Ever find yourself craving sustainable, high-end coffee that you’d only find in the likes of an Italian café? Look no further than Central Arkansas’ newest addition to the local coffee scene – Café 7181. The teardrop trailer cart is here to fill that caffeine craving, once and for all.
Working as a corporate man for Acxiom for over 15 years, Stephen Kincaid may seem like an unlikely coffee enthusiast, but he’s been a serious hobbyist for some time as he says, “I’ve loved coffee for all of my adult life.”
With the help of his wife, Elizabeth, he plans to bring a quality cup of java to Central Arkansas. Everything from the brand name to the cart set-up has been carefully crafted to ensure that his operation will run smoothly when he opens, which will hopefully be sometime next week, pending final business procedures.
Start with the name, and you can see how passionate Kincaid is when it comes to operating a coffee cart. “I was born in ’71, and my wife was born in ’81, hence you get 7181. Plus, we love coffee and we love each other, so it just fit,” he says, smiling.
Don’t stop there, and look closely at the seahorse in the logo. The symbol acts as a testament to the couple’s love for the beach, as well as a cheeky dig at the popular Starbuck’s mermaid logo.
With a recent reorganization at Acxiom, Kincaid took the opportunity to follow his passion, as he says, “I decided to focus on that closet barista hobbyist side of me instead of go back into the corporate world.”
Although Café 7181 may make a brick-and-mortar appearance someday, he chose to follow a food truck route in order to get his feet wet. A couple of friends had operated food trucks in the past, and he talked with them before deciding on a custom built teardrop trailer.
The size makes sense economically speaking, and the teardrop aesthetic points to an outdoor lifestyle, which also fits the bill. “My wife and I are into fitness and the outdoors and hiking in Arkansas, and that even shapes our business model,” Kincaid explains.
This love for fitness spills over into the food offerings that will be available at the cart. Kincaid, a CrossFit veteran, wants to offer items that would fall within a healthy, active person’s regimen. “We’ll have items from whole foods as well as paleo offerings and gluten free options,” he says, and although the offerings won’t be made in-house, they’ll truly complement an active lifestyle which meets his goals. He’s particularly excited to be the first in Arkansas to partner with Yebo, a coffee fruit bar.
As exciting as this all is, don’t forget about the coffee itself. Café 7181 offerings will include cold brew, drip coffee, pour over, and even various teas. The brews will all be fueled by Mountain Bird Coffee, a coffee roasting company in Eureka Springs. Also in effort to stay local, the tea will be made with local Mountain Valley Spring Water.
The cart is equipped with cold brew taps, adding yet another unique feature to the experience. Also worth mentioning is the Fit Frappe station. “Basically you can order a frappe that’s been made with a protein,” he says, and customers can chose between mocha, vanilla latte, and caramel flavors.
Café 7181 will be on the move, much like its targeted customer base. “We really want to service that person who doesn’t have time to sit in their local coffee bar, but really wants some delicious, Italian style coffee,” Kincaid explains.
So far, Café 7181 has plans to service the Benton/Bryant area, and will be teaming up with The Speakeasy Café. They plan to park there occasionally, usually in the morning, although the partnership doesn’t stop there. They also plan to sell food items such as muffins from Speakeasy to complement a cup of Café 7181 coffee.
If Benton is too far out, don’t despair. Café 7181 also plans to service Hot Springs as well as Little Rock. The best way to connect with them is by finding them through their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts, or by visiting their website: www.cafe7181.com.