Florin Pop got his first taste of Bristol while working as a builder helping to construct Cabot Circus. After that job was complete, he returned to his native Transylvania in Romania to finish his university degree before moving to Bristol permanently, where he first found work as a builder on Narrow Quay.
It was on Narrow Quay that he first saw the now sadly departed Ward & Williams selling coffee and sandwiches from their vintage Citroen H van, the same model of van that Chomp first used before setting up as a permanent restaurant.
“I wanted to do something different,” Florin explains, talking to Bristol24/7 within his own Citroen H van which he drove back from France some two and a half years ago and has spent the time since then transforming into Mr Pop, his dream cafe on four wheels.
Mr Pop – which can be found on the corner of Redcliffe Way and Redcliff Street – currently sells tea, coffee from Clifton Coffee and a small selection of sweet treats, with Florin’s plans for the future including a hot chocolate deluxe when the weather gets colder and iced coffee for the summer months.
Thirty-year-old Florin learned how to make good coffee while volunteering in the cafe that his church in Aztec West helps to run, and his friends from the church helped tidy the ground around Mr Pop and cut back the foliage before he opened for business on Monday.
Once a year, Florin also promises to denote a week’s profits to a cause that his church, Edge, supports: raising money for children living in poverty in Zimbabwe and Cambodia.
It may still be early days, but Florin is loving his new career. “It’s so good,” he says. “I’m trying to be more than just a trader, but a friend for this local community.”
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