We get asked this question a lot. What’s with the coffee truck?
There are many unique coffee trucks and especially food trucks on the market to serve delicious coffee and other products. Abbey (one of the owners) got the idea from a Piaggio Ape that was converted into a beverage truck. It’s definitely something you don’t see every day. Her approach was pretty simple: How can we connect people by drinking coffee, but at the same time have a welcoming invite? At Banyan Coffee, one of our founding principles is to have an open approach to coffee. We don’t want our coffee to feel intimidating or pretentious. We have always wanted the truck to be welcoming and create a judge-free zone. We wanted a truck or cart that anyone could walk up to and grab a cup of coffee. So we began searching for a mini vehicle.
Several months went by with little luck. We discovered an old hot dog truck located near Lakewood Ranch in a mobile home park. Our first thought was “rough” but the owner at the time said “Let’s take it for a ride.” You have to remember we were in a mobile home park and the roads were very narrow. He took me for a test drive by whipping through the park at about 40mph on the 3-wheel truck. Very scary at the time! At first we were not interested but the more we thought about it the more we realized that this 1984 Cushman Truckster was something different. Ultimately, we saw potential in this coffee cart. We took it home and our friend began working on it for about a year.
We began running down ideas of what we wanted to do with the cart. Questions like…What types of coffee do we want to serve? What kind of events do we want to host? What capacity? The first thing was to remove the entire back section of the truck and fix the damaged sections. After gutting the back end we decided the primary thing we wanted to accomplish with the new coffee cart. We wanted something that was versatile. We wanted to serve nitro cold brew coffee at a hot summer wedding event but also serve espresso in the winter at the Bradenton farmers’ market. At the same time the cart gives us the option to be a mobile coffee shop in the Bradenton and Sarasota area. The cart needs to be small enough for us to fit inside for events for business or churches but needs plenty of space to accommodate our coffee equipment. The coffee cart needs to be able to be easily transportable to events in Orlando, Tampa, and Fort Myers.
Our Cushman truck would be great for a wedding on Anna Maria Island. It brings that fun carefree wedding vibe. It also allows customers to offer something different to their guests that is out of the ordinary. We allow our customers to customize our coffee menu to best suit their preferences, or they can create coffee gift baskets for their guests or just have a great coffee atmosphere under our neon lights. However, even if the wedding is at night it should not matter; we have decaf! In fact, we had the pleasure of doing a funeral not too long ago for some folk who really enjoy coffee. Though we don’t have any plans to serve alcohol the closest thing is our bourbon barrel aged coffee, it won’t get you tipsy but it sure will wake you up!
The basic features of our truck consist of:
- A 13-gallon water tank with a cleaning sink.
- A mini water heater to heat up dishware and coffee equipment.
- Coffee stand for roasted coffee bags and coffee supply merchandise
- Large cooler undermount to keep our cold brew kegerator cool but also to store ice and milk
- Keg tap tower that can dispense 2 different kinds of cold brew (one nitro cold brew the other regular cold brew)
- Arms the extend to create more countertop space to serve coffee
- Front end hitch to use as a platform to store a generator or a table stand to dispense our hot drip coffee.
- Nitrogen tank holster build inside the truck body
With all these features we can easily serve 200 – 300 people from this coffee truck but can also serve much smaller gatherings too!