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Coffee Truck or Trailer wanted

This is a discussion on Coffee Truck or Trailer wanted within the Business to Business B2B forums, part of the Community Board category; Hello, I am new to the forum however I have been a reader for a while. I have finally decided to take the leap and ...

  1. #1
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    Coffee Truck or Trailer wanted

    Hello, I am new to the forum however I have been a reader for a while. I have finally decided to take the leap and open a mobile coffee business but I am not finding it easy to locate a used coffee truck or trailer. Any suggestions - buy a truck/trailer and build it out, keep watching on line? Is a truck better than a trailer? I will take any advice I can get. Thanks in advance.

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  3. #2
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    Hello Coffeecrave and welcome;
    You need to decide on what your business will look like. You can get a smaller truck that you actually work from the outside of the truck and you can get a truck that is bigger and you work inside. Seattle's truck's come to mind for these 2 type's. Next you can get a larger van (food truck) that has been converted or you can convert your own to be a coffee truck. Lastly you can buy a used trailer that is set up or convert your own.
    What market are you going after and projected sales per day?
    How much capital do you have?
    These are very important questions you need to answer to narrow down your search a little.
    Brian
    Last edited by CanadianBrian; 01-09-2013 at 12:45 PM.

  4. #3
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    I don't know what your budget to buy a coffee truck but it is not very cheap... first you have to purchase the truck and install all the things you need to run your cafe so.. you can figure around 25-30,000 top of the truck cost...

    here is one for sale I found.... If you tell me your budget I can look little more in details.... I also have been looking for a coffee truck but i am giving up on finding one cheap.... lol

    Mobile Cafe Van (1st class & self-contained)

    Or you can buy the trailer and furnish yourself.....


    http://annarbor.craigslist.org/bfd/3527993036.html



  5. #4
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    Thank you for the insights. I am in the Chicago suburbs - not the city. I plan to start off as seasonal (March to October), serving the 'under-served' at soccer and ball fields, running race events, tail-gating events, commuter train stations. For now, I would be a one-man operation, so quick and easy set up and tear down is essential. I am projecting 75 sales/day. I plan on only working 3 days/week for now, until other obligations lighten up some. I have $25K to work with, plus other possible sources if needed.

    I am interested in how others got started - what equipment they started with and what they would do different if they knew what they know now. Of course, if anyone knows of a truck or trailer, I would like to hear about that as well. Thanks again.

  6. #5
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    I have posted few items for sale on craigslist in Michigan which is not too far from you but as I have said before, mobile cafe is not going to be cheap.... but the used concession trailer might be the way to go.... You just need to furnish the cafe equipment.

    Check the one I have listed above... seems very reasonable...

    I have few friends who have started mobile cafe and most of the time they gave up because of lack of sales. But i think most of the people think you will make tons of money right away because of you are where people want you to be but the truth is it will take time before you can build any business and they all give up before you give the business chance to grow. Most of the people give up first year or two....
    My advise is... take this as long haul and stick it out.... Find the good event and show up... show up regularly.
    If you have 25k to invest, then try to furnish your trailer for under 15k. Buy good used equipment and try to add things what people want you to carry.... Some mobile cafe does well with hot food as well and some doesn't. So find out about your customer needs.... Don't guess but find out and carry items they want...

    Good Luck

  7. #6
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    Thank you, CoffeeJunky, I appreciate your words of advice and the links.

  8. #7
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    Let me know if you decided on one or other, I can help you find the used or new at pretty good price... I just can't see people over paying before start of the business....

  9. #8
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    Hey coffee crave .. Why not fit out a trailer yourself? It's not that hard
    just a small kitchen in a trailer, you'll just need to chose equipment wisely as you'll be on board power (generator) so you'll have power restrictions (provided you are going to use onboard power?) you want be very efficient..as far a power and equipment goes. If you decided to go this way ill be more than happy to give advise I built our 2 coffee trailers and they run very quietly and efficient and are very busy haven't lost steam pressure once.. Coffee junky is correct people spend too much on a unit that can't handle a rush (here in aus anyways)
    good luck
    Ryan

  10. #9
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    I hate to bust your bubble but 25K isnt nearly enough money. You might be able to get a trailer/truck for 15-20k but then you will need to get your equipment which will run you alot more than 25k. A used seattle coffee truck runs from 40-70k depending on age and size. You might be able to rent/lease alot of the equipment but then you are still going to be short on funds. How much extra can you get? Good luck and look at this forum for more information on costs. There is alot of examples if you just take the time to search the forums.
    Brian

  11. #10
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    Brian, You can get a used food trailer for around 3-7,000 dollars, Of course you need more for better looking trailer but you can buy one cheap these days. Also you can get most of the coffee equipment for around 5- 7,000 dollars. That ofcouse depends on what you are getting. So, if you work on it yourself and make nice printed signs... You can get away with getting a trailer for around 15- 20,000 dollars... that means you have to have a truck to pull it with...

    I have helped outfit one of the coffee trucks and it can cost over 100,000 dollars. That ofcourse depends on what type of truck you are getting.

    Coffee Equipment Cost:

    Espresso Machine(2 group)
    And Grinder ---- 1,500 -2,500
    Coffee Machine with
    Satellite pot ----- 600- 800.
    Ice Machine ---- 1,000 1,500
    Coffee Grinder ----- 500
    2 Frap Maker ---- 1,000 (new)
    And other table and equipment... 2,000

    This is all assuming trailer already has power, water, heat/air, some tables, counter and some of the equipment to do food business...



    I think if you look around hard enough you can get a lot of things cheaper these days....

 

 
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