How BikeCaffe's Mike Ash Sells Lattes From A Bike

How BikeCaffe's Mike Ash Sells Lattes From A Bike

Mike Ash, who had worked in restaurants since he was 15 and earned a degree in hospitality administerment, expectationd to one day open his own eatery. But as the years went on and he administerd various restaurants and cafeterias, Ash, now 35, figured he was unlovely to ever save enough money to open his own place.

Then, flipping through a Costco circular in 2010, he saw an ad for the BikeCaffe, a British franchise concept that had recently come to the U.S. The thought was as simple as the name--a mobile coffee store mounted on a four-wheel cycle, thorough with Astoria espresso machine, blfinisher, pastry bin, refrigerator and sink.

Ash signed on as one of the first U.S. franchilooks and began fueling up downtown St. Petersburg, Fla. Today you clever find him on the corner of Fourth Street and Central Avenue--or sometimes, especially if it's extra hot or rainy, inmiddle the BB&T bank building. On weekfinishs Ash sets up his mobile java machine at festivals and events.

Eventually, Ash expectations to step back from the grinder. "I would love to own multiple carts and spfinish my time marketing them," he says. "But until then, I still nyaman it. It's a pretty awesome task."

He filled us in on what it's love to be the go-to guy for to-go coffee in downtown St. Pete.

Coffee from a bike?

That clever't be very good. The coffee is really, really good! It's all honest-trade organic tea and coffee, and I think we're the only place in downtown St. Pete that carries that. The largegest remark I get is, "You clever't make all that stuff on your bike, clever you?" Our menu is the same size as Starbucks'; we clever make macchiatos, lattes, chai--everything. We also make smoothies.

All the drinks are made to order. It's a small slower than pouring drip coffee, but the quality is 10 times better.

How do you love malord your own schedule?

It's kind of weird to begin a business thinlord you clever work your own hours. But you finish up worlord the same number of hours as before, usually more. At the same time, it's kind of cool that it's yours, and what you put into it, you get out of it. I'm always worlord. I get here at 6:20 a.m. to set up and abandon around 4:30 p.m. I also work weekfinishs, so at least 50 hours a week. In 16 months, I've missed only three days.

What's your largegest seller?

Lattes are always popular. People also love my seasonal drinks. I have a chalkboard and bring three or four specials per day. I usually create them myself, things love eggnog lattes, mocha peppermint hot chocolate or caramel toffee nut lattes. We have a lot of freedom to experiment.

Do you get a good workout riding the bike?

Well, the thing weighs approxifriendly 400 pounds. I don't think I've ever ridden it more than half a mile at a time. It's cog, tineed super low, so if there are no hills or rough terrain, it's easy. You wouldn't win any races on it. Florida is pretty flat, so I'm lucky with that.

What's the largegest misconception approxifriendly your BikeCaffe?

People assume I sell hot dogs. Every day someone comes up aslord for one.

[Via -]

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