Want to Buy the Coffee Trike?
Looking for a change a pace from the doldrums of your nine to five? Love espresso, cycling, and meeting people? Has San Bellino got an offer for you.
After three-plus years owning and manning the Coffee Trike, Bellino is focusing on his brick-and-mortar, Gracenote Coffee, and looking to sell the custom-built, fully operational, pedal powered espresso café.
“You know when you feel you’ve completed something, in a nice way?” Bellino says. “It was super popular, people loved it, it really created a nice community, and it really was a fun time. It led to lots of good things, but I think I completed that sort of section [of my life].”
This fall, Bellino teamed up with Patrick Barter, owner of Berlin, Mass.-based coffee roaster Gracenote, and the business owner at 108 Lincoln St. to open up in the front of the Graffito SP offices. He took the trike off its regular schedule at Dewey Square in late September. At that point, Bellino says he didn’t officially close the chapter on the trike, but once the shop opened, “it became clear. It’s a very personal decision, because it could definitely succeed in a different place,” he says.
Bellino conceived of and designed the Coffee Trike, inspired by the local food truck movement and similar mobile coffeeshops he researched in Germany and England. He purchased the mahogany, cargo three-wheeler from WorkCycles and had it shipped from Amsterdam—roughly a $7,500 expense, he estimates—and in 2012, had it built out to his specs in South Boston.
The Coffee Trike is entirely self-contained and runs on a combination of batteries and gas—though the point-of-sale system is solar powered. It has a two group espresso machine, capable of crafting beverages, two at a time, from shots to lattes. It has an insulated cooler, a hand sink, a pitcher rinser, a knockbox for collecting spent coffee grounds on the go, water pumps and holding tanks, a mahogany service bar, and a canopy. Bellino will throw in some extra batteries, to boot.
“It’s able to serve 200-plus people a day, which is pretty ridiculous, but it can, and it did for a while,” he says.
He estimates it’s about 500 pounds—heavier when it’s fully stocked—though he’s never weighed it. The mobile café is about 9 feet long, including its rear axle; 3.5 feet wide, and just over 6 feet tall. It’s in excellent condition: When it’s not in use, the trike is stored inside a temperature-controlled, commercial workspace in the Seaport
As far as cost, Bellino is open to negotiating. He knows what he’d like for it, but he declined to say; “I’d rather have a conversation with someone,” he says. There’s signage and branding, which Bellino would consider including as part of the purchasing deal, but if someone was interested in buying it piecemeal, he’d hear them out.
“It would be such a joy, seeing someone doing a similar thing: It would be so cool to see it in Austin, Texas or New York,” he says.
What about Boston?
“I’d have to see how it made sense for the [Gracenote] shop; maybe not Dewey. Maybe I’ll add a non-compete clause; we’ll see.”
Bellino just wants to start the conversation.
Interested in buying the Coffee Trike? Email [email protected].