Two sisters brew iced coffee and hot espresso that has customers driving from near and far to sample the morning’s perk.
Brandy Huls and Tanya Thrift launched “Sisters Coffee AKA That Coffee Chic” about seven months ago. They began utilizing from their refurbished 1969 Coachman in March.
Before that, “That Coffee Chic,” sold coffee at Small Town Rags in Callahan.
The camper launched the venture into a new direction.
“Nassau named us,” Huls said, adding, “I’ve always worked on creamers and I’ve never been simple, so that’s what I’ve credited it to, is always wanting something better out of my recipes and food and drinks. I’ve always worked on my own creamers and nothing ever came of it. One day it just clicked and I had a drink. And I was like, ‘that’s really good.’ And I made another one, and I was like, ‘Dang, that’s really good.’”
She called Thrift and asked her to come over to her house for a taste test.
“I knew off the bat she had to be my partner,” Huls said. “I wouldn’t have done it if weren’t for her, because she encouraged me and pushed me to do it. When we would be out and about just doing our errands or something, we’d hear ‘Hey, you’re that coffee chick.’ So that’s where it came from, but since we’ve partnered up and opened this up, we’ve changed the name to Sisters Coffee AKA That Coffee Chic, so people would know that it was still us.”
Ashli Hall stops by the camper a couple times each week for the iced coffee.
She placed her insulated tumbler on the counter for a fill-up, which will cost her a little extra. Coffee drinks range from $4.50 to $7, depending on the preparation. Double shot espressos are $2. Along with the creamer, the caramel swirled on top by request is made from scratch. The coffee and espresso is purchased from a local vendor. Hot coffee, hot lattes, regular cold brew, decaffeinated cold brew and espresso are available.
If the camper isn’t in Hall’s hometown of Callahan, she drives to Hilliard to grab a fresh brew.
“It’s just really good coffee,” she said. “It’s better than Starbucks. I just like the Cool Whip. And they make their own caramel, so it’s just good-flavored coffee.”
Huls tows the trailer with her Chevy Tahoe to Hilliard, Callahan, Yulee and Fernandina. The women’s husbands support their entrepreneurial spirit.
Huls’ husband Brian remodeled the trailer and Thrift’s husband Nick completed the electrical work necessary to outfit the coffee machines. The rustic but modern interior features handcrafted wood counters.
The trailer concept isn’t too far from the makeshift setup the pair contrived as children to serve make-believe customers.
“It’s fallen out of the sky,” Thrift said of the business. “I love it. It’s a dream come true. We used to play drive-thru as kids. We’d have a little drive-thru in the shed and we would play McDonald’s. We’d come through on a lawnmower in the little drive-thru and serve dog food and baby food.”
“On a Snapper lawnmower,” Huls interjected.
Social media has helped the business grow as the baristas send out daily updates to alert customers to their locations. The busy sisters try to set up in Hilliard and Callahan at least twice a week.
“I was just telling them that I stalk their page on Facebook to find where they are,” Hall said.
Hilliard resident Baylee Dover receives text alerts so she doesn’t miss out.
To receive a text alert, text NASSAU to 31996 to get updates on the camper’s location and times of business.
“How they announce it, you know, they let you know when they’re going to be here and what times they’re going to be here,” Dover said. “And then if they get sold out, you know, they send out text messages, which I like, because then I know I don’t need to come uptown or whatever.”
Leah Johnson visits the traveling kiosk as much as possible. She chose the River Bottom Cold Brew with a sugar-free option. The coffee serves as a baseline and delivers a full-bodied finish that lingers on the palate.
“I like any coffee,” she said. “I do the iced one. I particularly like the iced.”
Alicia Head is one of the original customers.
“Regular, sugar-free, they’re all amazing,” she said, adding that each time they’re in Hilliard she stops by, sometimes purchasing as many as six coffee drinks at once for herself and others.
The sisters greet customers like family as they prepare beverages.
“It’s a dream come true,” Thrift said. “I mean, it’s nice to be supported the way that we are. It’s amazing. It’s very appreciated and emotional.”
Huls agrees the business provides new opportunities for them.
“Feeling successful and more than just a mom and a housewife, I think, and not knocking that at all, because, you know, that was my dream, ” she said. “But to actually be able to be successful at something and for it to be as big as it is, it’s just humbling and, I don’t know, I can’t explain it.”
Cynthia Hicks described the sugar-free version as the best she’s ever had.
“Another name for it is coffee crack,” she said adding, “The other coffee is really, really good, too. It’s got a good deep, rich base.”