Locals now have a new spot in Kemptville to grab their morning cup of joe.
Owner/operator of No Go Coffee Co., Karin Rabuka, has officially opened her new mobile café across from the fire station on County Road 44.
Karin has always wanted to own her own coffee shop. With that in mind, she started learning more about coffee in 2010 and decided to try roasting to really get in touch with what makes a quality cup of coffee. To her surprise, the coffee roasting took off and No Go (short for North Gower) Coffee Co. was born. Karin has now been roasting coffee for more than10 years, supplying it to local offices and cafés, and selling it in area grocery stores like B&H Grocer and Jonsson’s Your Independent Grocer.
Although she tried opening a café in Kars, running a coffee shop never fit her lifestyle. With three young kids, coffee roasting worked well because she was able to work out of her garage at home. Six years ago, her family moved from North Gower to a larger property in Kemptville with a big barn so she could have even more room for her coffee roasting operation.
About a year ago, Karin had the idea of starting up a mobile café that she could run part time, while still keeping up with the roasting side of No Go Coffee. A cautious entrepreneur, Karin thought she could start slow, and focus on attending local fairs, festivals, and weddings. She bought an old 1998 GMC Grumman Olson truck, and she and her husband took the better part of a year fixing it up and renovating it to become a mobile café. When it was finished, it was clear to Karin that festivals and weddings were not going to be an option due to the pandemic, so she started looking around for a place to park it for the season. “I spent all that time making the mobile café, I wanted to use it,” she says.
She thought about going back to North Gower, but she really wanted a spot that would have some good car and foot traffic. When she found the location on County Road 44, which was for sale/lease, she called the owner who agreed to let her use the space three days a week until October. She officially opened the mobile café on April 1, and says the reception so far has been amazing. “I didn’t really have any expectations. I wasn’t sure how it would go, but so many people have come out to support me so far, and I’m really grateful for that”, she says.
While many of her customers have been in cars, she also seen people coming by foot from Equinelle and Settlers Grant to check out her café. She currently sells all types of espresso drinks, teas and fresh butter tarts from Loughlin’s Bakery in Hallville, and other baked goods from Grahame’s Bakery in Kemptville. Her plan is to also offer freshly squeezed lemonade during the summer months.
Karin says her favourite part, so far, about running the mobile café, is interacting with customers and having a new venue to introduce them to her coffee. All her coffee is fresh, fair trade and organic, and she makes an effort to be as environmentally friendly as possible, both in her roasting process and packaging. “I’m just super proud of the coffee and what I’ve been able to do with that, and now I’m so happy I can serve it to people.”
The No Go Coffee Co. mobile café is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 7 am-1 pm. For more information about No Go Coffee Co., visit their website www.nogocoffee.com.