I love when passionate and talented people take a hobby and build it into a burgeoning business opportunity, especially in rural Iowa. That is the case with the Frank Family from Auburn, a tight-knit community in southern Sac County.
With a desire to enjoy better coffee, they learned how to roast coffee beans. The secret? Freshness. Soon, they started to share their beans via sales at a local farmers market. The popularity grew.
All of that has now culminated into owning and operating The Little Green Truck Coffee Company.
The enterprise now includes a coffee shop and roastery in their own building located just off of Highway 71 on the south side of Auburn. It also encompasses in-store retail, online, and wholesale sales. Several other businesses also now carry their beans or serve it to their customers and clients.
On a recent Saturday, I stopped in to check out the coffee shop to enjoy a cup of coffee. It's hard to miss the building with the big green "coffee" banner flapping in the wind.
Inside, you find a coffee shop that is loaded with character. There's a wide array of seating options.
I like that they have chairs that are upholstered with what I think is covered coffee bean sacks.
This corner included a couple of beautiful benches that almost seemed like reclaimed church pews.
The walls are filled with fun, clever, and somewhat eclectic decor.
The Franks are also family farmers in Sac County and the business was featured in December 2017 in the Iowa Farm Bureau Spokesman newspaper.
I really like this display with coffee mugs. The word "Hello" is spelled out inside a glass topped table using beans. They may need one of the Iowa Adventurer mugs for the collection.
There were a few different groups that popped in during the time I was there.
There is a whole section of the building that is dedicated to the roasting of the fresh beans.
They have a nice menu of coffee beverages available. It's very similar to anything you would find at a coffee shop in a metropolitan area.
They also had some food items available. I did not try any of them but based upon the descriptions, they all sound amazing.
I spotted a few sweets for sale too.
I enjoyed a peppermint mocha while at the store but then left with a bag of freshly roasted and freshly ground Brazillian beans to enjoy at home. I am a fan of lighter roasts so Ellen recommended them to me.
If you are into coffee and like to delve into origins and different roasts, you'll really enjoy their coffee selection. They have an impressive array. They also have very high standards.
If you cannot make it to their store, they do have a list of places that they supply beans to. However, you can also buy it online and get it shipped to you.
When they are open, you can also order via a drive-thru.
Auburn is a town with about 325 people and so a place like this is truly one of the hubs of community. This little one-pager has great additional information about the town.
I would invite you to check out their Facebook page as they put up a lot of good updates about their events and specials. I will definitely stop by the next time I am in the area. I am already looking forward to brewing the coffee from the beans I took home.
I love rural entrepreneurial success and I hope Iowans continue to support the hardworking men and women in their communities who are making things happen. Usually, I encourage people to fill up their trucks with ethanol or biodiesel, but this is one little green truck that is running quite well on freshly roasted coffee beans and caffeine.