Mobile cafe owner: ‘It was a big risk, deciding to push semi-retirement earlier than expected, but it’s paid off’

Allan Drisdelle pours a cappuccino for a waiting customer. Millicent McKay photo


Nov. 16, 2016

Christmas carols and the hum of conversation filled the air as Allan Drisdelle poured a cappuccino.

“It’s been a busy morning here at the fair,” he said.

Drisdelle, along with 142 other vendors, filled Three Oaks Senior High School for the 31st annual Three Oaks Craft Fair.

“This is my fourth season here. And I love the event.”

Drisdelle is the owner of Three Thumps Up Wheels Caffe, a mobile café unit he imported from Amsterdam.

“It was a big risk, deciding to push semi-retirement earlier than expected, but it’s paid off.”

“I want young people to see that you can start a small business on your own if you want to.”

After starting the business, Drisdelle travelled to Europe.

“I went to every café and coffee shop I could find and talked to the owners. I wanted to learn more about coffee.”

Drisdelle’s mobile café is the only one in Canada.

“Every cup is an individual. I make it to the customer’s liking. If they want it strong I make it strong, if they want it weak, I make it weak. But it all starts with the freshly ground coffee beans for each cup.”

Sixteen-year-old Anthony Albert had a booth set up in the school’s gymnasium.

“I used to make tourist-y kinds of products, but then I took a left and now I’m here.”

On his table were different kinds of comic book wall art.

“I’m an avid comic fan, so I thought this would be a great idea. I take old and new comics and cut characters or scenes out, then apply them to a board that is either six-by-six or six-by-12.”

New to Albert’s stand are silhouettes.

“They’re the symbols that each comic books character is known for,” he said as he held up the Superman crest.

Shelley Pearse made the trek over from Nova Scotia to sell her products at the fair.

Pearse and her husband hand pick pieces of slate from quarries across the province, then they turn them into a candle of sorts.

“They function exactly like an oil lamp, except it’s not an actual lamp. Under each rock is a reservoir dish that can be constantly refilled, but it can’t be removed.”

“After we pick them we grind down the sides so they aren’t sharp, we clean them and then we put a finish on them to bring out their natural beauty.”

This is Pearse’s second time at the event.

“It’s nice to come here and interact with all kinds of different people.”

Jeff Clow is the principal of Three Oaks. This has been one of their largest fairs yet, he said.

“This is our main fundraiser for the year, so it’s significant. We’ll have 7,000 to 8,000 people come through our doors over these two days.”

“It’s a great thing because it brings in all kinds of different people, including groups of students.”

The money raised from the craft fair helps support various extracurricular groups as well as the school’s breakfast and lunch program.

“We’ll spend $8,00 to $13,000 on the breakfast and lunch programs. This fundraiser is a huge help to keep it running. We have about 150 to 180 students who depend on the program and we don’t want to see it end.”