New franchise targets coffee lovers with a taste for
BikeCaffe just rolled in to Florida, with the first franchise in downtown St. Pete, across from the Tampa Bay Times in the lobby of the BBT Building. Get made-to-order espresso-based drinks hot and cold, muffins, bagels and a variety of special items such as cookies and homemade breads.
If you haven’t seen one before, believe it, a BikeCaffe is WAY COOL.
This mobile quad bike is fully equipped with state-of-the art espresso gear, staffed by Mike Ash, the friendliest, most painstaking barista around, and conveniently located in downtown St. Petersburg, in the lobby of the BBT Building on Central Avenue.
All of the drinks are made individually to order and range from the Americano—espresso-based black coffee—to cappuccino, latte, macchiato, frapp chai, hot chocolate, and of course savory and sweet treats are available: muffins, bagels, croissants, and a variety of special items including homemade cookies, breads and cupcakes.
Mike is there at 7 a.m. sharp to help his customers jumpstart their day with whatever best gets them going. He’s been in business now almost six months, and has developed a loyal base, but is always looking to convert a big-chain coffee customer to quality, Fair Trade coffee brewed with his artistic touch.
100% of BikeCaffe coffee is purchased only from Fair Trade coffee producers that work to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior. Plus, what could be greener than a quad bike for getting around?
Mike is a food service professional. Since he was 15 he has worked in the industry, starting in Ocean City, Md., and as kitchen manager for Houlihan’s in Christiana, Del., and most recently with Aramark in Tampa. He has a degree in hotel restaurant management from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
“I’ve always wanted to have my own business,” he said, “and people love coffee. So it was a natural fit.” And even though the economy was slumping, Mike and Stephanie, who has a degree in hotel restaurant management from the University of Delaware, took the plunge and became baristas.
Originating in the United Kingdom, BikeCaffes are spreading across the United States, with franchise operations in Denver, Col.; Austin, Texas; Philadelphia, Pa., and more coming soon. The Ashes’ quad is the first in Florida. They can bring their operation to festivals and other locations, too.
For more information, visit www.bikecaffe.com or like Mike and Steph on Facebook at BikeCaffe – St. Petersburg – Mike .