Funded! This project was successfully funded on April 1, 2013.

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Community Centered. Quality Focused. Passionately Driven. Public Coffee - A coffee shop on wheels.

Public Coffee is a mobile coffee shop. It visits various neighborhoods throughout Denver to serve coffee and start meaningful conversations. Public Coffee is a toolbox to be used and shared by everyone to build our community the way we wish to see it.

Public Coffee will be made from a two-horse trailer. The walls will open to reveal a coffee bar and brewing equipment that make up a hands-on coffee station. We are working with local coffee roasters and will be manually brewing their coffee using Chemex, V60, and Aeropress techniques. Visitors can use two-legged tables that connect to one another in order to enjoy their coffee together. The trailer will also be outfitted with a stage, PA system, and projector for the public to utilize. We encourage individuals and organizations to take advantage of these tools by inviting Public Coffee to their neighborhoods. The possibilities for what can be created are limitless.

Sketch of the Public Coffee Trailer
Sketch of the Public Coffee Trailer



Why Public Coffee?

In Europe, the original coffeehouses were created to serve people coffee and provide a place for them to enjoy their drinks. As the coffeehouse evolved, it became an open center for thinkers and researchers across many disciplines to share their discoveries with one another. Public Coffee is specifically designed to generate this same type of collaboration and community engagement.

New technologies have given us the opportunity to work independently. As a result, more and more people are isolating themselves in public settings. Public Coffee challenges this trend by encouraging people to gather together and have good conversations. With an open mind, issues and ideas may be approached from new and unexpected angles. Conversation can be big or small; either way, Public Coffee’s goal is to get the conversation started. 

How it will work.

We put Public Coffee on wheels in order to reach the entire city. Our plan is to visit various neighborhoods and encourage neighbors to enjoy their coffee together in the great outdoors. Public Coffee also wants to join forces with local groups and organizations so they can get their own projects up and running. This mobile shop provides a platform for more intentional face-to-face interaction all over Denver.

PAY-WHAT-YOU-CAN & PAY-IT-FORWARD

The Pay-What-You-Can model emphasizes that monetary payment is not required for customers to participate in projects and discussions. The Pay-It-Forward model is influenced by the Neopolitan tradition of the café sospeso; customers offer to pay for the drink of one or more customers following themselves.

A daily fundraising goal will be determined at the beginning of each business day, and progress will be updated as the day goes by. Being financially transparent allows visitors to understand how their money will be used so they can determine a reasonable donation. This encourages customers to share ownership of Public Coffee as they see their donations support the project’s financial goals.

KICKSTARTER FUNDING

The funds from this grant will be used to construct the form of Public Coffee. Specifically, the $12,000 will go towards purchasing the trailer, hitch, generator, construction materials, coffee brewing equipment, and plumbing system. We need your support to get this on the road!

We love collaboration.

Here at Public Coffee, we believe collaboration is a ripple effect. We started with a conversation and have developed out of collaboration. We aim to continue to collaborate and hope to see collaboration in our community for years to come.

Public Coffee’s highly talented collaborators include:

Samantha Kogle
Samantha Kogle is a multi-disciplinary designer from Denver, Colorado who focuses on creating cohesive brands that range from identity to print to web. She has designed the branding, outreach strategy, and descriptive content for Public Coffee.

Kinda Collective
The Kinda Collective is structured as an open community that develops meaningful social interactions by serving as a platform for education, sharing resources and collaborative practices. They have participated in Public Coffee’s planning meetings and continue to provide critical feedback at their Artist Peer Critiques.

A Small Print Shop
High quality screen printing & custom design. By keeping their overhead small and their employee list smaller, are able to pay close attention to every detail. They will be printing the t-shirts and the totes for all you generous donors.

Fin Art Co.
Ben and Rob are industrial designers of handmade modern furniture from Denver, Colorado. They will be outfitting Public Coffee’s trailer in their design studio during the month of April.

Board of Directors: Faith Williams and Jeff Wahl
Faith Williams is an educator and illustrator who has assumed extensive responsibilities in determining Public Coffee’s operations and the project’s conceptual integrity.
Jeff Wahl is the Program Associate at the Colorado Nonprofit Development Center (CNDC), Wahl will represent Public Coffee as it applies for nonprofit status.

Luca Venter Photography, pxlman music, Huckleberry Roasters, Happy Coffee, Matthew Contos, Richard Burgess, Leo Kacenjar, Open Media Foundation, Dillon Kogle, Amy Findeiss, Joern Langhorst, Novo Coffee, Fancy Tiger, Alex Meade, Jen Limansky, Andrew Janiszewski, Jennifer Lehe, and many many more...

