Businesswoman takes chainsaw to Doncaster College coffee bar after losing contract

Donna Grady, Linda McGough and Gary McGough, pictured are launching a new mobile Coffee shop called Streettruck. Picture: NDFP-08-12-18-Coffee-1
Donna Grady, Linda McGough and Gary McGough, pictured are launching a new mobile Coffee shop called Streettruck. Picture: NDFP-08-12-18-Coffee-1

Former cafe boss Linda McGough says she and her friends took a chainsaw into Doncaster College to take her fixtures and fittings out after being thrown out of her site.

Now the 50-year-old from from Sprotbrough plans to go mobile to try to keep her old customers from when she was running the Campus Coffee shop at the college’s The Hub base at Doncaster Waterfront.

Donna Grady, Linda McGough and Gary McGough, pictured are launching a new mobile Coffee shop called Streettruck. Picture: NDFP-08-12-18-Coffee-2

Donna Grady, Linda McGough and Gary McGough, pictured are launching a new mobile Coffee shop called Streettruck. Picture: NDFP-08-12-18-Coffee-2

Linda aged, 50, had been running a cafe since 2001, initially as a van. But was invited to run a cafe within the Hub, in 2006, on a site which she rented from the college in its atrium.

But she lost the site after the college started asking her to extend her opening times and to open up at weekends.

Her contract was cancelled and she was ordered to leave. That was when she and a group of friends went into the college to remove the fixtures and fittings with the chainsaw.

She said: “They offered us £4,000 for the fixtures and fittings, which we had put in. But I didn’t want to leave them. It would have meant they could have turfed us out and put someone else in the next day, as though we’d never been there.

“The counters and things ended up in a skip at the Armthorpe recycling site. The milk fridge, we gave to one of our customers.

“We came in on the Saturday and they gave us three hours to get everyone out. We bought a chainsaw and took it all away.”

She said she lost the site at the college after being asked to sign a new contract which would have doubled the rent. 

She said she was also told she must start selling food, and told to open at evenings and at weekends, even though Linda did not believe there was the demand due to the small numbers of people in at the evenings and weekends.

Now Linda has bought a new van – which she is calling her Street Truck – which will allow her to sell food and hot drinks.

She is applying to Doncaster Council to try and get permission to locate it in a car park near the college so her customer will still be able to come to her.

She added: “We’ve had hundreds of cards from people saying they were sorry we were leaving, and we want these people to know we’re going to miss them. There are a lot of kids at the college who don’t know why they’ve do this.

“But the council have been really helpful, and we hope to be back in the truck soon.”

Doncaster College has not responded to a request for a comment.