People often ask about the origins of our company. We were guests at amazing events in beautiful venues with outstanding food, drinks, and desserts. But when it came time for coffee, it did not stand out. And by that time, as consumers we were getting accustomed to having access to specialty coffees. So we wondered if we couldn’t provide that for catered events. Imagine having made-to-order espressos, lattes, or cappuccinos at a business or social event? Now you can—specialty coffee for special events!
— KU

The Reverse Oregon TraiL

For coffee, that is

As a young Florida bride of a native Oregonian, I visited Portland often and enjoyed the coffee culture immensely.  It sparked a desire to introduce the cutting edge coffee "vibe" to Northeast Florida - a reverse Oregon Trail in a sense.   In 2006, after training with the American Barista and Coffee School in Portland, we returned to Jacksonville, Florida, with the passion and vision that created Espresso à la Carte.  Providing specialty coffee catering, we had the pleasure of working with adventurous clients who included our espresso bar at some of the area's most prestigious events and venues.  

detour

Pause, retool

 

Our pioneering concept did well, and Northeast Florida had many early adopters to specialty coffee catering. However, it cut deeply into family time so we closed the company for a number of years so we could focus on our children who were growing up fast!  Other life events unfolded, and a "new normal" was established for our family.  Then, it was time. As a family, we decided that we were ready and excited to re-enter the world of specialty coffee catering.

Resuming the adventure

Forward expansion with the second generation

We reestablished Espresso à la Carte in the spring of 2016 and realized we wanted this next generation to benefit from the same immersion training we had received ten years prior. We flew across the country, braved the snowy roads, and received customized barista training in Portland. It was a day full of laughter, learning, concentration, extracting, frothing, sipping, measuring, reminiscing, and most importantly to me--a day of transferring the passion for excellence in every cup into this second generation.  These new baristas are already adding hands-on experience to their training, and their excitement is helping garner bookings for the espresso bar into the near future.