How to Start a Sustainably Sourced Coffee Truck Like Mo’ Joe A Go-Go | FTE Episode 039

matt drewMatt Drew’s story began not unlike other mobile food entrepreneurs I’ve interviewed in the past. Drew was employed as a marketer in a corporate setting and found himself less and less passionate about the work overtime. He had also daughter on the way and started to question the point of putting in 12 – 16 hours per day for someone else, and ultimately wondered what his legacy would be if he continued down this path. So Drew made the decision to change the trajectory of his life in a big way.

Growing up in the Pacific North West, Drew had a hard time finding a really good cup of specialty coffee in the Dallas area and started his education on how to bring a really great cup of coffee to Texas. Drew reached out to Coffee del Ray in nearby Plano, Texas, offering to work for free in exchange to learn the business model. In exchange, Drew would share some of his marketing / branding expertise with the organization. And so began Drew’s journey toward owning the Mo’ Joe A Go-Go coffee truck.

In this interview, you’ll learn how Drew created a one-of-a-kind brand for the Mo’ Joe A Go-Go coffee business. From sourcing of product to the equipment used on the truck everything is 100% unique. You’ll also get a glimpse into the day-to-day operations of a coffee truck (hint: very early hours) and the importance of establishing a unique brand with every element of the business.


Quotes from the Show

 You want to be able to say, “We’re doing something that nobody else is doing. We’ve got something that nobody else has and this is the only place you’re going to be able to find it.” Because if you can’t say that there’s really nothing compelling to be able to talk about with your brand. – Matt Drew on the importance of branding for mobile food owners. 

My mornings typically start at about 3 a.m…. and that sucks. – Matt Drew on owning / operating a coffee truck. 

What You’ll Learn

  • An overview of what it takes to start a coffee truck
  • Why finding unique beans and coffees that are unique to your area can be an important branding component
  • The reasoning behind Drew’s focus on sustainably grown coffees and no GMO products to maintain brand consistency
  • Why fair trade is so important in the coffee industry.
  • An introduction to sourcing specialty coffee growers. Really interesting stuff.
  • How identifying these specialty growers and establishing relationships can give you a unique marketing advantage over other coffee shops in the area
  • Learn about the less consistent rush periods for a coffee truck versus a food truck.
  • The difficulty of establishing a local presence without a strong brand
  • Some of the equipment needed to start a coffee truck, including an espresso machine (in case you’re a coffee geek Drew uses a UNIC Stella Di Cafe) and drip coffee maker.
  • Why a low price point shouldn’t the the main reason for you selecting a piece of equipment for your truck.
  • The importance of being flexible when you launch a mobile food business. Don’t let it derail you. Don’t let it get you down.

Mentioned in the Episode

Mo’ Joe A Go-Go –  This is the official website of Drew’s coffee truck. Check out the calendar, story, and menu here.

Facebook – Like Mo’ Joe A Go-Go on Facebook.

UNIC Stella Di Cafe – The model of espresso machine used by Mo’ Joe A Go-Go.

Heifer International – An organization that fights hunger worldwide. This is one of the organizations that Mo’ Joe A Go-Go actively supports.

Coffee del Rey – This is where Drew got his education in the coffee business. Coffee del Rey is a for profit organization that supports a variety of charities. The concept of using of business funds to help support philanthropic organizations is something that appealed to Drew.

Ultimate Food Truck Case Study – Want to start your own food truck? Check out this case study to learn what the process is like.

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About Support Staff

Brett Lindenberg is the founder of Food Truck Empire and Food Empire Pro. Brett's mission is help to entrepreneurs start and grow profitable food businesses. Since 2014, Brett has interviewed over 100 entrepreneurs on the Food Empire Pro podcast and written hundreds of blog posts on all aspects of food business. Brett has been quoted in media outlets like Entrepreneur Magazine, CNBC, and The Washington Post.