We want to thank you.

The least we can do to thank you for your donations is give back some rad totes and shirts!  Granted, this Kickstarter is meant to make Public Coffee come to life, so the totes and shirts are given back for $60/$75 pledge amounts and above.  Check out their awesome designs:

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Public Coffee recognizes the challenges of operating in a counter-culture manner. Alternative social structures can be uncomfortable to creatures of habit and nonprofit organizations do not fit into the economic equations of general businesses. Public Coffee has intentionally embraced these challenges in order to define new frameworks to activate communities.

Public Coffee is standing on the shoulders of those who have paved the way for participatory development, community engagement, and multidisciplinary innovation. We have addressed this challenge through research and case studies. After spending extensive amounts of time exploring these topics, we are prepared and excited to engage with the community.

We have developed a team of multidisciplinary experts to guide Public Coffee along its alternative route. This team is comprised of designers, social artists, educators, coffee visionaries, social workers, businessmen, a farmer’s market director, and an architect. This list continues to grow as the project develops. The collaboration of these minds compose frameworks that engage a diverse audience.

For more information, visit publiccoffee.org

FAQ

  • Public Coffee is developed BY community FOR community. That is why we are currently applying for 501(c)3 non-profit status.

    The funds raised through Kickstarter and the daily pay-what-you-can contributions will recirculate into the project. This allows Public Coffee to be financially feasible even if it visits low-income neighborhoods numerous times each week. The generosity of higher-income participants promotes Public Coffee’s mission to remain accessible to all individuals, regardless of economic status.

    Becoming a 501(c)3 requires a great deal of additional documentation to be reviewed and approved by the Federal Government. Public Coffee knows this and willingly accepts the extra responsibility and transparency. We want additional eyes to ensure that our service to the public is legitimate. But, more than anything, we want you to rest assured that your funds are going toward the platform that you’re supporting with your hard earned cash!

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  • Public Coffee seeks to generate conversations between diverse perspectives to encourage open-mindedness. Facilitators will start conversations with Public Coffee visitors to explain the context of the project, the pay-what-you-can financial model, and how to brew their coffee. The ceramic cups, modular seating, and predetermined programming will get people chatting amongst themselves. As more individuals feel comfortable talking about who they are, and to talk through disagreements, Public Coffee believes our communities will become more open-minded and accepting.

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  • Public Coffee aims to be completely interactive in its development, its itinerary, its pricing model, the process of brewing coffee, the composition of furniture, the use of Public Coffee space, equipment and for-here cups to give the community ownership over the pop up shop. This participation encourages individuals to practice the important activity of taking ownership over community decisions and frameworks that affect them on a larger scale. Public Coffee believes that instigating social responsibility will empower individuals to make broader-sweeping social changes.

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  • Public Coffee gets people talking by serving coffee in a public setting alongside many shared and collaborative elements. Individuals will be encouraged to learn about each other when they get involved with the pop up shop. In these encounters with strangers, many people ask questions – like where we come from or what we do – that help us to find out if we have anything in common or anything to offer. Public Coffee sees these encounters as fertile ground for the merging of diverse passions and expertise. In this combination of transdisciplinary knowledge, we’re able to grow new ideas that apply to more people! (That’s how Public Coffee came about!)

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  • Public Coffee takes on the form of a food truck in order to be familiar and inviting to a broad spectrum of people. In contrast to food trucks, however, serving coffee and financial profits aren’t the priority of this coffee shop on wheels.

    Public Coffee operates within a pay-what-you-can model so that everyone can participate in its programming regardless of their ability to pay for a cup of coffee. Public Coffee will also consistently visit 4 neighborhoods each week - demographically diverse and varied in nearness to local coffeehouses (we’re talking “coffee deserts”). This way, we will develop a relationship with these neighborhoods in order to study the long-term relationship between Public Coffee and a variety of contexts. For two days of the week, individuals and local organizations are encouraged to invite Public Coffee to their neighborhoods or organizations for its implementation. The malleability of Public Coffee’s setting and financial frameworks provides greater opportunities for community members to participate in a communal coffee shop.

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  • We encourage people who have identified a need in their own neighborhood to use Public Coffee as the toolbox for starting meaningful conversations. We will gladly station ourselves outside apartment complexes where none of the residents know each other; in the parking lot of an office building to get different businesses talking to each other; in the center of a cul-de-sac where none of the neighbors have had the chance to chat.

    When Public Coffee is in operation, it will provide an online platform for the public to request the pop up shop in their neighborhoods. We will schedule these requests into the two days of the week that fall outside of the four recurring neighborhoods. Public Coffee will keep a schedule updated online to inform interested participants about its upcoming route.

