Our Very Own Gourmet Coffee (food) Truck Build!!!

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OurCoffeeTruck
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2012/09/10 00:10:53 (permalink)

Our Very Own Gourmet Coffee (food) Truck Build!!!

Aloha!!!
 
So I've been meandering through the forums here on Road Food for a week or two and decided that it was time to start my own thread. I Have a 1995 Chevy P30 that in years past has been a plumbing warehouse on wheels. I work for a plumbing company here in NC that consists of my employer/brother-in-law/best-friend/future-business-partner and me. So yeah, we're a small company but we value our reputation and do quality work. So yeah the whole plumbing thing is great and all, there's only one little problem. It stinks. Yup you heard right. Plumbing stinks.  Metaphorically AND literally! Don't get me wrong, I am thankful to have learned the trade, and am grateful to have a job in this economy. I know that my lifelong plan never included plumbing, and I have been trying to get out of it pretty much since i got into it full time out of high school. and then again in and out of college. 
My friend (henceforth know as Jesse), our wives, and I have enjoyed gourmet coffee for a few years now and have talked very seriously about opening a drive thru coffee kiosk up towards Raleigh for a solid two years. The only hindrance being mountains of debt and no money. No biggie Right? HA! Anyways The the transmission in our truck went out a few months ago. I was already having to deal with a nightmare plumbing job and this was the icing on the cake of dissatisfaction with my job. Later that night I was joking around with my wife and said "well, I guess we're just going to have to cut a hole in the truck and start selling our coffee out of it!" We both kind of just thought about it for a second and mutually said "that might actually work!"  And it all started from there! 
 
So here I am at twelve on a sunday night researching and trying to start my own thread on this very helpful site. It's been a few months coming, but God has really been opening doors for us. We've been deconstructing the truck and getting it ready for our new venture for a couple months. We are shooting to be open sometime this fall. We shall see!
 
So wow i didn't realize quite how much i have been typing!! It looks like a freakin book up there. Haha!
 
Anyways here's my thread! I will be posting pics to flickr and facebook tomorrow, and to RF as soon as my probation is up!
 
I look forward to all of your input and help with my build! Thanks in advance!
#1

25 Replies Related Threads

    Foodbme
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    Re:Our Very Own Gourmet Coffee (food) Truck Build!!! 2012/09/10 00:23:38 (permalink)
    Good luck to you.
    A couple thoughts.
    You'll need to sell mucho GALLONS of coffee every day to make any money.
    Your pricing is at the mercy of the coffee futures and supply of available beans.
    Check available sources of product to insure you'll have a supply that will allow you to price your product profitably.
    You'll need other items to supplement your sales like pastries, donuts, tea, fruit drinks etc.
    In your planning, allow yourself some flexibility for other items to make it viable.
    Just because you like coffee doesn't mean you can make a living selling it.
     
    You also said, "The only hindrance being mountains of debt and no money"
    The ABSOLUTE WORST thing you can do is to try to start a business if you already have mountains of debt and no money.
    Those monthly payments keep coming whether you have any income coming in or not.
    I've been there, done that. Better to reduce your debts and accumulate some savings before you even start. Trust Me!!!
    Since you've already had some experience with a small business, you should understand the importance of cash flow.
    No Cash Flow----No Business!
     
    post edited by Foodbme - 2012/09/10 00:38:35
    #2
    OurCoffeeTruck
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    Re:Our Very Own Gourmet Coffee (food) Truck Build!!! 2012/09/10 00:40:57 (permalink)
    Foodbme

    Good luck to you.
    A couple thoughts.
    You'll need to sell mucho GALLONS of coffee every day to make any money.
    Your pricing is at the mercy of the coffee futures and supply of available beans.
    Check available sources of product to insure you'll have a supply that will allow you to price your product profitably.
    You'll need other items to suppliment your sales like pastries, donuts, tea, fruit drinks etc.
    In your planning, allow yourself some flexibility for other items to make it viable.
    Just because you like coffee doesn't mean you can make a living selling it.



    Thank you! We have been going over numbers and case scenarios for a while and definitely (hopefully!) can get it to work. We talked with a few coffee trucks already in operation and they are very encouraging about it. We are going to be selling breads and pastries from a local baker here and are planning to set up like a drive thru kiosk throughout the week and hit events and festivals. Thanks for the advice!
    #3
    OurCoffeeTruck
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    Re:Our Very Own Gourmet Coffee (food) Truck Build!!! 2012/09/10 00:46:45 (permalink)
    OH and yes absolutely on the money! My wife and i spent our first year of marriage getting out of debt and our second saving. By the grace of God we are completely debt free now and are starting this business paid for with an emergency fund saved. Dave Ramsey has a plan that we started before we got married so it's been a blessing. Now we can see where All the sacrificing is paying off.
    #4
    Foodbme
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    Re:Our Very Own Gourmet Coffee (food) Truck Build!!! 2012/09/10 01:03:31 (permalink)
    OurCoffeeTruck
    OH and yes absolutely on the money! My wife and i spent our first year of marriage getting out of debt and our second saving. By the grace of God we are completely debt free now and are starting this business paid for with an emergency fund saved. Dave Ramsey has a plan that we started before we got married so it's been a blessing. Now we can see where All the sacrificing is paying off.

