this in the future. Focusing on using Oatly as our only milk option was also a deliberate effort to achieve the smallest footprint we can.
What’s your hopeful target opening date/month?
We have begun soft launch dates but we are hoping to be fully up and running with a weekly location for setup by mid July 2023.
Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?
I’d have to give a big shoutout to my dad, Bruce, as he played an immense role in making all of this possible.