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Meet Martin Gajda of The Coffee Trike in Downtown

Today we’d like to introduce you to Martin Gajda.

Martin, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started out helping in my friends’ coffee shop back in Europe and have been hooked on espressos ever since. When I came to Boston and began thinking about starting my own business a coffee shop was my #1 choice. Fast-forward almost two years and three failed business plans here I am – a proud owner of Boston’s finest Coffee Trike. After the third unsuccessful business attempt I started thinking about revamping my original idea of opening a brick and mortar coffee shop by giving it some training wheels. Starting a food truck is a great way to test viability of your business model and I remember coffee trikes were booming right before I left so I naturally came up with the idea of replicating their success here in Boston. Little did I know, building a coffee trike is not an easy feat and as if that wasn’t enough – somebody has already done it! San Bellino started the Coffee Trike in 2012 and turned it into a sought after brand synonymous with exceptional quality and customer service. It didn’t take long before he opened a no less successful brick and mortar and slowly transitioned out of the business. In the process Brad Pillen – a bicycle enthusiast dedicated to making our community a better place – became the man behind the Trike but changing life circumstances lead to him putting The Coffee Trike up for sale. That’s where I come into the picture. As luck would have it the same moment I learnt I wasn’t the first one to have this great idea I found out the business was for sale! Thanks to the immense trust and support of my wife and whole family I was able to follow my dream.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Having a business has been a steep learning curve. Every day is a Monday. It’s definitely not for everybody. But it’s worth it. Usually nothing is as easy and straightforward as it looks and almost everything will take much longer than you expect. But when you finally make it all the obstacles and challenges along the way make it so much more rewarding. As a friend of mine once said “no pressure, no diamonds”. In particular, the amount of red tape and logistics involved in operating a mobile coffee shop together with the technical aspect of the business have become a diamond mine for me.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about The Coffee Trike – what should we know?
We are a specialty coffee shop on wheels. We proud ourselves in using only high quality ingredients to make the best coffee everywhere we go. It all starts with the beans. Responsibly sourced, roasted locally in Worcester, MA. From these fresh beans we pull a rich, tasty, strong espresso shot. Then it’s either “bottoms up” or we steam a little bit of milk from a local farm, maybe add a bit of delicious hot chocolate from Somerville or squeeze in some honey from Berlin, MA and voilà – you don’t need to go to Starbucks anymore! And it’s fun to watch, too. You can see your drink being made from scratch, with care and attention to detail. Our espresso machine has only five buttons. One doesn’t do anything and the other four are used to turn it on. That means every shot of espresso is as close to being handmade as it gets.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I am most grateful to my amazing wife Natalie, her wonderful mother Barbara, my family and friends without whose support and trust none of this would have been possible. I would also like to thank both previous owners Brad and San for all the work, effort, miles and passion they have put into The Coffee Trike and for all the help, advice and mentoring they have given me and continue to give me to help me carry on the torch.

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1 Comment

  1. Zdenek Niewelt

    August 7, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    You have come a long way buddy!

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