Updates Long Overdue

Hi neighbors!

It’s been a while since we’ve updated the ol’ blog! Many of you have been following us on Instagram or Facebook and have a general idea of what we are up to, but here’s a quick re-cap to bring everyone up to speed.

On May 1st of 2018 we welcomed Rowan, baby number four, to our family. He is the truly a joy baby and the sweetest addition to our boy tribe. To give you an idea of how behind we are on updates, he’s now nine months old, slobbering-up a storm, pulling himself up to standing at the coffee table and giggling at his brothers’ antics. Time flies when you’re having fun!

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We waited, what felt like an eternity, to get the coffee truck concession window shipped in from Florida, then cut a hole (talk about nerve-racking) into the side of the truck and installed said window.

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Nick put in the countertops and a three compartment sink, plumbed the truck with cold and hot water, painted and wallpapered the interior, painted the back siding and spent a great deal of time watching YouTube how-to videos and making runs to Menards. All that’s left is to finish installing the gray water tank, do the wiring and wrap it!

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In addition to the work on the coffee truck, we sold a whole lot of beans and cold brew, catered coffee for a few events around DeKalb County, started a coffee subscription program and hosted an Artisan Christmas Market with our very first espresso bar. We are so thankful to our roasters for helping make this possible and to all of you for believing in our journey and having good taste in coffee :-)

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This past year has been a year of overcoming personal hurdles, trusting God in new and increasing ways, resting, learning patience and continuing to dream big. We are closer than ever to hitting the road with our coffee truck this Spring and are actively exploring possibilities for a permanent location for OpenDoor in Genoa. More details coming soon. We’ll try to be better at sharing on here. Onward and upward!

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Coffee Truck Progress and Business Updates

Hello friends!

While the delay in Springtime weather is far from ideal, it hasn't kept us from chipping away at our coffee truck reno. Nick, with the help of his dad and a couple of community friends, has been hard at work transforming the former vegetable truck into a coffee shop on wheels! 

Here is where we are at in the process: The back door is in place, along with the exterior siding on the back of the truck. The inside "walls" are up and will be painted. We have put countertops along the length of one side of the truck as well as installed our three compartment utility sink and single hand washing sink. We are working with the DeKalb County Health Department to ensure our truck meets all the required standards for food trucks. There will be an identical 98" countertop running the length of the other side of the truck where our espresso machine will go. I, Steph, joke about the truck having more counter space than our kitchen at home. Don't be surprised if  you find it parked outside our house as an extra prep space before big parties!

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Here is a rendering of the current plans for the space. Things can and will change as we work out more details, but we thought you might enjoy a peek into our vision of the final project. 

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The next items on the to-do list are cutting a hole into the side of the truck for the service window and installing said window. We still have some figuring to do, as far as plans for the look and functionality go. There will be an awning that goes over the service window and a long bar beneath the window for order placement and delivery. We are leaning towards having the truck wrapped, versus painted. If you know of a reputable and affordable auto body shop that does this or have expertise in either auto body painting or wrapping, email nick@opendoorgenoa.com. It takes a village and we are eager to glean all we can from those with more experience!

In case you missed it from our last blog post, here's a picture of a similar coffee conversion truck we've been inspired by:

In addition to working on the truck, we've been busy fulfilling your coffee orders! We are so incredibly humbled and blessed that you would support us by buying (and trying) our beans. We truly believe in our product and every time we ship or deliver a bag of OpenDoor coffee, it feels like we are sharing a bit of our hearts with you. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Last month we made our unofficial debut in Genoa at the Springathon Craft Fair and Vendor Show. It was a blast to be able to brew-up some coffee and meet many of you face-to-face!

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On a personal note, baby boy #4, hence the name for our 4 Boy Mom coffee, is due any day! We are aiming to have the truck ready for Genoa's first Farmer's Market, at the end of May, but are also striving to remain realistic, keeping our family as first priority in this journey. If the truck's not quite ready by then, you'll see us at the June Market!

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see weekly updates.

Eager for iced coffee weather,

Nick, Steph and the boys

Coffee Truck Before Pics and Plans!

Some of you have asked to see and hear more about the truck, and who doesn't like a good BEFORE montage? So, without further ado, we present to you OpenDoor Coffee's very own road warrior!

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She's a 1983 Chevy Grumman Olson Kurbmaster step van. Essentially, she's a bread truck. Everytime we get a package delivery from UPS or FedEx we smile and wave at her sister vehicles.  Her background is as a vegetable delivery truck for a farm in Woodstock, IL. She has 140,000 miles on her and was very well maintained by the family farmers who owned her. They gave us a wonderful deal and we are ever-so thankful!

Here are a few more shots. Notice the original driver's side seat back vinyl! 

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The boys have LOVED playing in the back, steering the big wheel and helping us start to clean her up! On a side note, it has really been neat to be able to involve the boys in the starting of a family business. They have been praying with us for the right doors to open for a coffee shop for over a year and bringing them along for the ride and even including them on some of the decisions and projects, such as artwork for the background of the coffee bags, has been really special. They are super excited!

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We've had a chance to begin to make a few changes over the past couple of weeks and this weekend more changes are scheduled to roll out. The first order of business was to remove the sliding panel between the front driver area and the back of the truck. We will most likely be putting up a better wall there with storage. Here is a before and after of that project. Nick used his angle grinder to remove the metal track.

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So, now we have a nice clean slate to work with! We have plans to put counters with lower cabinets on either side of the "box." We'll share the mock-ups with you soon!

Here are a couple of coffee trucks that we've been using as our inspiration:

And here is Collin testing out the placement of our order window (there will be a long bar under the window for half and half and sugar and baked goods)! We can't wait to share the journey of transformation with you!

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The Start of Something Good

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Hello friends, family and fellow Genoa folks!

For those of you who don't know us, we are the Bradacs, a family of five-- soon-to-be six-- with a big dream! For the past year and a half, it has been on our heart to open a coffee shop in our town of Genoa, IL. We enjoy good espresso, phenomenal drip coffee and a tasty, baked good on the side, but most importantly we value relationships and the possibility of creating a welcoming space with comfy couches, spots for kids to play and creativity to thrive. A place where everyone can feel at home!

We have been busy spending many an hour at the drawing board, crunching numbers, meeting with a business mentor, establishing a coffee roaster relationship and connecting with community officials! Perhaps you caught wind of this dream when we did some online market research a while back or maybe you know us personally and have been partnering with us in prayer for the perfect space and timing to make this dream come alive.

Well, we are here today to invite you into the process. From this point forward, we will be sharing our journey on this blog and via social media. We want you, our friends and neighbors, to have the opportunity to be connected to our story.

We are in what we are calling Phase 1 of the project. Although we have yet to find the right brick and mortar space at the right price, we have strongly felt led to step out in faith and begin to gather people in our community around coffee... Really good, sustainably sourced coffee!

You can expect to see us this summer around Genoa and DeKalb County events in our soon-to-be refurbished 1983 Grumman Olson Step Van turned coffee truck. You read right! We bought a beautiful beast of a vehicle and its transformation is already underway. Just typing this gives us goosebumps! We will be updating this space with photos of the makeover and can't wait to introduce you to the truck in-person.

We picked the name OpenDoor Coffee because, with us, everyone belongs. Someday soon we look forward to welcoming folks into a physical coffee shop that embodies the message of "Come on in, the door is open!" Until then, we can't wait to get to know you and share stories over a cup of coffee, of course!

Read more about our story here.