How a Baghdad bodyguard switched careers to become a mobile barista in Sunderland

Marcus Gordon and his coffee van
Marcus Gordon and his coffee van
Have your say

From bodyguard to barista, it’s been an unusual change of career for Marcus Gordon.

The 25-year-old said farewell to his role as a bodyguard for the British Embassy in Baghdad last year to create his own business empire.

Marcus Gordon and his coffee van

Marcus Gordon and his coffee van

Marcus set up his own mobile coffee van business Dark Steam Division around two months ago, fulfilling a long-term dream of turning his love of coffee into a profitable business.

On leaving Houghton Kepier school, the Penshaw lad joined the British Army, serving with the 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery from 2006 to 2012.

Using his military experience, he then became a bodyguard for private security services company GardaWorld, working at the British Embassy in the Iraqi capital.

“I worked as a bodyguard for the British Embassy in Baghdad for three years from 2012 to October,” he said.
“I am ex-army, you have to be to do what I was doing. I worked in the transportation unit, where I was transporting clients such as politicians and embassy workers around Baghdad.

“There was the odd bomb going off, it’s pretty dangerous. Being a bodyguard was a good job, but I always wanted my own business.”

Marcus then found himself undergoing a different kind of training as he embarked on his next move - the art of making good coffee.

Leaving his bodyguard role behind, he underwent barista training before going out selling coffee at various sites, including Rainton Meadows Business Park.

“It’s completely different to what I was doing before,” he said. “I was in the army for five years and a bodyguard for three, but I just liked coffee and the idea of having my own coffee van. I did barista training with my supplier and then came up with the name Dark Steam Division.”

The young entrepreneur said the name of his business was inspired by his military background.
 Marcus added: “Division is a military word and I like dark colours! I am going for the quirky street food scene and hoping to go into doing food and getting a bigger van.”

For more information, visit: https://www.facebook.com/darksteamdivisionmobilecoffee/
Or follow @DSDmobilebrew