Mobilizing Happiness and Caffeinated Camaraderie since 2019
Imagine a world where a smiling face and a steaming cup o’joe rolls right up to your office. You take the cup, and grab a brownie, and they drive off with a honk of the horn and a friendly wave. Your co-workers smile back, walking back to work with you with a little bounce in their step, and you think….this is gonna be a good day.
Sounds pretty awesome right? Making life sweeter has always been the mission behind The Chocolate Season. We were able to ship a smile nationwide, year round, or you could stroll into the store and connect with the community that way. But we felt something was missing.
Enter: BonBon, our mobile coffee and dessert truck. My husband Brad has always had a knack for creating something new out of something old. Being a bootstrapped business, we had to make do with what we had and figure out a way to make it work. He loves working with his hands, and has always loved serving people.
Around 2014, he had been dreaming of a way to serve more people, quicker, and getting into a taco truck idea (although delicious) just didn’t seem up our ally. But a coffee truck….now that’s something he could really invest some time into. Giving the gift of caffeinated convenience seemed like the perfect fit.
He found a truck online in 2017, and it just so happened to be a town away in Whittemore, IA. It was an old, 1988 Chevy Step Van, formally an equipment vehicle for the fire department…and the most action it saw were the yearly parade routes with a whopping 2,200 miles on it. Brad was thrilled. He started retro-fitting it with new electrical, plumbing, handmade countertops and all the bells and whistles to turn it into a functioning, mobile espresso unit, complete with chest freezer and 2-head espresso machine.
After she was mechanically sound, then there we had to go through the process of getting our food handlers permit, business license, taxes set up, figure out the best system to pay employees, and then think out questions like:
- Are you going to offer cash or card or net 30 options?
- What’s your marketing plan?
- How will we staff the truck?
- How do customers book?
- Is this truck covering all its expenses with gas and maintenance on top of your cost of goods and labor?
Figuring out the process flow was just as important as making sure you were able to drive it safely and efficiently offer the products you wanted to offer.
BonBon didn’t make her maiden voyage out to the public till we moved TCS to Lincoln, Neb. She served as a marketing unit in summer 2019 to let the city know who we were, and to get our product in front of our customers before the store’s building was finished in the fall.
It was really important to us when designing the truck concept that we could find a way to make it affordable and accessible to any size of party. Many food trucks have minimums of $500-$750 to come out and serve you. If your office or neighborhood party only had 10-15 people…there’s no way you would be able to afford that.
But since our whole idea was to allow opportunities for people to connect with one another, take a small respite from the day, or show your team how much you appreciate them…we knew we wanted to have packages starting as low as $100. This gave the client curbside service, handcrafted drinks with two baristas, some fun music and lots of smiles, all with minimal disruption to their day.
We also segmented the truck into a host-paid and guest-paid option, as well as offering a full drink bar, or drink and treats bar, to make sure we had plenty of opportunities to customize their experience.
The Benefits of A Coffee Truck
You might be asking yourself….why a coffee truck? There’s a Dunkin’ Donuts a minute from the office, or the hotel provides percolated liquids all morning long.
You need a coffee and treat truck at your next event because it’s convenient. There’s no drive-thru lines, mildly warm and always stale hotel coffee, or an impersonal experience.
You’ll receive fresh from the oven, non-preservative baked goods, or rich desserts to go along with your locally roasted coffee, expertly crafted lattes, hot chocolates and herbal tea drinks. You are gifting an engaging experience with our team to others, which will set the mood for your company culture for the week, or give a surge of energy between guest speakers at your conference.
Caffeine in itself offers a multitude of benefits:
- It can reduce anxiety, boosts brainpower and enhance dopamine.
- It will keep you alert and energized with a slightly elevated heart rate, and can even improve your oxygen levels by opening the airways in your lungs.
All of these components will help make your next event a sure-fire win for all that are participating.
Truck season currently runs spring through fall, and TCS has driven all around the state serving people from company picnics, neighborhood block parties, private birthday and graduation parties, city offices, employee appreciation days and events at wineries and breweries.
We hope you’ll take the time to connect with people in your lives, or show gratitude and appreciation to others…we also hope you’ll invite BonBon, our coffee truck, to help you do that in the most convenient, efficient and whimsical way possible!