Have you ever had a crazy awesome idea just come to you randomly? Maybe it’s late at night with a few friends, a casual conversation escalates and now you all have this killer plan to start a yoga/surfing/music retreat! Or maybe it’s in the middle of your run…one moment you’re admiring how the morning sun filters through the tree canopy and all of the sudden you have an in idea for the next best app available on all devices. It’s genius! Your only dilemma is that you know nothing about building apps, coding, or really anything at all related to the subject. What you do have though is the vision…the possibility, the what if. What if that late night convo wasn’t just for kicks and giggles? What if you just went for it?
I can recall the exact moment we first thought of owning a mobile coffee business. We were living in Oceanside, California. Noah was working as a 4th grade teacher at Tri-City Christian School, and I was the assistant cross country and track coach to the legendary Steve Scott at California State University, San Marcos. My team was a dream, and I loved driving to “work.” We both had fantastic salaried jobs and Masters Degrees that helped get us there (and student loans to prove it!) My training was going better than ever too. We had an ocean view apartment one street away from the beach, and we surfed most evenings with a front row seat to unreal sunsets. Sunsets are amazing anywhere, but picture this...peacefully you sit, straddling your surf board. Water laps over your knees and you look down at your legs dangling in the grand abyss. Your shadow rolls over the waves reflecting the pastel skies and beams of light skip around the sea. Heaven is just a splash away.
Not a day passed where I didn’t feel complete gratitude stepping out my front door to rows of palm trees and sunshine. I remember thinking…wow…I’m 26 and I have everything I’ve ever wanted. I was getting out the door daily to run, building my resume, and obtaining degrees and certificates. I had landed an incredible job in the coolest place possible, and all the while was falling in love in Laguna Beach. How could life get any better?
We had just come in from a surf session, and we were discussing holiday plans, balancing both families on separate sides of the country, flights, car rentals, and making time for friends too. Noah then pointed out how epic it would be to have jobs that allowed us to travel. This way our only time off wouldn’t be spent trying to squeeze in time with family. It didn’t feel right calling life “perfect” and only seeing loved ones a few times a year…if we were lucky. “Imagine having a food truck? I’ve always dreamt of driving around and selling smoothies or something?” I had suggested. We bantered back and forth a bit about ideas. “Smoothies could get messy” Noah pointed out. Then it came to us…coffee!
At first it was just something super fun to talk about. Then we did more research to see if anyone actually does this…and low and behold we discover Carabiner Coffee Company. They are this awesome business based out of Colorado that was started by this dude who drives around in his old VW van selling coffee in the most amazing places. We looked at his instagram account admiring hundreds of photos displaying his happy face and overall stoke…literally doing exactly what we had dreamed of. It was so reassuing to discover that somebody acutally does this. It was all we needed.
We started playing around with logos and names. We even bought our own beans and practiced roasting in a cast iron pan. We thought of roasting in our van, but decided against it after learning of the many regulations we would need to adhere to. We watched hundreds of youtube videos from coffee farmers to coffee shop owners and van lifers in general. We talked about it a lot with our families and friends. At the time I think they thought we were crazy…
Yet here we are now…
Doing our first event last Sunday was absolutely wild. We had been moving so fast, it didn’t quite sink in until we were driving to Ted’s Shoe and Sport in downtown Keene that morning. We were sleep deprived and tanked up on good vibes. We had a blast meeting runners and people walking by, curious about the big ol’ black van and sign reading “Free Organic Coffee.” Beautiful things happen when people come together.
Moving to Keene and launching our business was a very purposeful decision. We wanted to gain the hometown support that Keene does so well before hitting the road. Keene has a very large running community, so reaching out to them first was the best starting point. My college teammate, Thomas Paquette, owns Next Level Running Company and is a huge advocate for our sport and is especially passionate about including and coaching people from all walks of life and ability. We first thought up the idea of our two businesses teaming up for this event on a chilly run through Goose Pond. He brought it up, and I was obviously game. We would call it the “Salty Running Social.” Ted, owner of Ted’s Shoe and Sport, was gracious enough to host the event in his parking lot. All my runners out there….we all know coffee can help us go the extra mile!
Our plan is to connect with runners and races all over the country, which will allow me to train in diverse places and push myself. My goal is to represent my business and go as a far as I can, so that’s what I plan to do.
If you have a wild idea or something you are incredibly passionate about, find a way to make it your life.
Thank you Keene for the love and support. I am so proud to call this place my home.
Peace, love, running and coffee!