Sunday, 26 February 2012


ok maybe i should leave out the FU but

"Is the coffee good?" this question tells me two things about you

ONE being that you perceive me as an employee either because i'm a girl or that i'm youngish or perhaps you're so unfamiliar with small business and entrepreneurship that the fact that i am the owner doesn't even cross your mind  

number TWO is that you've falsely assumed i would be a disloyal employee. one that would lean across the counter and whisper 'don't bother' with a wink.

luckily i am self employed and after an appropriate amount of blank stare, i simply say "Yes"

that's on a good day

"Is the coffee fresh?" ...well you just watched me bound into the trailer to retrieve 4 new pots of coffee like an Oktoberfest barmaid and before i could even transfer them into a thermos you watched me pour 7 cups of piping hot coffee for the people in front of you."DID YOU JUST ASK IF THE COFFEE IS FRESH??" i ask you. staff begin to laugh nervously, everyone in line behind you looks at their feet

i'm sure at this point it all comes to you like one of those pinhole cameras smell the right smell, you see the pot steaming, you hear the grinder grinding and out of the corner of you eye you now even notice the people at the service bar smiling and nodding. but it's too late. you asked

is it because i don't have a giant banner that say FRESH HOT COFFEE?? or coffee bean graphics wrapped around my trailer? Espresso flags flying? logo-ed shirts and matching visor?

i TRULY BELIEVE i have given you all the RIGHT clues though. just look around

whole beans, coffee grinders, espresso grinders, manual espresso machines, cream (not whitener ugh), wooden stir sticks, raw sugar, high quality cups, fresh flowers and antiques.

other questions i've enjoyed over the years;

Is there something special about your coffee?
Should i get a coffee here or at that other place?
Will it be as good as the coffee i had in Italy?

sorry i was so rude


Thursday, 23 February 2012


The Wandering Bean... that's spelled  W.A.N.D. not W.O.N.D.

have you ever wondered how we got our name? like it or not, it works. i'm not even sure why. blair thought it up. it was actually the Traveling Bean but a British friend added Wandering. sounded better

i don't really like it but customers get that 'ahhh ha' look when they realise it refers to the fact that we do not have a permanent location. suppliers remember it too.

when you name your child imagine yelling out for them at the playground. you don't want 10 kids to come running and you don't want to feel lke an idiot, do you?

same applies here. test it out.

"hey while you're out, grab me a coffee at 'YOUR UGLY MUG'"
"hello, this is_______ from 'NICE PERKS'"
"let's get a latte at 'BREW HA HA'"

STOP trying too hard

Brews D'Ego - Caffiend - Cafe Diem - Latte Tudes - F'Coffee (sorry)

equivalent children's names would be Baylee, Jaxon, Kooper, FeeBee, Jorja or Lyndzee

DON"T imply you do more that just make coffee

Bump and Grind - Strange Brew - Whip it Good - Bean Busters - Espresso Yourself  

don't name your daughter Candy, Bandi, Crystal or Desiree either

RELAX you're way too serious

Cup O'Joy - The Great Awakening - Bean around the World - A Cup Above

Herald? Sigmund? Grant?... for god's sake it's just a baby!!

now you're totally boring

Bean Here - Coffee Cafe - Java House - Beans, Beans 

you'll get what you give if you name your kid Steve, Kevin or Jane

STOP you're killing me...

Bean Me Up - Human Bean - Bean Counter - Cup-a-Cabana - Bean Caffeinated?

just put a bow tie on him and be done with it

i would want to give my business and for that matter my child a name that they might not be judged. i'd want you to get to know them and judge them later

Monday, 20 February 2012

STAFF REVIEW #1 Hiring Beardos

the mountain man  
the tuxedo shirt was unexpected. Heritage Toy Maker and wood carver he would drag himself to the big city and help us out. always smiling

Woodie Outfitter
even gave the counter a try

east coast funny guy
blair began thinking we should change our name to Beardo Coffee and maybe he should grow a beard too. awesome

BUT do BEARDOS and COFFEE go together??

board of health doesn't think so. i think they'd like it if we were all bald. they have a lot of rules. did you know when you chew gum you spray micro-organisms everywhere? 

so what's the Beardo Coffee Solution??

the *beard guard?

how about something a little more approchable and LOCAL!

Would you hire a BEARDO??