    Glad to hear the "Mountians of Debt' statement was not correct. Sounds like you have a better chance and have been approaching the project the right way. Good Luck again
    #5
    OurCoffeeTruck
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    Re:Our Very Own Gourmet Coffee (food) Truck Build!!! 2012/09/12 21:47:43 (permalink)
    Ok well today was productive, I got all the osb cut for the floor. Not screwed down yet. Am going to wait till after spray foam to lay floor. Trying to come up with a plumbing plan to keep my 3kw espresso machine from kicking on too too much. Have an idea for a tankless rinai, solar heater, and recirculating line so that the machine only has to raise the water temp to 195F from 160F as opposed to 55F. Not for sure wether the machine can operate like that yet. Will be experimenting this weekend hopefully. Posting some pictures to Flickr. "ourcoffeetruck" is the name on there if you want to see a couple. Should've taken pictures before I started tearing the truck down originally. Oh well :)
    #6
    OurCoffeeTruck
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    Re:Our Very Own Gourmet Coffee (food) Truck Build!!! 2012/09/14 22:30:22 (permalink)
    So today I spent a million hours in Lowes, trying to figure out a back door. That place just sucks the life outa me. We also decided last minute to completely wall off the old door going into the cab. It took us a long time to get the metal grate/wall off, but eventually, after a lot of strikes with the impact driver, we got it. 
    i think having that extra wall space will do wonders for our counter space. we even built a shelf that goes into the cab 14 inches. That will be huge for us.
     
    We are trying to fit a toilet in the very back by the door. We tried getting in touch with the Dpt of AG the past couple days but cant get anyone.  Has anyone on here put a toilet in their rig? and if so what kind of special requirements did you have to go through? 
     
    Well tomorrow i'm going to help my dad tear off the front of his house to reframe some big windows. Then will finish the back wall. i'm thinking I might either make a door by sandwiching a 1/4" osb between two sheets of 3/4" plywood, or take a slab door and rip it down to my rough opening of 71". Not really sure. I don't know how to weld, so wood is basically my option. I am going to be purchasing a welder sometime in the near future though. pictures tomorrow. 
    #7
    RodBangkok
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    Re:Our Very Own Gourmet Coffee (food) Truck Build!!! 2012/09/14 22:39:20 (permalink)
    OurCoffeeTruck
    We also decided last minute to completely wall off the old door going into the cab.   

    Just a reminder for you, make sure you have more than one exit out of your truck.  Your service window may work as a second if its big enough for someone to exit from, or perhaps a roof vent that can be easily fully opened.  But its a good idea to have a plan.
    #8
    OurCoffeeTruck
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    Re:Our Very Own Gourmet Coffee (food) Truck Build!!! 2012/09/15 08:51:28 (permalink)
    RodBangkok

    OurCoffeeTruck
    We also decided last minute to completely wall off the old door going into the cab.   

    Just a reminder for you, make sure you have more than one exit out of your truck.  Your service window may work as a second if its big enough for someone to exit from, or perhaps a roof vent that can be easily fully opened.  But its a good idea to have a plan.


