The popular coffee market in West Philadelphia is expanding in new ways as a rookie business is finding a unique method of getting their product to consumers.
Peddler Coffee, founded by Zachary James and Rich Kessler, is a mobile barista service that caters to various sections of Philadelphia—most recently, Baltimore Avenue in Cedar Park. They cruise the streets in custom Peddler Coffee tricycles.
“Peddler just comes from the mindset of a traveler and just moving around a lot,” said Zachary James. “I thought that would be a great for a mobile coffee [company]. What’s great is the peddler camaraderie. I’ll be riding down and I’ll see someone selling vegetables and I’ll ring my bell.”
The chic black tricycles, bell included, act as moving billboards to passersby.
“It seems like there’s three stages,” James stated. “People will come by and say, ‘What is it?’ and question themselves, and then come over. I might get a couple of looks and I’ll try to ring the bell and say hi. And some people will just be like ‘Hey coffee guy!’ and I’ll turn around and sell.”
To James and Kessler, it’s all about the coffee as much as it is the means of selling it. To them, it’s about quality—from the farms that they purchase from to the process by which they roast. While they may cut corners through Baltimore Avenue, they don’t when it comes to buying beans from farmers. To ensure quality in every cup they brew, they pay a premium to small-scale farmers for an excellent product.
“Our Instagram is our most popular social media outlet,” James said. “The pictures kind of speak to people.”
James, who was a graphic design major, designed the cups and coffee bags.
Peddler currently only has iced coffee but plans on offering hot soon. Within the coming months, Peddler hopes to become a convenient source of coffee in West Philadelphia.
– Text, video and images by Kevin Deegan and Mike Talvacchia.