Business is thriving at the Harbour Village
Martin Homer’s coffee has a strong following. He’s one of the original Harbour Villagers, opening Mocha Mondo pod in the spring of 2015 and bringing many of the customers from his previous location with him.
Martin began his coffee business brewing lattes and flat whites for commuters rushing for the Alnmouth trains. Six years on, Mocha Mondo’s output has grown, but the pace has mellowed.
“I moved the business from Alnmouth station, where I got a reputation for selling good quality coffee. Loads of people remember me from there.” says Martin, who was renowned for getting his regular customers’ coffee ready as they arrived at the station, and handing it to them as they dashed for the train.
“I came to Amble because I was interested in roasting coffee as well as brewing it. I wanted a micro roaster and I thought it could work in a pod. I thought it would fit in well with the ethos of the Harbour Village; small, experimental type businesses.
The challenge has paid off. Mocha Mondo pod contains a coffee machine, an oven for flapjacks, a roaster and a milkshake blender. Business is thriving and Martin has plans to develop the range of goods he offers.
The pod sells speciality coffee beans and their own distinctive single origin chocolate. They provide packets of the roasted beans to shops, and wholesale orders for cafes and restaurant coffee machines.
A new venture for this spring, is their ‘Roasted and Posted’ mail order service where customers can email their coffee beans and chocolate orders, pay online and receive their goods in the post.
Martin now employs five part-time staff, and hopes he can devote more time to the new parts of his business, including developing his chocolate lines. “We’re the only people in Northumberland who make chocolate from bean to bar,” says Martin.
Throughout our chat, customers dash in for regular orders, visitors wander in for a browse, while others tumble in out of the wind, looking for something hot to warm them up.
“I love it here,” says Martin. “It’s such an iconic location, to have a business next to such a historic harbour. I love the variety of people at the harbour village. They’re not rushing for the train, the atmosphere is more relaxed. I can welcome visitors. I prefer to present an understated service, and people are often impressed at what they get.”
Mocha Mondo pod is open every day at Amble Harbour Village 10am – 3pm, longer in the summer.