New Mobile Coffee Vendors Keep Columbus on the Go

Coffee served out of campers, trailers and trucks serves the community with a fresh way to enjoy drinks quickly and safely.

Lily Roby
Park Service Coffee

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced some coffee shops to close temporarily (and others permanently), some in the coffee industry saw an opportunity: to get outdoors. In the past few months, Columbus has seen several mobile coffee vendors hit the streets, with businesses such as Park Service Coffee and Honey Cup Coffee Co. opting to roast beans on the go rather than in a traditional brick-and-mortar store. 

Alexis Garside, co-owner of Park Service Coffee with her husband Cole, cites greater ease in managing their business as the reason why they went mobile.  

“When we went to the Seattle area last year, there were a ton of coffee huts and coffee trailers,” Alexis says, reflecting on the inspiration behind Park Service. “That was part of the reason that we wanted to try something mobile; and considering how much money it takes to start a brick-and-mortar, something mobile was definitely more feasible for us.” 

Cole and Alexis are Park Service’s only employees, and not having to hire additional employees or deal with a dining area keeps the whole operation a lot safer in comparison to operating an entire coffee shop, they say.  

Throughout the pandemic, Cole and Alexis rarely left their homes other than to work (Cole worked at Brioso temporarily while they prepared to launch Park Service), but they made a point to pick up coffee at a local spot each weekend in order to get out of the house. 

“I think that was a big motivation to do the mobile thing, just to make sure people can still have that experience,” Cole says. “It’s not like the normal coffee shop experience, but we hope when people see it, they’re still excited and feel like they’re getting more than just a cup of coffee, but kind of a cool experience, too.” 

You can visit Park Service Coffee Co. at its current location, City Dog Daycare (395 Mound St.), through the first week of July. More information, including future schedules and updated menus, can be found at @parkservicecoffee

“We’ve had a ton of support, and it feels like a lot of people are excited to see us and come taste our coffee,” Cole says. “And we’re seeing people come back, so I think that’s always a good thing.” 

At least two other mobile coffee shops recently began serving around town.  

Rising Sun Coffee Co., another mobile coffee vendor that operates out of a truck and opened this spring, is serving brews from Mission Coffee Co. The truck features a full espresso bar, cold brew on tap and even freshly baked pastries. To keep customers updated on their whereabouts, they post regular schedules in advance on their Instagram, @risingsuncoffeetruck

Honey Cup Coffee Co., owned by Joel McPeak, is another local option offering beans sourced from Brioso, syrup made in-house and a variety of unique drinks such as its Mango Yerba Mate. The coffee shop is housed within a camper that opened in early May on the corner of Summit and Hudson streets in SoHud.