"Twenty people, at a single location, drop what they are doing and drive twenty vehicles to another location to buy a very average coffee drink."
In dreaming up and beginning to build Kona Chameleon, I set out to create an evolutionary leap from the ordinary coffee shop.
This idea, of course, immediately raised an important question. Do coffee shops really need an evolutionary leap?
I thought about this for a while. The answer became quite clear; absolutely sometimes.
Like many, I love coffee shops and all they have to offer. I spend time regularly in several.
At the same time, I could think of several scenarios where I would prefer that the coffee shop come to me - or actually be there when I arrive.
Usually, this happens when I'm busy working, or stuck waiting or someplace where a traditional coffee shop has no business being, like, a tailgate party.
How did this all begin?
When I tell people that I started my coffee business over five years ago, naturally, they want to know where my shop is.
I've never really been able to give a straight answer to that question.
People are perplexed when I explain that yesterday my shop was at the Family Practice clinic around the corner or that tonight it's at the RBC Center for the 'Canes game and tomorrow at Jane Doe's wedding reception.
But that's the truth.
I have been serving up lattes, espressos, etc. at special events for years. The coffee van is an extension of that concept.
The experience gained from working in many different environments has made this project possible; both in terms of understanding something about this peculiar niche in the market and also regarding the fairly complicated systems involved with making the Kona Chameleon van function smoothly.
The mobile coffee concept has been around for awhile. It was not invented by me, for certain. Why, though, have we not seen more of this kind of thing?
The answer, in part, is because there are real technical challenges involved with anything mobile, not to mention expense. Who and where are your customers and how do you reach them?
The absence of a clearly defined blueprint for overcoming these hurdles has, in my opinion, resulted in some rather lame attempts at making this concept work.
Why is Kona Chameleon different?
Fundamentally, because of experience. Perhaps as importantly, it becomes a matter of vision and the desire to create something new.
Today, Kona Chameleon has directly addressed a some of the challenges mentioned above. It's a beginning.
Moving forward, the realization (and evolution) of the Kona Chameleon concept will be reflected in our vans, our products and our website.
Twenty people in an office building shouldn't have to make twenty separate trips in the pursuit of caffeine.
In many situations, the Kona Chameleon makes better sense than the ordinary coffee shop.
Erik Thorsten Anderson
Founder; Kona Chameleon