What’s it take to receive the Retailer of the Year Excellence Award of the Year? Read our interview with Andrew Crockett, Founder of HubBub Coffee, as we highlight one of the excellent small businesses that drive the Greater Philadelphia region. Join us to celebrate the 33rd Annual Excellence Award winners on Thursday, November 5 »
Where did the idea for your business come from?
In 2003, while an undergraduate student at UPenn, I studied abroad in Sydney, Australia. In that city, I discovered a vibrant coffee culture revolving around, walk-up café kiosks and outdoor coffee bars. These small stands, which opened right onto the sidewalk, created such a fun, casual way for people to connect through coffee. The big coffee drink in Australia is the Flat White, the perfect ratio of steamed milk to espresso, and I just fell in love with it. From then on, I knew there was an opportunity in the US and specifically in Philadelphia to bring back that walk-up coffee culture and that dedication to friendly service and perfect drinks. In 2009, I launched the HubBub Coffee Truck, a fully operational café on 4 wheels.
Describe the moment that you decided to go into business for yourself. How did you feel once you made the decision?
Well, I was leaving a great job on Wall Street to move home to my parents’ house…so that was an interesting dynamic. Seriously though, it was incredible. I just had this feeling that anything was possible. I didn’t have a road map, I just had an idea, a vision of what could be, no money to lose, and just enough naivety to go for it. Aside from marrying my wife, it’s the best decision I have ever made.
Who has been an inspiration to you as a business owner and why?
I love history and was a history major in college, so I draw inspiration from a range of people and places. My Dad has always been someone I could bounce ideas off of and still do to this day. I am continually inspired by stories of my grandfather and great grandfather, both of whom were entrepreneurs. Being in Philadelphia, there are so many great stories to draw on – people as legendary as Ben Franklin and as contemporary as Yards Brewing Company. We are lucky in Philly to be rich with interesting people – you just have to ask to talk to them and most will make time to share their stories. Well maybe not Ben Franklin, but you get my point!
What makes your business model special?
We want to leave a positive and lasting impact on the people and communities we serve, and so far we have chosen to do that through unique retail experiences. Whether it’s our coffee truck or our Brew Bars or most recently our cold brew trikes, we want to be a company for people that expect more than the status quo. Our goal is to build a great brand and a great company – HubBub is an expansive idea that goes beyond a chain of coffee shops. Ultimately, we want to be a company about great products that are accessible in a range of channels, and retail will always play an important role in our strategy. Stay tuned for some exciting projects that we have in the works.