starting up a coffee cart as a youth group fund raiser!!!


New member
Mar 13, 2004
Spokane, WA
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I am involved with a youth group here in Spokane, WA that is looking to start up a coffee cart as a long term fund raiser. The idea is to have somthing mobil that can be taken to different locationa as circumstances may require. The group has already earmarked several events that they feel a coffee cart would do well at.

In our situation, the youth would be responsible for managing the cart and selling the drinks. The youth are between 12 and 19 and adult supervision will always be on hand. the advisory board (made up of adult volunteers and parents) feels that this type of fund raising opportuinty would be good because the youth will have to take some ownership in whether the cart is successful or not. It is an opportunity to teach responsibility, customer service, organization, logical thinking, marketing etc...

My question is where to begin? We are a 501 3(c) organization that is looking for a way to teach the youth good life skills while making money to help defray the costs of travle and registration at regional, state and national functions. As we are currently growing, we envision buying a van or small bus to provide transportation to youth group functions. This type of fund raiser would help us meet reach our goals and possibly support a philanthropy or two.

I got the title of an espresso book from another thread on this site. I plan to get this book, but was wondering if anyone has any pointers on starting up a mobil coffee cart. We have a small business owner on the board who is helping with business permits and health code stuff. where we need help is on the design of the cart and approx start up costs. Also, does anyone know if there are financial resources or grants that could be applied for for this type of endeavor?

Thanks in advance;

Spokane, WA
Sounds like you are already getting good help for your quest.

Another book title that may help you is "Espresso! Starting and Running Your Own Specialty Coffee Business". By Joe Monaghan and Julie Sheldon Huffaker. Published by Wiley. ISBN 0-471-12138-X

The reason I suggest this book in your case is that Joe and Julie focus on a mobile cart business and it's fairly comprehensive including checklists for everything from concept to opening day. When it comes to the example pricing of drinks, it's a little dated -- $1.65 for a 12 oz latte not enough. The book is copyright 1995.

Hope this helps further.
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