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Somerville Coffee Crew Gets Closer to Kickstarter Goal

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A mobile coffee spot is in the works

Somerville Coffee Crew truck design
Somerville Coffee Crew truck design

A mobile coffee truck that launched a Kickstarter campaign to flood the streets of Somerville with tasty coffee has 11 days to meet its fundraising goal. Somerville Coffee Crew is the work of some like-minded caffeine lovers, Townsend Colon and Sarah Saleh, who teamed up to bring mobile high-quality coffee to the area.

The fascination with this coffee concept started in Japan in 2012 when Colon and Saleh were in Osaka and saw a man preparing coffee for patrons on the street. After observing his methods, they were inspired to learn as much as possible about coffee.

"It's a lot of work, and it requires some attention, but it's definitely the kind of challenge that we like," Colon told Eater. He spent some time in California working as a designer for Uber before deciding to focus on establishing a coffee business back in the northeast.

In 2014, Colon and Saleh decided to put their knowledge to work, establishing Somerville Coffee Crew and eventually evolving the idea of peddling tasty coffee from a refurbished 1971 Citroen H Van, which is currently in New Jersey getting an engine rebuild and new break lines, Colon said.

On March 1 this year, they launched their Kickstarter campaign to help fundraise for their business, with a goal of creating "an experience that echoed back to our time in Japan combined with the romanticism and atmosphere of a European cafe," they wrote on the Kickstarter page. Within the next 11 days, they hope to meet their $10,000 fundraising goal to be able to finish paying for the truck and stay on track to open this summer.

Colon said he has been able to secure a handful of potential investors and that he is focusing on maintaining communication with supporters of the Somerville Coffee Crew, sharing updates on Instagram, and getting involved with the coffee community in Greater Boston.

"I do know we have a handful of people that are waiting to contribute," Colon said, adding that he felt very confident they would meet their fundraising goal. Once funded, they plan to meet up with the person working on their truck and bring it to Boston, where they will work with the city on a proposal for the interior of the truck.

Colon said they have also been working with Parlor Coffee, based in Brooklyn, as a source for the beans for Somerville Coffee Crew. He said they planned to do a training with Parlor to learn about the beans "and really just make sure that we're properly representing their coffee to the best that we can."

In the meantime, Colon said they have been tapping into the local community of coffee shops and baristas and participating in as many coffee-related activities as possible in order to develop a dialogue about coffee and make it more approachable.

"How do we invite more people who are interested that may need that little spark of inspiration to get into coffee the way that we did?" he said. "I want to make it easier for other people to ask questions if they want to."

Colon and Saleh are currently just $3,555 shy of their $10,000 goal, with the Kickstarter campaign ending on April 4.