Serena Liu gets up around 5 a.m., turns on her espresso machine, eats breakfast and makes sure that everything is loaded into the van.
Her one employee, Hannah Ames, arrives around 6:30, bringing fresh food from the local bakery that they use for the truck’s snacks. Eventually, Serena plans to have Hannah drive a second Cafe2U van, and they’ll split the profits from the second van. For now, Hannah helps Serena serve the customers on their first route.
Their first stop, at 7 a.m., lasts about 30 minutes. It’s one of their longest stops of the day. Most of the stops are 15 minutes. Her stops include banks, a college, car dealerships, medical offices, a mental health facility, a day-care and a strip shopping center with a health club and a dress shop.
Most stops have 5 to 10 customers, so nobody has to wait too long for their coffee. Her last delivery happens no later than 2 p.m. From there, she stops by a local food vendor to restock sandwiches, sodas and other food for the next day, she cleans out the van and equipment, checks inventory, reloads supplies and fills the fresh water tank.
Once 3:30 rolls around, she picks up her kids — and she is free to enjoy the afternoon and evening with them.
That freedom was one of the big attractions for Liu when she first learned about Cafe2U. She had considered starting a photography business, which would have required a lot of night and weekend work. She is actively involved in her church on Saturdays and wanted a business that gave her free and clear weekends.
Cafe2U offered her the flexibility to practice her faith, spend time with her children, and still run a successful business.