I turned my side hustle passion into a multi-million pound business – here's how I did it | The Sun

I turned my side hustle passion into a multi-million pound business – here's how I did it | The Sun

February 21, 2023

A COUPLE have revealed how they turned their side hustle into a million-pound chain.

Louis and Lisa Hurst, from Chestfield in Kent, came up with selling coffee out of a van as a way for Lisa to get back into work after having three kids.

Now it is a regional chain expected to achieve a £2.3million turnover this year.

Lisa originally bought a 60-year-old Citroen HY van and outfitted it as a coffee truck.

She then took it around local business parks and train stations serving coffee to commuters.

Louis, 44, told KentOnline: "We didn't initially set out to go into the coffee business.

Read More Money

I’m a cleaner but I make extra £3.6k with my savvy side hustle… here’s how

Lucky EuroMillions player comes forward to claim £1MILLION prize

"The van was originally just something for Lisa to get back into work as our three children were growing up.

"We spent a few thousand pounds sorting it out and called it HatHats after our youngest daughter, Hattie, and Lisa took it around business parks and served commuters at Chestfield station."

Most read in The Sun


Family in 'agony' after body found near where Nicola Bulley went missing


First words of witness to Nicola Bulley cops after spotting body of woman


Nicola Bulley's family 'braced for worst possible news' after body found


Nicola Bulley's partner breaks silence after body found in river

Lisa said: "There were some very early starts, which wasn't much fun on cold, dark mornings.

"But we always felt it was important for our customers to know we would be there for them with a warm greeting and a hot coffee or chocolate."

Louis, who describes himself as a "serial entrepreneur", sold his telecoms business after Lisa spotted an opportunity to upscale the business.

The couple took over the coffee kiosk at the Roman fort and twin-towered Norman church in Reculver.

Louis said: "People said it would never work, but we have proved them wrong and it's become hugely popular with walkers, dog owners and families.

"The numbers visiting the adjoining coastal classroom have grown hugely, which, I believe, we can take a lot of credit for.

"Coffee brings people together and our ethos from the start has been consistency, so we are open 364 days a year, come rain or shine.

"We did get some criticism when we opened during the pandemic for serving takeaway drinks, but we operated within the law.

"I remember one old chap stopping myself and Lisa while we were walking our dogs and thanking us for being open, saying the smile and welcome he got from our staff was the only human interaction he had at the time."

Soon the kiosk was also offering cakes, ice cream and crepes alongside hot and cold drinks.

The side hustle grew into a multi-million-pound business which will have seven outlets across Kent by April.

HatsHats has opened branches in Faversham, Herne Bay, Whitstable and Canterbury, where it has also launched a barista academy.

This April the couple will open more outlets in Canterbury and Herne Bay, alongside their first kiosk in Deal.

Lisa's side-hustle only took in £56,000 in its first year, but Louis now aims to reach a £5million turnover by 2025.

He said: "We crafted more than 397,500 drinks in 2022, including coffee, tea, hot chocolate, frappes and smoothies.

"In the last three years, we have used the equivalent weight of two double-decker buses in coffee beans.

"We have had over 17,900 downloads for our customers app from the Google Play and the Apple stores and more than 221,000 Youtube views on our channel."

HatsHats employs 58 people across Kent, and will hire 16 more this year.

But the Citroen van where it all started has been taken off the road by engine trouble.

Louis said: "We made a successful bid to the Kent and Medway Business Fund to give her a heart transplant with a new, modern VW engine.

Read More on The Sun

First words of witness to Nicola Bulley cops after spotting body of woman

I’m only 27 & worth six-figures…the 5 mistakes you’re making that keep you poor

"When ready, she will be attending lots of locations across the county with our events trailer, which is basically a HatHats on Wheels, to again serve our coffee and drinks.

"Unfortunately, she became too unreliable – but she will ride again."

Source: Read Full Article