Guess which one of us LOVES projects? Mr. Ernest sure does. As soon as springtime hit, he set out to build a coffee cart. Why? His reasoning is always why not!? Other than being bored with the mundane and wanting a challenge, several other reasons made sense: it’s a way to have a “second location,” without the many commitments of a second location. It’s a way to get outside of the SONDER walls and into our city to meet people and have fun through our coffee. We also see a need for events in Denver as people are look for drink service alternatives for events like business conferences or brunch weddings. Plus, it wasn’t a huge investment so Ernest saw it as a fun “why-not” project that he’d have fun putting together, and our team would have a fun serving at for all sorts of events.
We’ve had a couple people ask about building our coffee cart, so here’s a little post into how it happened and what went into it!
We were looking for our cart to be durable enough for busy use and able to hold a 200-lb machine; something that can withstand time and be modified easily if we need it to be, and something portable and compact, easy to take apart if need be. The look we went for is an extension of our shop: simple and modern. Ernest with his friend Joe, who is quite a craftsman/handy guy, starting looking at designs and drawing mock ups to brainstorm how to fit our needs best.
They decided on square metal tubing for the frame structure for a sturdy cart with the freedom to disassemble it for transport and modifications. They used a local shop in Denver, and they had cut out the pieces in exact dimensions for them.
Ernest had no experience welding or working with metal, so he was excited but not even fully sure that the design would even work. After lots of YouTube videos and tutorials they got started with the hope that they’d figure out what they were doing and up for the challenge.
The bottom and top pieces are solid metal in order to withstand the weight of the butcher block and machinery. All the square tubing is built for structure but in a way that it can be taken apart.
After framing, they sprayed the metal with primer and painted it a glossy black finish, and then attached rubber casters for smooth transportation.
Hoping for sturdiness and stability, they are happy to see the weight test has been passed!
Ernest used the same white oak butcher block leftover from designing our space for the countertops, which were perfect in matching our vibes and carrying something from the design of our physical shop.
For the siding they screwed white panels into the metal framing so our the cart can be easily cleaned and interchangeable/customizable for various events. He also installed a pitcher rinser and a flo-jet water pump.
It’s a simple set up but is designed to have enough power to withstand 220 espresso machines for high volume events. Being able to design something fully customized gave us the freedom to have something specifically designed for our uses and interests, which is what we try to do as much as we can. It’s a lot of work, but Ernest actually thrives off projects and new challenges, and he and Joe make a great team when it comes to designing and building things! Check out our cart in action in our post later this week. 🙂