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  • Volunteer “facilitators” will operate Public Coffee throughout the first year of operations. These facilitators will introduce visitors to the structure and vision of Public Coffee. They will explain the pay-what-you-can model, offer to teach each visitor how to brew their cup of coffee, explain the modular furniture at the space, and help get conversations rolling!

    We are looking for facilitators to work at Public Coffee starting in May. Please contact us at http://mailto:hello@publiccoffee.org if you’re interested.

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  • The idea for Public Coffee was developed out of conversations in coffee shops. Our conversations have held the presence of designers, social artists, educators, coffee visionaries, social workers, businessmen, a farmer’s market director, and architects.

    It was during these conversations that we realized that our gatherings held a great deal of weight and could lead to self-realizations, a deeper level of connection between individuals, and the development of entirely new projects. We wanted to recreate these experiences for other people, and so we thought up Public Coffee.

    Public Coffee is collaboratively built and wants to be collaborative in its operations. We want the surrounding city to tell it where to show up. We want communities to take charge of it for their events. We want neighborhoods to move and utilize its furniture and equipment in a way our team never imagined. Public Coffee is meant to serve the communities in which it resides.

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  • Coffee will be made using Aeropress, V60, and Chemex manual brewing techniques. We have chosen these methods because they can be simply used at home with few pieces of equipment. Our processes are meant to be accessible and easy to learn.

    Chemex:

    V60:

    Aeropress:

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    Logo Sticker - A vinyl sticker printed by Ink Monstr. Stick it on a waterbottle, a laptop, or maybe even your bumper!

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    Letterpressed Postcards - A stack of three blank handmade letterpressed postcards. Drop a line to that special someone or just write to say "hi".

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    Coffee Cup - A cup the Public Coffee logo on it. Have a great conversation everyday at home with a cup full of coffee!

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    Public Coffee Premier Party - A special invitation to Public Coffee's secret launch party. The top secret location information will be delivered to you the day of. Shhhh! Just don't tell anyone where it is! Hint: Top secret location is in Denver. Transportation not provided.

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    Journal - A hand-stitched journal with Public Coffee's logo will help you take notes on all of your best conversations. Bring this journal with you on your trip to Public Coffee.

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    Tote Bag - A canvas tote bag with Public Coffee's logo screen printed on the front. Carry all your favorite things with you, everywhere you go! Printed by A Small Print Shop.

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    T-Shirt - A t-shirt with Public Coffee's logo screen printed on the front. Wherever you go, everyone will know just how much your support to Public Coffee means. Printed by A Small Print Shop.

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    Limited Edition Art Prints - A woodblock-printed poster illustrating home brew methods, hand-drawn by Marie Janiszewski.

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    Home Barista Class - A class provided by Happy Coffee that teaches different manual brew techniques. This class includes all donors of this pledge amount. Can't wait to see you there! OR! Tote+Journal - If you can't make it to Denver, we'll send you one of our Public Coffee totes with a hand-stitched journal in it!

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    Local Coffee & Public Cups - 2 coffee cups with the Public Coffee logo and a bag of Huckleberry Roasters coffee. Have a great conversation over your favorite cup of coffee!

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    Private Home Barista Class - A coffee home brew class at Happy Coffee, plus a tote including a vinyl sticker, poster, and a bag of Huckleberry Roasters coffee to take home with you. OR! Public Coffee PACK = Tote + Cup + Journal

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    Public Coffee Book - A coffee table book cataloguing the project. The perfect addition to your coffee table. OR! Public Coffee BUNDLE = Tote + Shirt + Cup + Journal

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    Private Home Barista Class and an Aeropress - A private class at Happy Coffee that includes an Aeropress so you can make your own cup of coffee on the go! You also get to take home a bag of Huckleberry Roasters coffee and a Public Coffee t-shirt! OR! Public Coffee BUNDLE = Tote + Shirt + Cup + Journal

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    Public Coffee Event - An event open to the public and dedicated to you! You can help plan who will collaborate on the event and where it will be held. You get a t-shirt to wear and a journal to jot your ideas down. Location is limited to the greater Denver area. OR! Public Coffee BUNDLE = Tote + Shirt + Cup + Journal

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    Public Coffee Private Event - Public Coffee will provide the coffee and vehicle for your private event. Event is limited to 50 people. Location is limited to the greater Denver area. OR! Public Coffee BUNDLE = Tote + Shirt + Cup + Journal

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    Big Public Coffee Private Event - Public Coffee will provide the coffee and vehicle for your private event. Event is limited to 100 people. Location is limited to the greater Denver area.

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Funding period

- (23 days)