Slowed down by theft but undeterred, new local coffee truck gets rolling

Daily Coffee

Chris and Stephanie Haggerty with their recovered vintage bread truck-turned-mobile coffee conveyance. (Photo by Ianne Salvosa)

Earlier this year, as Chris and Stephanie Haggerty were set to launch the Daily Coffee Co. in Richmond, their entire business briefly vanished. 

Daily Coffee is a mobile coffee shop operating out of a vintage, yellow bread truck. But three days before the planned opening date in April, the truck was stolen from near their home in the city.

Then, 24 hours later, the 1960s-era International Harvester Metro step van was recovered, however its coffee equipment, steering column and electrical system were stripped out. 

Now, a few months later, delayed by the theft but undeterred, the Haggertys and Daily Coffee are officially on the road and open for business. 

“It’s been this slog,” Chris said. “It was about 10 weeks, two and a half months of just working day after day after day trying to get back ready for the street.”

Since officially launching June 8, the truck has peddled coffee, pastries and other caffeinated beverages at five different events in Church Hill and Byrd Park so far. 

Getting the business rolling has been a goal for the couple since they moved from Colorado to Richmond about a year and a half ago to be closer to their kids.

After becoming empty nesters, Stephanie said, the couple wanted something to do together rather than working separate jobs and getting to spend time together only at the end of the day. 

The Haggertys first found the truck on Facebook Marketplace. It was already outfitted to be a coffee truck, and they had to tend to only a few mechanical issues and add on some “rusty” bumpers. 

daily coffee truck

The Daily Coffee truck in action. (Courtesy Daily Coffee Co.)

Designed by Raymond Loewy, who is best known for designing the Coca-Cola bottle, the truck also ties into the Haggertys shared love of vintage goods — the yellow paint job matches that of a canister set they’ve had since they were married 35 years ago.

They declined to share the cost of the truck. 

The couple said a sense of community and collaboration has been paramount for the Daily Coffee Co., especially after the theft. 

Upon learning of the theft, their neighbors broadcast the news on social media, urging others to look out for the stolen vehicle. Chris said after the initial shock, the story of their stolen vehicle “took on a life of its own” after people around the city began to search for it. 

Chris said they ultimately learned that the truck was driven to Hopewell, and then brought it back to the Haggertys’ neighborhood in Richmond. Its return was well received. 

“Just parking up in our neighborhood and seeing our neighbors and friends and people come over has been amazing,” Stephanie said. 

A mechanic helped restore the stripped steering column and the Haggertys redid the plumbing and electrical systems in the truck. The most expensive loss was the theft of their nitro coffee system, which was made from a modified $13,000 refrigerator that came with the truck. 

Chris said they have introduced some new security measures to ensure that their truck would not be stolen again. 

“I don’t want to worry about this thing I want to be happy about,” Chris said. “So we’ll get through it. We’ll get to the point where we’re not worried about every noise and all that stuff.”

Getting into the coffee business isn’t entirely out of left field for the Haggertys. During their time in Colorado, Stephanie ran the Red Dog Coffee shop in Manitou Springs. She also added to her skill set by managing Shyndigz Market in Richmond. 

For Daily Coffee, Stephanie has cooked up a few special drinks, including a peanut butter mocha latte and a Nutella latte. 

The couple hasn’t set a fixed schedule for the truck’s appearances yet but hope to establish about five spots to sell at on a regular basis. They post the truck’s location and hours on Street Food Finder and plan to stay within the city limits. The coffee truck is now the couple’s full-time gig. 

They buy their coffee beans from local roaster Recluse Roasting Project and their baked goods from Shyndigz, Up All Night Bakery and Montana Gold Bread Co. They’ve developed a close relationship with other vendors in the area, and are in talks of starting a “disloyalty card,” a punch card that customers can use at different coffee trucks.

They have not been able to put a new espresso machine into the truck yet but have been serving drinks with chilled coffee as an alternative during their first few weeks of business. 

Chris said there’s a lot of heavy lifting associated with having a business on wheels, including having to run out as supplies wane and being conscious of the van’s gas levels. But he said customers get to have a feeling of adventure and discovery when they buy coffee from the truck.

“One of the benefits is just we love people,” Chris said. “So being out, we’re able to engage with folks that we wouldn’t maybe normally if we had a brick-and-mortar, and they’d have to come to us.”

Daily Coffee

Chris and Stephanie Haggerty with their recovered vintage bread truck-turned-mobile coffee conveyance. (Photo by Ianne Salvosa)

Earlier this year, as Chris and Stephanie Haggerty were set to launch the Daily Coffee Co. in Richmond, their entire business briefly vanished. 

Daily Coffee is a mobile coffee shop operating out of a vintage, yellow bread truck. But three days before the planned opening date in April, the truck was stolen from near their home in the city.

Then, 24 hours later, the 1960s-era International Harvester Metro step van was recovered, however its coffee equipment, steering column and electrical system were stripped out. 

