Ever since the first smoldering cup Pia Beck drank in her life while on a solo trip through Belize at the tender age of 14, she’s been enraptured in a love affair with coffee. The UCSB alumna and CEO of consulting firm Curate Well Co. is putting that passion at the forefront by launching a new venture this month: the Considered Curbside Coffee Bus. The mobile cafe will serve espresso-based drinks out of a 1965 Volkswagen Bus in iconic Santa Barbara locales like the Funk Zone, the Mesa, East Beach, and elsewhere.
Searching the internet for coffee businesses around town lights up the digital map with red pins: Coffee is very common here. But Considered aims to attract connoisseurs, ritual drinkers, and the curious because Beck’s company is about much more than roasted beans.
Her inspiration came, in part, from the word “considered,” which she finds relaxed yet still as reverential as notions like intentionality and attention-to-detail. “Fundamentally,” she said, “we all want to be seen, heard, considered.”
Everything Considered does, from products to human relationships, will be treated with care, and there are specifically “considered” details at play. They include:
* Donating 5 percent of revenue to causes that work on issues such as women’s reproductive rights, systemic racism, and homelessness.
* Paying the staff a living wage, and including 15 percent gratuity in the pricing, with more tips welcome.
* Not up-charging for alternative milks so as to not alienate people with different beliefs, health conditions, and personal reservations.
* Running the bus completely off-grid on solar and generator power, allowing for greater mobility.
* Partnering with another business to repurpose compressed grounds and offset some of the ample waste produced by coffee making.
“Coffee shops funnel energy literally and figuratively into communities,” said Beck, who hopes these measures help the people of Santa Barbara rethink what a coffee shop can be for the customer, the employee, and this community. As to the viability of the business itself, she believes that her team’s tech background will lead to better sales forecasting and more efficient course-correcting on the financial side, the lack of which is the downfall for many establishments in the food and beverage industry.
Considered’s network of purveyors includes Handlebar Coffee Roasters, Beck’s favorite, and Sarah Klapp of Klapp Ceramics, who made mugs so patrons may stay and mingle if they don’t want their coffee to go. Their commissary kitchen will be located at Validation Ale in the Funk Zone, where they will serve on Sundays. On Saturdays, Considered will be outside of Villa Wine Bar & Kitchen on Anacapa Street to catch the farmers market traffic. Already they’re announcing popups, including Kiva Cowork (10 a.m.-noon, Jan. 31) Alice Keck Park for the Centerline Mama’s maternal support group (9-11 a.m., Feb. 7), and Seavees (10 a.m.-3 p.m., Feb. 11). Considered will also make appearances throughout the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in February.
Considered is far from the first mobile food & drink service enterprise in Santa Barbara, and the city’s planners and brick & mortar establishments were notoriously hostile to the initial wave of this trend a decade ago, forcing favorites like the Burger Bus and Georgia’s Smokehouse to flee the city. In the wake of this, Beck and her team are navigating fearlessly with the principles to back up their dream and the tenacity to push forward against adversity.
Considered Coffee’s public launch will be at We Want the Funk (210 Gray Ave.) on January 22, 10 a.m. See consideredsb.co, text “Coffee” to (805) 387-9157 to get alerts, and follow on Instagram @consideredsb.co.