KLEAN Cafe Goes North!

KLEAN Cafe has returned from a 10-day tour of Oregon and Washington State and we had a blast! This was our first multi-state road-trip so needless to say there was a lot to prepare for. First I had to strip down and re-organize the truck for a 3,000mile round trip drive through the Pacific Northwest in the middle of winter. The truck is set up to do local trips so storing 10 days worth of coffee and supplies took some effort.

The truck was due for maintenance, which required the services and expertise of Bruce Kosmala the founder of The Original Seattle Coffee Company and builder of our beautiful beverage truck. We went through all the truck’s mechanical systems from head to toe and converted the truck’s electrical system to be able to plug into a regular outlet for charging while on the road. Thanks to Bruce, I learned a tremendous amount about how our truck works and all the details that goes into building a food and beverage truck.

My good friends at Black Drop Coffee Roasters in San Gabriel California gave me an intense refresher course in artisan coffee mechanics and donated over 10 pounds of their amazing bean to our non-profit. Their coffee lab and roaster is a sight to behold and I was served the best pour over I’ve ever had. Their bean was well received on the tour. Those guys are mad scientists and real artists to say the least.

I left out of Burbank with severe winds being reported on Interstate 5 so I filled the water tanks to add some ballast to the back of the truck to help keep me on the road and it was a good thing I did because I drove through winds gusting up to 60 mph. I drove through Mount Shasta and Grants Pass with snow on the ground, ice on the road and the occasional bout of sleet and falling snow. I took it slow and the truck did well with the added weight.

After 3 days I arrived in Portland Oregon for the famous Western Area Conference of Young People in Alcoholics Anonymous other wise known as (WACYPAA). We were invited by their activities committee, along with two other food trucks, to attend and it was amazing and inspiring to see so many young people that have struggled with addiction and have achieved sobriety in their lives. There were young people in recovery from all over the country converging to celebrate and support each other in their sobriety and it was an honor for KLEAN Cafe to be apart of this event.

Johanna from (KLEAN Treatment Centers in Long Beach Washington) and her husband David jumped on board the truck along with KLEAN Alumni, to help out and we served coffee and talked to people attending the event throughout the night. It was great to hear their stories and make new connections.

After three days in Portland, we ventured north to Astoria Oregon and Long Beach Washington, home of KLEAN’s Intensive Outpatient program and KLEAN Long Beach, our residential treatment facility on the north coast. First we stopped in Astoria, famous for “The Goonies” and a beautiful town on the edge of the Columbia River. We took a tour of our IOP facility and served coffee to our clients and employees and toured the rest of the town. To get from Astoria to Long Beach you have to cross the Astoria-Megler Bridge, which is a 4 mile long two lane steel cantilever bridge with no turnouts that spans the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington. Winds were gusting up to 70mph with freezing rain so needless to say it was a slow and terrifying drive, but we made it and now I know our coffee truck can handle almost anything.

The next day we set up in front of KLEAN Long Beach, which is located on the longest peninsula in the world! We met and served coffee to the clients and staff and spent the rest of the day visiting and serving coffee to the good people of Long Beach. We visited the Long Beach Police and Fire Departments and stopped in and met some of the city officials. We were well received and had a great time overall. We also wanted to thank Jules Bellissimo and the rest of the staff at HITS 94.3 KRKZ-FM of Meadows Broadcasting for a great radio interview and helping us get the word out about our PNW tour and KLEAN Cafe’s mission to help those in need of addiction treatment.

Coffee taste better when you know the money you spend goes toward saving people’s lives. On behalf of KLEAN Cafe I would like to sincerely thank everyone who pitched in to make our truck’s first tour a successful one. What a great adventure! We look forward to visiting the Pacific Northwest again and are going to try and make it to the International Kite Festival coming up this summer!