Coffee on the Go
The Lucky Coffee Trailer hits the road
For SAVANNAH LOGAN, coffee shops are more than just a caffeine fix.
She realized after working in, then managing a coffee shop in the Wilmington area, that the environment was refreshing.
“Customers became regulars, then became friends – and they brought their dogs,” Logan says with a laugh.
Logan’s family moved a lot when she was young until settling in Wilmington, where she finished high school. The once-shy teenager found her community.
“I enjoyed the human connection and really came out of my shell,” she says.
When the pandemic forced the shop to close temporarily, Logan was miserable. She knew she didn’t want to pursue a typical office job.
“I love to work towards something that is going to benefit myself and others, something that has an authentic human connection. I enjoy being outdoors and I wanted the freedom to travel, meet people, and explore a creative career path,” Logan says.
She noticed business was booming for food and beverage trucks, so she researched coffee trailers, pinned ideas on Pinterest, and saved money while managing the coffee shop after it reopened.
By March, Logan’s dream had been brewing for a while, and she was ready to start her own business.
Logan and her boyfriend, Wesley, did all the work themselves to convert a 5’x10’ trailer into a traveling coffee bar – complete with 100-year-old shiplap wood siding, a folding bar, sink, stainless steel table, refrigerator, and a water dispenser.
They found most of their materials secondhand – the shiplap from her boyfriend’s father and the sink from a home goods resale store. Logan painted a cheerful mural on the brilliant dark blue exterior.
She dubbed her new endeavor the Lucky Coffee Trailer, named after Lucky, her family’s seventeen-year-old dog, a spoiled beagle/ Australian shepherd mix.
“I’m also pretty superstitious. I believe in knocking on wood and manifesting what you want,” Logan says.
Two months later, it was time to debut Lucky at MegaCorps Logistics, where Logan’s mother works.
“I was very nervous,” Logan says. It was a success and soon the Downtown ILM Night Market asked her to be a vendor. Word quickly spread, and Logan now hooks the trailer up to her Subaru Outback and shares her love of human connections and coffee at offices, markets, and events all around town.
“After being inside so much during the shutdown, people just want to be outside,” she says. “I am just excited to take it to … anywhere and everywhere.”
Sustainability and affordability are important to Logan, so she sources her coffee from Counter Culture Coffee, a wholesale specialty coffee roaster founded in 1995 in Durham.
Counter Culture focuses on supply chain sustainability and provides wholesale partners with educational programs on coffee brewing, origin, and history.
“I also want to maintain reasonable coffee prices,” Logan says. “It’s not all about the money. I want to share an experience – and coffee – with others.”
Pricing products and creating her own website were a challenge for Logan. But working in such a small space might be the most difficult.
She stays organized by storing supplies in bins in her car. Then she assembles and disassembles the coffee bar on-site. Logan continues to learn a lot about how to run a business.
“I’m giving myself grace and room to grow,” she says, adding that she enjoys the flexibility of being her own boss. “It’s given me time to reconnect with old friends. Now my friend Emily, who sells plants, and I work markets together.”
As for the future, Logan hopes to own a brick-and-mortar coffee shop one day.
“It’s hard,” she says, “but none of it feels like work.”
To view more of photographer Terah Wilson’s work, go to terahwilson.com.
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