Sunday, 19 February 2012

EGGSHELLS of my mind ... in my COFFEE???

so i was thinking about breakfast all in one cup. looked into it and found the following. egg. eggshells too. grind them up and add them to your coffee? 

blow my mind, the eggshell of my mind. 

before we begin please turn to the bottom of the page and start the music. video is just a pic of a garage i assume as an ode to the 'garage band'. bless them all. this is not a song i randomly looked up either. it puts you in a deadhead frame of mind.

help me separate the yolks from my whites

Lutheran Church Basement Egg Coffee

wash the egg. crach over coffee. throw in the shells too
1 cup of medium grind coffee. i had fresh roasted yirgucheffe
add a tbsp of water and make into a paste
add 6 cups or boiling water. boil for 10-15 minutes 

you are supposed to add a cup of cold water at this point
to make grinds and shells settle.
i filtered it instead. had to stir to get it all through

it's very clear. not thin. clear. smooth, red and glossy.
more like tea 


and it tastes like very mild coffee but not weak coffee.
no egg taste

maybe it makes bad coffee good?
maybe it adds protiens?
maybe it reminds you of your scandinavian roots?

a lot of steps and i'm not sure what for...
hope you enjoyed the tunes atleast


"Gazing out my window I can see the snow below,
and it flows into my soul from the eggshell of my mind.
I found a way I could navigate my boat through these troubled waters,
to the shores of Shangri-La.

Eggshells, Eggshells, help me separate my yolks from my whites.

Standing in the phone booth just waiting for the call,
but I don't know who it is or where they are.
Biding my time, in the heart of the purple city,
these bright lights shining in my eyes.

Eggshells, Eggshells, help me separate my yolks from my whites.

So there I was, all alone. Nowhere left to go but down. Only thing on my face was a frown.

Eggshells, Eggshells, help me separate my yolks from my whites."

Saturday, 18 February 2012


Dear Show Co-ordinator and/or Jury

The Wandering Bean Coffee Co can provide GREAT coffee at your event!

 Anytime, anywhere. Indoors or outdoors.

We have participated in over 300 events in Ontario since 1997. Big (CNE, Hillside Music Festival, Christie Antique Shows, NLFB, Winterlude, Royal Winter Fair) & small (Milton Craft Shows, British Cars DaysCanterbury Folk Festival, Elmira Maple Syrup Festival) with attendences between 1500 and 200 000 daily.  

We serve our own fresh roasted coffee, ground and brewed onsite. Speciality drinks (espresso, cappuccino, latte, mocha, chai) all made from scratch.  

Summer menu includes real iced coffees, homemade lemonade and fresh brewed iced tea.

Our truck is equipped with a triple sink and handwashing station, meeting or exceeding all health codes. A retrofitted wood exterior and a stainless steel interior.

Thanks for the time it takes it look over our application. Refrence, photos, menu and price list upon request.

Please feel free to contacts with any ideas or suggestions you may have,

Wandering Bean Coffee Co.

p.s.  Cheque enclosed 

Friday, 17 February 2012


"I mean, it's real hard to be free when you are bought and sold in the marketplace." 
- Easy Rider

Larry rides up on an eBike to get coffee... seriously

Larry Dawidowitz was born in Toronto Ontario on February 2nd, 1955. (Ground Hog's Day)

Larry attended Humber College where he studied Package Development and Design, a first time course in Canada brought over from England by David Chesterton. It was a 7 year course crammed into three years. It was a combination of Structural Design and Graphic Arts. Larry Graduated in 1979 and worked as a Graphic Artist and part-time Emcee at a Comedy Club in Toronto. Occasionally he demonstrated products for Steve Rosenberg, Co-Star of Award Winning
National Film Board Documentary "PITCHMAN", Steve hired Larry's Company to help promote products at Trade Shows via Demonstration Sales. Long before Infomercials Larry and a select few promoted products at Major Shows across the country with a Microphone strapped around their necks....

ummm did they say 7yrs? ... dr. DewDad? 

i think i've bought everything but i love the leg sander. really works. plus if you catch them when it's slow they'll give you a touchup during the day    

so next time you're listening to the pitch take a look at what they're drinking and
ask which way to the wandering bean

Thursday, 16 February 2012


January/February is application time. March, you're too late

so begins my yearly ritual...

all year i collect free calendars. i have a Krug's Meat Market calendar and one from the dollar store of carribean island because it's always best to stay motivated during this process

i begin by filling in all the shows i will never to stop doing until i'm dead and then my kids will take over.
the fear at this point is that 2 of my best shows will overlap. it happens. let's not talk about the leap year

once i can see the glaring holes in the calendar i begin...


finding shows is easy. finding the right shows is a lot harder.

there are 2 types of show.


some but not all of the following may apply

- big rent

- electrial fees btween $25-$500 depending on your needs and the shows

- water fees plumbed in/out by union members only, grey water disposal or just connection fees

- travel expenses

- accomodations this alone is a good reason to be married to you staff or atleast willing to sleep in the same bed.