Now, a few months later, delayed by the theft but undeterred, the Haggertys and Daily Coffee are officially on the road and open for business. 

“It’s been this slog,” Chris said. “It was about 10 weeks, two and a half months of just working day after day after day trying to get back ready for the street.”

Since officially launching June 8, the truck has peddled coffee, pastries and other caffeinated beverages at five different events in Church Hill and Byrd Park so far. 

Getting the business rolling has been a goal for the couple since they moved from Colorado to Richmond about a year and a half ago to be closer to their kids.

After becoming empty nesters, Stephanie said, the couple wanted something to do together rather than working separate jobs and getting to spend time together only at the end of the day. 

The Haggertys first found the truck on Facebook Marketplace. It was already outfitted to be a coffee truck, and they had to tend to only a few mechanical issues and add on some “rusty” bumpers. 

daily coffee truck

The Daily Coffee truck in action. (Courtesy Daily Coffee Co.)

Designed by Raymond Loewy, who is best known for designing the Coca-Cola bottle, the truck also ties into the Haggertys shared love of vintage goods — the yellow paint job matches that of a canister set they’ve had since they were married 35 years ago.

They declined to share the cost of the truck. 

The couple said a sense of community and collaboration has been paramount for the Daily Coffee Co., especially after the theft. 

Upon learning of the theft, their neighbors broadcast the news on social media, urging others to look out for the stolen vehicle. Chris said after the initial shock, the story of their stolen vehicle “took on a life of its own” after people around the city began to search for it. 

Chris said they ultimately learned that the truck was driven to Hopewell, and then brought it back to the Haggertys’ neighborhood in Richmond. Its return was well received. 

“Just parking up in our neighborhood and seeing our neighbors and friends and people come over has been amazing,” Stephanie said. 

A mechanic helped restore the stripped steering column and the Haggertys redid the plumbing and electrical systems in the truck. The most expensive loss was the theft of their nitro coffee system, which was made from a modified $13,000 refrigerator that came with the truck. 

Chris said they have introduced some new security measures to ensure that their truck would not be stolen again. 

“I don’t want to worry about this thing I want to be happy about,” Chris said. “So we’ll get through it. We’ll get to the point where we’re not worried about every noise and all that stuff.”

Getting into the coffee business isn’t entirely out of left field for the Haggertys. During their time in Colorado, Stephanie ran the Red Dog Coffee shop in Manitou Springs. She also added to her skill set by managing Shyndigz Market in Richmond. 

For Daily Coffee, Stephanie has cooked up a few special drinks, including a peanut butter mocha latte and a Nutella latte. 

The couple hasn’t set a fixed schedule for the truck’s appearances yet but hope to establish about five spots to sell at on a regular basis. They post the truck’s location and hours on Street Food Finder and plan to stay within the city limits. The coffee truck is now the couple’s full-time gig. 

They buy their coffee beans from local roaster Recluse Roasting Project and their baked goods from Shyndigz, Up All Night Bakery and Montana Gold Bread Co. They’ve developed a close relationship with other vendors in the area, and are in talks of starting a “disloyalty card,” a punch card that customers can use at different coffee trucks.

They have not been able to put a new espresso machine into the truck yet but have been serving drinks with chilled coffee as an alternative during their first few weeks of business. 

Chris said there’s a lot of heavy lifting associated with having a business on wheels, including having to run out as supplies wane and being conscious of the van’s gas levels. But he said customers get to have a feeling of adventure and discovery when they buy coffee from the truck.

“One of the benefits is just we love people,” Chris said. “So being out, we’re able to engage with folks that we wouldn’t maybe normally if we had a brick-and-mortar, and they’d have to come to us.”

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Christopher Haggerty
Christopher Haggerty
9 days ago

Thank you Ianne!
Great article!
@dailycoffeecompanyrva

Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
9 days ago

Red DogCoffee is still open in Manitou Springs. I passed it last week.I hope this venture works for the Haggertys.

Christopher Haggerty
Christopher Haggerty
9 days ago
Reply to  Bruce Milam

Thank you!

David Adler
David Adler
9 days ago

Oh gosh, i hope they find those thieves and sentence them to drink St*rbucks for the rest of their lives. Pitiful!

Christopher Haggerty
Christopher Haggerty
9 days ago
Reply to  David Adler

HAHAHA!

Ayla B. Haggerty
Ayla B. Haggerty
9 days ago

love this and love the daily coffee co. !!!

Christopher Haggerty
Christopher Haggerty
9 days ago

Thanks! you know better than anyone!

Tyler Benson
Tyler Benson
9 days ago

they ultimately learned that the truck was driven to Hopewell”

classic

Ed Christina
Ed Christina
8 days ago

(Clears throat) Hello, did you know you can get trackers and cameras for your work vehicles, including food trucks? Did you also know I am easily found on LinkedIn?

Kathleen Morgan
Kathleen Morgan
8 days ago

I love this idea, and would love if they posted up by the river!