Courtesy of Noah McLain
“Fresh beans served within a week of roast, every cup manually brewed, sustainability and people in mind.” This is the covenant of a new craft coffee business created by university student Noah McLain.
The junior marketing major created a coffee-catering business called Cherrybomb Coffee Co. that offers handcrafted, authentic coffee beverages via pop-up cart.
“To serve the most authentic fresh coffee possible, we also roast our beans. We import beans from Guatemala and Ethiopia, and light roast them to bring out the naturally occurring flavor profiles. We decided to roast our own beans because it puts us in full control of how amazing our coffee tastes,” McLain said.
McLain described the preliminary steps he took to start his business in February of last year.
He said, “My initial efforts in starting this coffee cart concept included buying all the necessary equipment to make craft coffee. I invested lots of money into that, but I also saved money by building my own cart. I have some amazing friends who helped me shape my branding into what it is.”
When the economy took a turn for the worse during the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, McLain’s start-up also hit a roadblock. He shifted his focus elsewhere and added an element to the business.
“My company is primarily a catering company, but when COVID hit, I had no events to cater for about five months. I had to pivot to roasting for other businesses and pushing online sales. During all of this, I started a new sector of my business where I install nitro cold brew on tap in different offices and venues. This was a great pivot, and cold brew on tap has become very popular for us,” McLain said.
The craft coffee company offers espresso, hot brewed coffee, frozen beverages, cold brew, teas like matcha and chai, decaf and more. They also sell three versions of their own roasted beans.
McLain was inspired to start Cherrybomb because of his appeal to craft coffee. He wants to help give coffee a better reputation.
“Craft coffee is what inspired me to start Cherrybomb. Most people shy away from coffee because they associate coffee with being bitter and dark. Others have come to love these undesirable brews because that is all they’ve been exposed to. In the past 10 plus years, a new wave of coffee has emerged – it’s referred to as the ‘third wave’ of coffee, and I’m bringing this to the Northshore, where craft coffee hasn’t quite boomed yet,” McLain said.
Although Cherrybomb is currently a coffee cart, McLain has hopes to expand in the future.
“We are a fully mobile business, so we do not have a brick and mortar – this is a big dream for us though. Our vision is to have a coffee shop in the next five years and to build a stronger coffee culture in the Northshore area. Coffee builds community, and community is something we believe in,” McLain said.
To learn more about Cherrybomb Coffee Co., visit cherrybombcoffeeco.com.