Phoenix New Food Truck Alert: Shine Coffee

photo by Ando Muneno

By Ando Muneno | Phoenix New Times

photo by Ando Muneno

The business: Shine Coffee

What you need to know: Coffee, espresso, tea and kid-friendly flavored milks served out of a stylishly retro 1957 “Flying Cloud” Airstream retrofitted into a mobile java machine. Shine gathers their coffee grounds from local favorites such as Lux and Cartel. Chef Allan Schanbacher of Posh will be producing pastries for them beginning sometime in October.

The story: Laryn and Christiaan Blok did other things before they started their coffee truck. Laryn ran an organic food compnay and Christiaan was an architectural photographer. Last year a desire to find work they could both share in drove them to combine Christiaan’s love of coffee and 50’s era Airstreams with Laryn’s food business know-how. Several designers and two Airstreams later, the Bloks are ready to roll out their family friendly mobile coffee shop.

Tell me about the name?
CB: I think the whole name “Shine,” it absorbs people and at the same time disseminate a wonderful product energy back to the people.

Where did the concept come from?
LB: Chris and I were talking about something we could do together last Fall.. We were at our daughter’s Halloween parade at nine in the morning with 200 other parents looking around, and there was nothing to drink. There’s definitely a market to have a creative experience for delicious coffee drinks.

What has been the hardest part about getting started?
LB: “Finding somebody who was an expert at taking care of renovating an Airstream but who could also deal with the health regulations. And really build a robust, kind of workhorse of a vehicle. I mean, the Airstream is made originally as a pleasure vehicle…we converted this by retrofitting the chassis into something that could hold a lot more weight than it was designed to, an on-board water heater…”

They went through two Airstream experts in California before finding an Airstream rennovation company in Colorado called Timeless Travel Trailers. This crew was not only prepared to make the extensive modifications they required but also understood the web of regulations a food truck must endure. As the Blok’s discussed the specifics of their trailer, one of the companies people was already on the phone with Maricopa County discussing what health codes would apply.