Of course my passion for vintage extends to my life style. I think most vintage clothing lovers also appreciate other vintage things, especially in the home, or their cars. I live in a very rural area of Texas that in the last 10 years experienced a boom of new construction. Three new subdivisions of beautiful, extravagant homes who also appreciate the country lifestyle.
One morning I realized the thing we were lacking out here was a good cup of coffee on the way to work. So I spent months researching and even did crazy things like counting cars driving down the main highway at 6 am.Next a friend and I started experimenting with various coffees and donut recipes. Bingo! we hit on a cake fried donut hole, "Texas size" similar to a hush puppy but sweet and melted in your mouth. We rolled them in cinnamon or powdered sugar, they were pure heaven!
Once the "hard part" of menu was out of the way, I needed a venue. Something "cute" and fun for a drive through, so people could just zip though for fresh but no frill coffee and out of this world donut holes. Of course, I preferred something vintage!After months of searching for an air stream camper, I found a little 1959 Mobil Scout Camper. Well, it was "kind of" round like an air stream, and way less expensive. The condition reflected the price.. cheap and a huge mess! It took us almost a week just to clean it out, then another two months replacing the floor, fixing leaks, updating the electrical, building counter tops, shelves and modifying it. We had to remove the old window on the side opposite the door to accomodate a sliding window to serve drive through customers.
Drive through coffee, plus love of vintage, plus vintage camper. A perfect name for coffee to go ~ Coffee A go-go! My little dream was born.
A call to my son in Michigan resulted in amazing vinyl graphics, proportioned perfectly to the areas. He recommended Dallas Cowboy blue on the silver camper, and they were so perfect you would have thought he did them here on site. My Kentucky daughter in advertising printed frequent buyer punch cards, business cards, flyers and even found pretty pastel waxed bags for the donut holes. My other daughter helped clean and paint, inside and out of the camper and helped pass out flyers.
It was a family affair, local and long distance.I made different curtains for the windows, alternating between peace signs, happy faces and tie dye with a matching table cloth. Even though it was drive through, I wanted the inside attractive as customers peeked in.
As a former classic radio disc jockey, I had plenty of photographs of rock stars, like Bob Seger, Ted Nugent, Paul McCartney and Mitch Ryder, all from that "era" as well as photos of Leave it to Beaver's Jerry Mathers and Ken Osmond as well as others. I photocopied posters and ticket stubs and made a collage of them to the walls.
Being in the country, I only had to obtain a tax license, and register the name for a business license. The state health department told me I was considered "mobile"and I was good to go! The now freshly remodeled and sparkling clean camper was hauled up to the corner, only one block from my home, and we were in business!
Coffee A Go-Go was pure fun. Other than having to get up at 3am to fry the donuts ~ just like that old commercial; it was social ~ laughs and good times all morning. Within a month we had regulars.
I would recognize cars as people pulled in and by the time they reached the drive through, their coffee was ready as they liked it, with no waiting for them. Customers would call me as they left their driveway and when they got to the shop, their order was waiting for them.
Others would sit and chat, so someone donated a picnic table. Another generous customer donated a huge lighted roadside sign. A different customer donated the letters for the sign as well as "invented" breakfast trays I would make for her to take to her clients.
Breakfast kiddie meals were made, with little bottles of juice, a few donuts and stickers. The menu kept expanding by request. Soon I was serving huge muffins, making breakfast burritos, donut hole "flavor of the day" like chocolate, blueberry or Orange Julius, then biscuits and gravy, and even croissant breakfast sandwiches.
No more 3am.. soon I was getting up at 2 am to fry bacon, eggs and sausage. It was still fun, but became a ton of work. There was barely room in the camper for me, an employee was out of the question. Soon it got to be just too much, and Coffee a Go-Go was done.
For weeks after I closed, customers / neighbors would come to my house for coffee in the morning, missing Coffee A Go-Go. I had requests for my special donut holes, and even a few breakfast tray orders. But, all good things must come to an end.
Neighbors still stop in for coffee, but not before 10am.. and they bring their own donuts. My idea and research must have been pretty good, as one of the very few Dunkin Donuts in TX opened just down the street six months after I closed, and very recently a Starbucks.