Joey Sutton has started his own coffee cart business. Pedals Espresso can now be seen on the Sunshine Coast.
Joey Sutton has started his own coffee cart business. Pedals Espresso can now be seen on the Sunshine Coast. Warren Lynam

Pedal-powered coffee venture inspired by Starbucks

HE loved working at Starbucks, but now Joey Sutton has his own gig.

The former Starbucks employee missed the store so much after it closed in April that he's started his own pedal-operated coffee cart.

A Sunshine Coast resident for 18 years, Joey worked at Starbucks for five.

It was a big part of his life, he said.

When the American coffee house closed down, the 23-year-old found other work but missed his interaction with customers, many of whom became good friends.

As coffee culture on the Coast and in Australia picked up, he said, coffee quality in other cafes has improved but service didn't.

"Obviously Starbucks coffee wasn't the best coffee," Joey said. "But the atmosphere we created for people was so good."

Last week Joey bought a franchise with Pedals Espresso and next Wednesday he's launching his own solar-powered coffee cart.

 

Joey Sutton has started his own coffee cart business. Pedals Espresso can now be seen on the Sunshine Coast.
Joey Sutton has started his own coffee cart business. Pedals Espresso can now be seen on the Sunshine Coast. Warren Lynam

Attached to an electric bike, his ensemble can also plug in to mains power but has a gas backup to keep greenhouse gas emissions at a minimum.

"Everything about it is designed to make people smile," he said. "It has little quirky quotes all over it."

As part of the business he has to do three "random acts of kindness" every week and write them down, he said.

He started with a "deep and meaningful" with his bank teller, he said.

Joey plans to "offer conversations not coffee", as honest communication was what most people valued.

"Baristas have no idea how much of an impact a conversation can have on peoples' lives," he said.

"If you look at our days, they're not one big day. They're a series of little things that make that one day.

"If you can disrupt one day, like if you have a real conversation with people where you're honest with them and they're honest back, that can change their life."

He said that for him, being a barista has always been more about people than coffee.

"People always just loved and hated the way I'd ask them how they are actually going," he said.

"You can be completely honest with a stranger. A lot of people did that with me, and it ... liberates them.

"If you've got something on your mind you should just tell a stranger about it. They're the reason I've got my own business."

Find Pedal Espresso on Wednesday at Lifepoint Church, 186 Wises Rd, Buderim.

In the coming months, Joey plans to get a licence to operate in public places around Maroochydore, Cotton Tree, Mooloolaba and other areas.

For the time being, he needs existing businesses to host his cart.

Joey can be contacted at joesutton19@hotmail.com


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