HOW WE GOT HERE
Our business began with a chance encounter. In 2020, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, we (Thomas Emanuel and Vida Sharp) met while working at Noe Cafe, a coffee shop that had just opened its doors to the public. The cafe quickly became a vital social space for the neighborhood, where people gathered to reconnect over a cup of coffee and a pastry after months of isolation.
As college students still exploring our interests, we were captivated by the opportunity to engage with a diverse array of individuals, sharing stories and experiences over the simple pleasure of a cup of coffee. We came to realize the importance of a ‘third place’ – a place that goes beyond home, school and work, where people can come together to build relationships and find a sense of belonging.
Inspired by this vision, we embarked on our own journey to create a community-focused coffee experience. We were filled with excitement and naivety when we purchased an eleven-foot-long electric coffee tricycle. However, the steep hills of San Francisco and the challenges of navigating bureaucratic permitting proved to be formidable obstacles for two college kids trying to sell coffee on wheels. A year later, we made the difficult decision to let go of the tricycle and shift our focus.
Undeterred, we pursued an alternative solution and built a compact and portable coffee cart from an old liquor cabinet that we felt held potential for transformation. With some modifications and the addition of wheels, it became our unique mobile coffee cart. Eager to share our passion, we took part in pop-up events, aiming to engage coffee enthusiasts and establish a reputation that would secure bookings.
And we were successful. Our pop-up events and private event bookings flourished. However, the constant movement and the physical demands of setting up every weekend took a toll. That's when Ryan Chinchilla, the owner of Lucinda’s deli, where we frequently set up approached us with an enticing proposal: to run the coffee program at his establishment. Intrigued by the opportunity to settle down and be more accessible to our regular customers, we embraced the idea. With limited funds, we took on the challenge and transformed pallets into a custom coffee cart. This cart became our dedicated space within the deli, offering a place where we could serve our community without the need to constantly move.
THE PRESENT +
OUR VISION FOR THE FUTURE
These days you can find us open to the public five days a week, nestled in the corner of Lucinda’s Deli. Here we get to work towards fulfilling our mission of using coffee to create a space for community. It gives us joy to see our regular customers turn into friends, and we are honored by the comments about the social atmosphere that has been cultivated here. So thank you to our customers and friends who add to the character of this unassuming corner.
We believe that coffee has the power to foster connection and elevate any experience so in addition to serving our community at the deli, we take great pride in offering our services for private events. With our mobile espresso bar, we bring the same specialty coffee experience directly to your chosen location. Please visit our events page to learn more about our coffee catering service.
As we continue to grow and evolve, one of the most common questions we receive is whether we plan to open our own shop. The answer is a resounding yes. The corner of the deli has exceeded our expectations, allowing us to fulfill our original goal which was simply to serve good coffee and meet new people; however, we dream of having our own space that reflects our values as people and as a business – a space in which people can gather and share experiences over a cup of coffee, a space where anyone can find a sense of belonging.
We invite you to join us on this journey. Stay tuned for updates, come visit us at Lucinda’s, and be a part of the future we are building.
April '21 - November '21
February '22 - July '22
BUILDING THE MOBILE BAR
November '21 - February '22
CASTRO FARMERS' MARKET
July '22 - July '23
BUILDING THE BAR