Flying Joe hosting Kickstarter fundraiser for coffee truckWritten by Joel Sensenig | Managing Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
A Perrysburg specialty coffee shop is asking the public for help in delivering its caffeinated beverages to them — wherever they may be.
The Flying Joe, 2130 Preston Parkway in Levis Commons, is in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign to fund a coffee truck in its attempt to bring its caffeine to the masses.
The 7-year-old coffee shop on the southern end of the suburban shopping complex has through Dec. 1 to raise $25,000 for the mobile service, which will bring beverages to customers throughout the metropolitan Toledo area.
“We were toying around with the idea of upgrading in the shop,” said owner Becky Ohm. “We really embrace the specialty coffee world and we’re always trying to up our game. … It sort of evolved into the coffee truck idea, as originally it was going to be a coffee cart.”
Ohm said the shop gets asked to provide its coffee, tea and food at weddings, festivals and fundraisers such as The Red Ribbon Run, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and Resolution Run, and that the coffee truck could serve as a natural extension of its current offerings.
“We thought, ‘If we could bring the coffee to the people, that would be really awesome,’” she said. “Then we could expose more people to the specialty coffee industry. … We’re looking to grow as a company, but aren’t quite ready to open a second location. We thought this would help us get our name out there more, plus provide that service as far as mobility goes.”
Through the shop’s month-long Kickstarter campaign, those interested in making the truck become a reality can donate an amount ranging from $1 to $2,500. Pledges earn the donators a number of prizes: anything from a bumper sticker to drinks and T-shirts and — for $2,500 — a flight with Becky and husband John. The coffee shop’s name stems from the fact Becky was a pilot with the 180th Fighter Wing Air National Guard for 14 years and currently serves as the Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Commander, while John is currently a pilot for the 127th Selfridge Air National Guard in Harrison Township, Michigan, as well as for FedEx.
Bri Gibson, general manager of The Flying Joe, is passionate about the shop’s coffee and is eager to take that passion on the road.
“In a single location, we’re limited to whoever walks in the door,” she said. “There’s no way to bring specialty coffee to new customers, and we’re very hidden in the back of Levis Commons. We’re pretty committed to the current customer base we’ve got at the shop, and we’d never leave them. But my feet are itching to travel. … We’re trying to mobilize coffee in Toledo, bringing our passion to the table in a way that nobody else has yet.”
If the campaign were to fall short of its $25,000 goal, contributors’ credit cards would not be charged, and the Flying Joe would not get any of the funds. If extra money is raised, the funds would go to other costs associated with the truck.
“It’s really a cool thing for the area — it would be the first coffee truck in the area,” Ohm said. “Toledo deserves something that cool, I think. We already have a lot of food trucks popping up. … The specialty coffee industry has come so far in the seven years since we opened, and this will expose more people to some really good coffee that’s out there.”
A five-minute video detailing The Flying Joe’s mission to bring a coffee truck to Toledo can be seen on its Kickstarter page.
For more information or to donate, go to www.kickstarter.com and search for “The Flying Joe.”
For more information about the coffee shop, visit www.theflyingjoe.com.