- competeion

but big shows are BIG! hopefully


again some but not all of these might apply

- smaller fees

- inclusives prices

- close to home, you're not going to travel to a small show an incure the costs

- no staff needed

- exclusivity

but small shows can mean small money. still they can also be less complicated. the bottom line could even be quite good.

the search begins for new shows...


we roast coffee. via an Ambex YM5. in the garage

we therefore have a lot of coffee sitting around so I had an idea, roast it and rub it on whatever meat was in the fridge, turns out we had a mass of ribs

first i roasted a bit of Tarrazu RFA  and searched for a recipe. found this recipe for rib eye steaks but thought it would do. Bobby Flay I think?

1/4 cup ancho chile powder
1/4 cup finely ground expresso-roast coffee beans
2 tbsp sweet paprika
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tbsp dry mustard
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp dired oregano
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tspn ground ginger
2 tspn chile de arbor powder or cayenne (optional)

didn’t have dried oregano or corriander so i threw in something green, sweet basil?

The direstions were ”rub it on” Hm

i removed the membrane stuff off the back of the ribs first (scrape knife along bone to start then peel back) salted and peppered and cooked for about 3 hrs at 350 with the lid on.

THEN i rubbed, Bobby!

bbqued for about 7-10 minutes on each side…well i didn’t. Blair did. it’s cold out there!

no words needed

rated a 9/10 by the family. maybe a little more sugar to balance espresso


i thought i'd bring you inside

Saturday, 11 February 2012


when i grow up I want to own a llama farm
when I grow up I want to have a B&B
when I grow up I want to run an antique store, cafe, wool shop
get paid to write travel journals and test video games

or I could own a food truck!

the dream and the reality are many bites apart

take that Llama thing for instance…who knew ‘hoof and mouth’ disease was so catchy. Ostrich meat didn’t catch on, i’ve never tried it…maybe Remy has? i see a bunch/herd/flock?? of them out Peterborough way…or maybe those are Emu

Food Trucks though are AWESOME

step trucks, catering trucks and converted vans are great if you want to pull away every night to restock, refuel and clean. They are perfect for a route or curbside service. Easy to pull into local events and festivals.

I have a reoccurring nightmare of being stuck roadside. down the road customers are lined up …but i just caaaan’t reeeeach themmmmmmm

BUY USED… which seems to be counter intuitive to my nightmare

try Kijiji or Craigslist

BUY NEW if you’re flush with cash

Kitchen on Wheels

start ups cost can be as low as $10 000 and up to $100 000

other options…there are other options 


tradition at it’s best

good for festivals and fairs, events and street locations, great indoors and outdoors in almost all weather, also able to change location at event if need be

downsideZ - limited storage space
                  - lack of security

*trailer hitch is a nice addition to any cart!! This had to be a big issue in the Toronto Al la Cart program… DUH

A la Failure


perfect for festivals and fairs and events, indoor or outdoor, good in almost all weather, super flexible set-up

downsideZ - still need a cargo trailer or van
                  - you are often expected to have a floor at outdoor events
                  - set up time can be a lot

TRAILER with concession window

same as above but when your truck breaks down you can still haul your money maker to the event

downsideZ - tricky to maneuver

*get a removable hitch to save on space and one of those wheel/hitch attachments to maneuver it into tight squeezes


good for festivals, fairs and events, permanent and semi-permanent roadside locations, indoors and outdoors, good in all weather, secure and possibly less $$$ than a Food Truck

downsideZ - there are none.

…nah there’s lots but a DoubleDecker fish & chip truck is a thing of passion. if you convert your 1973 orange VW camper van or need to trip out your Hummer…no one and nothing can bring you down. you’re beautiful

but so are Llamas