BACK: Rob Muston in front of his original Happy Valley coffee van.
BACK: Rob Muston in front of his original Happy Valley coffee van. Brett Wortman

Happy days as coffee van owner is back in business

ROB Muston and the Happy Valley Coffee Van will be back brewing coffee to locals from July 1.

Mr Muston has won the tender to operate his coffee van at the popular Happy Valley spot again after controversially losing it three years ago.

He had operated the van at Happy Valley for a decade and never expected he would lose it when the Sunshine Coast Council put the site up for tender.

But he was given three weeks notice the business he had built up over the years would no longer belong to him.

The council had awarded the tender to new-comer, the Barista and the Bean.

Not even a petition with more than 1000 signatures could bring a change of heart.

Neither could the threat of legal action with Mr Muston considering taking the matter all the way to the Supreme Court.

In the end, he said, it wouldn't have been worth the cost so he packed up the van and moved to his former home state of Victoria.

"My reason for the leaving the Sunny Coast after losing the coffee van site in 2013 was to be nearer the kids and four grandkids," he said.

But his health suffered in Victoria's cooler weather as he has a chronic respiratory condition.

He has had an interesting three years hiatus from the Sunshine Coast, joining the cruise ship Queen Elizabeth as a "ballroom dance host".

"I have been dancing ballroom for the past decade. The cruise started in Bangkok, headed to England via India, Jordan, Istanbul and many other places.

"Before returning home, I spent some time in France researching battlefields where my grandfather fought in the first war."

Mr Muston heard about the tender coming up again for the Happy Valley site purely by chance.

"I was visiting on the Coast when someone mentioned the tender was available again. It was a Wednesday and it was due on Friday."

He put his heart and soul into ensuring this time he gave his all to the application process.

"Last time I assumed I was going to get it as I always was the incumbent."

In December he received the good news from the council his application had been successful.

Mr Muston is thrilled his hard work on the application paid off and he will be able to be back at the spot he loves.

He has spent $100,000 buying and refurbishing a new van, which will include a large cake display and will have a surfboard on the front.

The "Happy Valley coffees" name won't change.

The Daily has been unsuccessful in contacting the Barista and the Bean owners and last activity on their Facebook page was in April 2015.

The contact phone number has also been disconnected.


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