    Thanks. I actually have two four foot tall windows for the drive thru. Should be plenty big to jump through ICE.
    #9
    Bistro a go-go
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    Re:Our Very Own Gourmet Coffee (food) Truck Build!!! 2012/09/15 09:15:10 (permalink)
    unless youve found a way to profit from the toilet or just want to spend alot of time on it id rethink that idea, quickly. youll be dealing with waste on many levels including wasted space. borrow a toilet.
    #10
    jcheese
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    Re:Our Very Own Gourmet Coffee (food) Truck Build!!! 2012/09/15 15:33:47 (permalink)
    Maybe a pay toilet?
    #11
    THE WILD DOG
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    Re:Our Very Own Gourmet Coffee (food) Truck Build!!! 2012/09/15 16:54:54 (permalink)
    learn to hold it, the sanitation that you will have to have on that thing will mark up your budget easily by $5000. You will need a pump to remove the waste and a place to store it, and Ecoli won't favor well with the HD.   I'd say learn to hold it, or park near a place that has a rest room that you can use. 
    #12
    OurCoffeeTruck
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    Re:Our Very Own Gourmet Coffee (food) Truck Build!!! 2012/09/16 18:28:40 (permalink)
    Hmm, the toilet is actually a pretty big priority for us. Won't go into details but some health concerns make it fairly important. So while it's not completely necessary, it would be very helpful. Also, a lot of the time the truck will be manned solo, so leaving to walk to the nearest bathroom wont always be easy. As far as space goes, Our truck layout is going to be plenty big for everything we need and then some. but We'll just have to see. I need to see just how much and what exactly the requirements are, then I'll know for sure exactly how "important" it is ;) haha
    #13
    THE WILD DOG
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    Re:Our Very Own Gourmet Coffee (food) Truck Build!!! 2012/09/16 18:42:04 (permalink)
    well, it's pretty much a crap shoot if your health dept will even allow for you to have it, have you checked ?   Also spending alot of time on the truck is a given, space on a truck is a must, you will lose alot of valuable real estate inside the truck by putting something that complex into your rig.  You should direct those questions directly to your health dept and nowhere else. Then if they say it's ok, contact an RV dealer and go from there
    #14
    OurCoffeeTruck
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    Re:Our Very Own Gourmet Coffee (food) Truck Build!!! 2012/09/16 19:04:40 (permalink)
    Yeah we've called the hd and they said we don't have anything to do with them, just dept of agriculture. So we're calling them Again tomorrow (they don't like returning calls) to try and see about this whole deal. What is nice is that the dept of AG seems Immensly less regulated than the HD. So fingers crossed this whole build will go smoother than anticipated.
    #15
    OurCoffeeTruck
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    Re:Our Very Own Gourmet Coffee (food) Truck Build!!! 2012/09/18 00:00:55 (permalink)
    So got the back wall wrapped in the Aluminum we took off the ceiling today. Building door tomorrow out of a table we had in the back room. Also got a window from my brother in law (contractor) that was a part of a set. But I tore it apart and am going to stick it in the door. My opening is only 71" so getting a regular door to work was going to be a pain in the butt. Also got some if the plywood in the wall separating the cab and half of the floor is screwed down ( ran out of liquid nail ). Posted a couple pictures to Flickr. Will take more tomorrow once I get the Door in. Called the dept if Agriculture today, and yet again they told us they would call us back....
    #16
    OurCoffeeTruck
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    Re:Our Very Own Gourmet Coffee (food) Truck Build!!! 2012/09/29 19:38:16 (permalink)
    Ok so not much been going on with the truck, actually fairly busy with work this week. Going to start uploading photos to road food now that it's been a month. Got the espresso machine running though. That's been fun. been getting some pretty good shots from a Brazilian cerrado.
    #17
    OurCoffeeTruck
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    Re:Our Very Own Gourmet Coffee (food) Truck Build!!! 2012/10/24 17:39:24 (permalink)
    Ok so since the last post I have been crazy busy with everything else other than the truck, But I am going to try to upload some pictures right now! (let's see if i can figure this out)
    #18
    OurCoffeeTruck
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    Re:Our Very Own Gourmet Coffee (food) Truck Build!!! 2012/10/24 21:23:18 (permalink)
    [image]<a href=" alt="" /><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8305/7968098872_b42cf84f9a.jpg[/image]
    #19
    OurCoffeeTruck
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    Re:Our Very Own Gourmet Coffee (food) Truck Build!!! 2012/10/24 21:25:02 (permalink)
    guess that didn't work. hmmmm
     
    #20
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Our Very Own Gourmet Coffee (food) Truck Build!!! 2012/10/24 21:45:19 (permalink)
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    OurCoffeeTruck
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    Re:Our Very Own Gourmet Coffee (food) Truck Build!!! 2012/10/24 22:44:59 (permalink)
    " _mce_src="http://mce_host/Forums/<a href="http:/www.flickr.com/photos/87065719@N08/7994544279/" title="Untitled by OurCoffeeTruck, on Flickr"><img src="http:/farm9.staticflickr.com/8304/7994544279_274fbaa6c0_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="Untitled"></a>" />
    #22
    OurCoffeeTruck
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    Re:Our Very Own Gourmet Coffee (food) Truck Build!!! 2012/10/24 22:51:49 (permalink)
    ugh. ok I can see the picture inside the post message box whenever i insert the html link from flickr. but when i click post it just shows the jumbled link. Any idea what is going on?I've been trying to figure this out for hours. I'm going to bed.
     
     And thanks CC for linking that other photo for me.
    #23
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Our Very Own Gourmet Coffee (food) Truck Build!!! 2012/10/24 22:55:25 (permalink)
    For some reason Flickr does not work well...on Roadfood. Photobucket works much better.
    #24
    OurCoffeeTruck
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    Re:Our Very Own Gourmet Coffee (food) Truck Build!!! 2012/10/24 23:00:48 (permalink)
    Ok thanks, I'll work on it some more tomorrow. 
     
    Also, got a quote to insulate the truck with spray foam for about 400 dollars. What are some of your thoughts on insulation. I'd really like to use foam, but fiberglass would be much cheaper. Any "been there, done that" advice on the subject?
    #25
    chefbuba
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    Re:Our Very Own Gourmet Coffee (food) Truck Build!!! 2012/10/24 23:54:17 (permalink)
    OurCoffeeTruck

    Try this
    post edited by chefbuba - 2012/10/24 23:57:38
    #26
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