Alan has visited 150 Caffe Neros so far (Mercury)
Alan Edwards really love his coffee. More accurately he really loves his Caffe Nero.
And the pensioner has spent more than £5,000 on his caffeine-fuelled quest to visit every one of the 607 Caffe Nero shops in the UK.
The 73-year-old from Surrey has just visited his 150th Caffe Nero - so, just 457 more to go.
There are 607 Caffe Neros in the UK (Mercury)
Since he began his quest, the former British Railways planning manager has methodically documented his weekly trips, dubbed ‘Alan’s Nero Tour’ in photos and note-taking.
He first fell in love with the chain after a disastrous day trip with 69-year-old wife Wendy to Middlesbrough in May 2014.
The pair travelled to the North Yorkshire town to see the transporter bridge – one of just two in the country – in action.
But they visited on a day it was closed and they headed to the nearest Caffe Nero.
‘We weren’t having a great day and spotted the shop and decided to pop in,’ said Alan.
This life-changing trip sparked a journey which has now taken him to 150 different branches across the UK and racked up 600 separate visits where he’s forked out more than £5,000 on coffee, sandwiches and snacks.
Alan has spent more than £5,000 in Caffe Nero (Rex)
On a typical morning visit he’ll have a regular Americano and shortbread or granola pot.
At lunchtime he’ll plump for a coffee and toasted sandwich or panini and during an afternoon visit he’ll just sip on coffee.
After each visit he religiously picks up a customer feedback card, fills it in and stores them in a medicine packet before logging each one on a spreadsheet to keep them in order.
‘It’s like going back to the old days of collecting cigarette cards,’ added Alan.
‘I keep them so I have a record which corresponds to the spreadsheet. I hope the number of different visits and cards goes up but there are around 600 altogether – and that’s just in the UK.’
Alan and his wife Wendy (Mercury)
He’s now looking to venture further afield.
‘We plan to visit Wales in the next few weeks and will be travelling by coach.
‘I’ve already checked our route on Google Maps and we have one stop on the way there in Kidderminster and another in Shrewsbury on the way back – so that’s two new ones we’ll visit.
‘We’ll be taking day trips to Bangor and Llandudno too and they each have a branch there so that’s another two ticked off – but we need to do some sightseeing too.’
He added: ‘I’m not sure I’ll make to all 607, but I’m going to give it a good go.’
WHAT ALAN SPENDS
Drink: Regular Americano coffee - £2.20 x 600 = £1,320
Snack: Berry and granola/shortbread - £2.20 x 200 = £440
Lunch: All day breakfast toasted sandwich or panini or pasta dish - £4.30 x 200 = £860