Shine Coffee sheds new light on local java scene - East Valley Tribune: Ahwatukee Foothills

Shine Coffee sheds new light on local java scene

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Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2011 8:00 am | Updated: 10:30 pm, Sat Oct 22, 2011.

If the sight of their Airstream trailer doesn't immediately take you back to a simpler time, the taste of their coffee certainly will.

Shine Coffee, a mobile coffee bar, has made its way into the Ahwatukee Farmer's Market.

"Initially, there were little coffee bars," said Laryn Blok, partner in charge of sales and marketing for Shine Coffee. "Then Starbucks came and Starbucks created a demand. What we're trying to do is bring back quality, rather than just accessibility.

"Obviously, we're mobile because we want to be able to go to different events, but a lot of people could just bring coffee to an event. We want people to think, ‘If Shine is going to be there I will wait for coffee, because it is always so delicious.' We really want to bring out the deliciousness in coffee."

Blok and her husband, Christiaan, were looking for something new to do with the next chapter of their lives. Both of their jobs had taken a dip with the economy and they were ready to move on. They've always enjoyed making coffee and always dreamed about owning a coffee shop, so they decided to go for it.

"We were standing at our daughter's Halloween party last year and looking at the 200-odd other parents standing there, bright and early in the morning with their toddler that they had gotten into costume," Blok said. "I kind of looked at him and said, ‘I bet everyone would love a cup of coffee right now.' There wasn't any. We sort of liked the idea of mobile food, so we started looking at all the different angles."

Christiaan has had a love of Airstream trailers ever since he lived out of one during his first job out of college on a movie set. So the couple decided to buy one and run their coffee shop out of it to add a little uniqueness to their brand.

With some trial and error, they found a 1957 Flying Cloud Airstream and a company in Denver, called Timeless Travel Trailers, that helped them renovate the trailer to become the perfect little mobile shop.

Once the shop was set up, the duo began contacting farmers markets in the area, and the Ahwatukee Farmer's Market was the first to welcome them in.

"We have a lot of fun," Blok said. "A lot of people just want to come look at the Airstream, and then they end up buying a coffee. We've only been there for two weeks, but we doubled our sales from the first week to the second week, which we like. We felt like we made a little bit of progress."

Shine has a full menu of espresso and coffee drinks. They also carry handmade-flavored milk for the kids. They buy their coffee from local roasters, and hope some day to become the go-to spot for the best local coffee.

"In general, our goal is to demonstrate to Valley residents that great coffee is roasted right here in Arizona," Blok said. "We have a plan that we're putting into place to feature different local vendors. Everywhere we turn we're finding more. As we talk to the roasters it's kind of a new concept. Most people choose one roaster and that's who they always get their coffee from. There wasn't any price incentive or buying incentive to do that. It just made more sense to talk up the benefits of all these local roasters and let people know they don't have to go anywhere else for good coffee."

Eventually, the couple hopes to host some educational events at the markets with local roasters, sort of like a wine tasting, where people can sit down and learn about how their coffee was produced, and the different tastes that can be achieved.

For more information on Shine Coffee and a list of their mobile events, visit www.shinecoffee.com.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com

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