Java Up mobile coffee shop offers coffee to go

Tyrone Perry, former manager of Openroad in Columbus, decided to leave the coffeehouse to pursue his dream of owning of his own coffee shop. Java Up, which serves traditional coffees, teas and muffins, provides Perry with the means to fulfill his dream until he has the resources to build a “brick and mortar” shop in the future.

Tyrone Perry, former manager of Openroad in Columbus, decided to leave the coffeehouse to pursue his dream of owning of his own coffee shop. Java Up, which serves traditional coffees, teas and muffins, provides Perry with the means to fulfill his dream until he has the resources to build a “brick and mortar” shop in the future. (Photo by Michael O’Hearn)

When Tyrone Perry managed Openroad Coffee & Tea in Columbus for a year, his ultimate dream was to own his own coffee shop.

Perry has operated Java Up, a mobile coffee truck that makes stops in Landrum, Tryon and Mill Spring, for three and a half months.

“I’ve been in retail for the last 17 years, and so I said I wanted to own my own coffee shop,” Perry, 45, said. “I took a step in that direction with Openroad in managing that coffee shop for a year. There have been a lot of requests for a mobile unit.”

Perry worked at Ralph Lauren in Gaffney, S.C. while living in Spartanburg.  The Java Up owner grew up in Kannapolis just north of Charlotte before leaving after high school to join the Navy for nine years, spending three years in Spain while active.

“After being in retail for 17 years, I decided to do what I really wanted to do which is to own a coffee shop,” Perry said. “I’ve seen the inside of running a coffee shop being with Openroad but I wanted to take this direction.”

The Java Up shop rotates on a weekly schedule, stopping across from Ingles at TitleMax in Landrum on Mondays and Tuesdays, in front of Thompson’s Gallery in Tryon on Wednesdays and Thursdays and in front of the agricultural center in Mills Spring on Fridays. The mobile unit is usually open mornings from 8 to about 11, and afternoons from 2 until 5 or 6 p.m., according to Perry.

“We’re basically in three different locations through the week,” Perry said. “On weekends, we look at different things that we can take part in.”

By operating the mobile Java Up trailer, Perry one day hopes to open a “brick and mortar” shop.

“Just about every coffee and beverage is served here,” Perry said. “We do teas, a special Ginger Thai and a salted caramel mocha hot chocolate and as far as pastries go we can only do a muffin right now.”

The products Perry uses for Java Up are provided to him by Leopard Forest, a coffeehouse in Traveler’s Rest. The company has another shop in Marrietta, S. C.

“You know, the thing I’ve noticed about the coffee industry is that there is more camaraderie than competition,” Perry said. “I drive down to Traveler’s Rest to get my coffee products just to get the one-on-one interaction to build the relationship. I’ve actually been a guest barista in their coffee shop this past month, which was pretty cool.”

Perry said multiple requests lead him to opening the new coffee shop on wheels.

“There had been a lot of requests for a mobile shop when I was at Open Road,” Perry said. “This was also a step in the direction of opening my own shop and part of my plan is to eventually have a brick and mortar but I basically wanted to start out this way and build clientele and a reputation. When I can open the brick and mortar, I can hopefully do more things.”

Perry and his wife, along with their two kids, pitch in to operate the mobile shop when traffic picks up for the owner.

Perry says he wants to continue to have the truck once he opens the brick and mortar so that he can take it along to events such as the festival in Cashiers in order to build a reputation.

“There’s a lot of opportunity with this,” Perry said. “I’ve already got a few things lined up for this upcoming year like a big art festival taking place in Cashiers and they looked me up and asked me to come along with my truck. To me, that’s pretty cool.”

By following Java Up on Facebook and Instagram, Perry says folks can learn about where the truck is located and when.

Perry even sells Java Up’s signature blend for $9.50 for an 8 ounce bag plus shipping should anyone have the desire to purchase it through the Square Up market website.

The coffee beans used in the signature blend are from Crake Valley Estate in Zimbabwe, according to Perry.

“Staying connected, especially with going mobile, keeps people in the know of where I’m at every day,” Perry said. “Consistency across the board is going to be my New Year’s resolution, with business, my family and life. You know, just sticking to my plans and my goals with hopefully the same drive and passion that got me going. If it’s something you love, then it’s worth it.”

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