This spunky little trailer is where it all started. The idea that we could take a cute little horse trailer and make it into a beautiful coffee business. I will try to tell the story of purchase to opening as best I can. The quickest updates can be found on our Facebook and Instagram feeds. The links are at the bottom of the page. Cheers!
love at first sight
We looked for a trailer on craigslist for a few weeks, but, it was the first night, and only the second trailer we looked at that caught our hearts. So, on the 22nd of February, we made our purchase.
picking a name
We brainstormed horse names for a couple of days and landed on lilbit. Our 6 year old daughter loves it!
Sizing things up
We have talked to many local coffee shops, and some were very generous in letting us measure potential equipment. With our background in theatre, Ryan made cardboard representations of each piece of equipment to help figure out the floorplan.
equipment coming in!
Next we started to buy some equipment and start to test fit where we thought it would fit. Looking good!
found an espresso machine
It took a lot of scouring the internet to find a La Marzocco Linea 2 AV. Ryan's dad drove from central Iowa to Minneapolis to pick it up, then delivered it to CO when they came to visit in April. We would later figure out this was one that was from the mid-90s Starbucks era. Ryan suggested we call it "Bucky". This is still up for debate. :-) He is currently at Congruent Services to be updated and brought up to working order.
Finding a fabricator
We had some work that needed to be done and, even though Ryan can do many things, welding isn't his forte. So, we found the good folks at Creative Fabrications to do the work. Here are some pre-fabrication pictures.
She's back from the fabricator
The fabricator did a great job, and, after 2 weeks, she's back, now, off to paint!
LilBit gets some new color
It was now time for lilbit to get sandblasted and the interior painted. This rids the remnants of being a working horse trailer out and allows us to start with a fresh base layer. We found Platinum Powder Coating to do this work. We didn't paint the outside as we knew there would be a lot of screws being put in from the outside in, so, those will be additionally sealed once the final coat is on.
finally getting to do what we do best
After 2 months of itching to get in and start building, we had our first long weekend of work. Got a lot done in the two and a half days. Put in the sub-floor, both windows, wall studs, insulation and wall paneling. It was a lot of fun!
second weekend, we have electrical
The second weekend wasn't as busy, but, all for a good reason. We have all our electrical ran! We had talked to a guy at our church for a little while about helping do the electrical, and, he was awesome! Thanks Bill for getting us up and running! We also fired up the generator for the first time. It was a little loud, but, we have plans for that. Nora got the floor laid and it looks great!
Odds and Ends
Spent some time working on little things for a couple of weeks before sending Lilbit off to paint for the exterior painting on the 30th of May. We got the trim in and started some plumbing. Nora painted the interior and Ryan was able to get the manger flooring in and the sink. We were also able to get some locks and a latch for entry on the left door. Ryan got the cup dispenser that will be above the espresso machine made, and then re-made as oak plywood. Now to stain all of the things!
time spent while she was away
We spent the time while Lilbit was at the painter for finishing paint getting things stained and ready to be put in permanently. We also had the amazing pleasure to be trained by the great folks at Switchback Coffee Roasters.
the final push
We now had set a date of the 12th of June for our health inspection, and we had 9 days to finish. So, we pushed hard to put the finishing touches on and finally put all the equipment in for the last time. There weren't tons of pictures, because we were working hard. Long days, late nights and all the tools. Blood, sweat, and even maybe a few tears before this little beauty came to be what it is today.
Bucky's back and like new, plus, finishing touches
Vance from Congruent Services worked on Bucky for over a month to get him in tip-top shape. He's rocking and rolling now. We got him installed and tested on the 10th of June. He was the last piece of this giant puzzle. We also spent the day before and the day after putting our finishing touches on Lilbit. We had to fix a couple of little leaks and correct a small electrical issue. We also found the generator to be a bit louder than expected, but, it works like the Beast that it is!
here she is! start to finish
We are so proud of what we have accomplished, with the help of many, over the course of 5 weeks of building. We cannot wait to show everyone! (a few pictures from above to recap and reitterate how awesome this turned out!)