“I don’t look at it as an additional revenue stream as much as I look at it as an engaging tool for the community. That’s just as important.”
–Andrew Cash, owner, Jubala Coffee
by Jessie Ammons
photograph by Travis Long
Jubala Coffee owner Andrew Cash had a pie-in-the-sky dream for an extension of his coffee shop: “If you could cut a piece of our bar, put it on wheels, and move it out, you could get the same coffee experience from this cart as you can in the shop.” But in the busy early days of 2011, that dream took a back seat to building his new business. The stars aligned later that year when Jubala won a contest sponsored by a then-brand-new mobile credit card processing company, Square: “It was $10,000 to go toward our business.”
Cash knew what that money could do. He worked with friend and architect Matt Griffith at In Situ Studio to design a mobile coffee cart that left no amenity behind: a state-of-the-art custom-made espresso machine from Seattle atop a handmade steel countertop and a frame by Arrowhead studio, and cabinets by Dopko Cabinetry. The final product weighs 2,000 pounds, scoots around on wheels, and lives in a special enclosed trailer in Cash’s garage. Jubala uses it for events from nonprofit benefits to weddings.
Now, Jubala – which opened a second location on Hillsborough Street in 2016 – can not only go on the road, it can give the stores’ baristas a chance to focus on what they do best, Cash says. Operations director Kevin Stone, often on tap for the cart (and pictured above), can vouch for that. “In the shop, there’s so much going on – not only do you serve customers but you restock fridges, clean. With the cart, everything’s already set up and ready to go. You just keep your space clean and other than that, your entire job is to engage everybody that comes up.