The Cuppa Bus

Sustainable Mobile Coffee Food Truck, bringing life and energy to events in Jackson, MI and around the state!

Jackson, MI Food & Agri Arts


This campaign was reached its goal on {{createDate('Sat, 13 Jun 2015 03:59:00 +0000') | date:'MMM d, y h:mm a'}}.

Background and History

Cuppa has been serving the community of Jackson since 2011. In its original home at Art 634, Cuppa bonded with the growing arts community and tried to build a space that could be a safe haven for everyone; a refuge for relaxation, and a place to recharge (with delicious drinks of course). Though it was a wonderfully warm home and community, the location was out of the way for a lot of people.

So, together with another local mainstay in downtown Jackson, The Pickle Barrel Deli, we made the decision to move in 2014, and we hoped to make the coffee, art, and community connection continue to grow. But with space limitations, and other considerations that we had not anticipated, this location wasn't helpful for cultivating and sustaining the community we'd been serving for the past three years.

Present and Future Plans

In the near future, we plan to anchor our roots with an entrepreneurial and community-minded venture that is presently being birthed in the old Huron Camera building downtown, next to City Hall. It’s located right across the street from the Pickle Barrel, so it won't be far from our last location, and is a great opportunity for us to not only continue operating a brick and mortar location, but to also help create a space downtown that will be open, socially concerned, inviting, unique, and innovative!

The multi-use building that we'll be moving into will be an arts and cultural hub, and a shopping destination with a vintage furniture shop and clothing consignment store called Angie’s Attic, mini hair salon, conference/meeting room, two upstairs loft apartments, studio space for dance, art, and yoga, and a coffee shop, of course! This location will be much more fitting for our business, our personalities, and social ethic, as it will have more openness and character, and the developer is committed to using recycled and repurposed goods, and desires to cultivate a place that will serve our community in a variety of ways.

Another large piece of our current movement toward a more fitting space, and a more diverse environment, is our desire to create a coffee shop on wheels that we will serve our community with at local happenings and events; downtown, around the county, our state, and even around the country at times. Not only will this endeavor help us make it through the transition to another location, but it will also enable us to serve our community better, and help support other local businesses and organizations as well.

Cuppa Bus Project

Last year, we tried a Kickstarter project to help us fund the transformation of an old school bus into a fully functional mobile coffee food truck. Through that process, we gained much attention, support, and curiosity from our community, and have since acquired a bus through connections and partnerships that were formed through that campaign! By refurbishing and retrofitting this bus with different components, while being thoughtful of the environment, we hope it can become a beacon of what sustainability looks like in our community.

Not only is it our passion to provide a healthy, high quality, socially conscious, satisfying beverage, but also to inform and inspire. We want to branch out more; become available for more events, have a presence on every “side of town,” and offer much more to our community (i.e. deliveries, catering, personal events, special occasions, etc). We feel with great confidence that the full potential of our dream will only be realized if we are able to be more involved in EVERYTHING we love about Jackson.

From Art 634 (Cuppa's forever home in our hearts) to the Dahlem Nature Center; from Downtown Jackson to the Ella Sharp Museum, Jackson has so much going on, and Cuppa can connect all the dots with an eco-­friendly trail of coffee beans. We've done various events at all these places in the past, and are continuously being asked to do more. Having a coffee shop on wheels that we could easily just take to events would not only gain more exposure for these happenings, but it would also give people more reason to go check out both attractions!

With the Cuppa Bus, we'll be able help bring more attention and excitement to the multitude of events and festivals around town, and will be a part of the new "food truck court" our city is planning for the downtown park that has been built in place of the Consumers Energy building that was recently demolished. 

More Bus Details

So, we have a bus already, now we just need to build it out and equip it with the brewing necessities, and some more sustainable building and powering sensibilities. We’ll start by converting the engine to run on used veggie oil (with a little help from some friends in South Lyon at a place called Revolutionary Farm), and putting solar panels on top to gather energy to run the equipment inside. We will also include a gray water recycling and rainwater catchment system for watering an on­-board garden (for making the freshest juices and smoothies possible), and we are dedicated to using upcycled materials for the construction of the interior. We'll be utilizing locally sourced, used, and repurposed items to build out and furnish the bus, to be as frugal and environmentally responsible as possible.

The dream does not stop with sustainability and good drinks; we want to promote our vibrant arts community, spread the joy and talent of local artists, musicians, and the amazing diversity of small businesses in Jackson. We have lots of ideas for cross-promoting, collaborating, and conspiring with other Jackson artists, entrepreneurs, activists, and community-minded folks who want to help make our city something great again. And we're offering an advertising incentive for others who want to partner with us and help make the bus a reality. Basically, the bus will be a moving billboard for other small businesses and organizations who contribute at certain funding levels. Everywhere the Cuppa Bus goes, other unique, local Jackson places will be represented on the outside of our bus!

We desire to take action, and want to join with others who seek to create spaces that encourage community, and support places where anyone and everyone will feel welcome; and also have the opportunity to experience some great food, drink, fun, and atmosphere. We love our city, and want to encourage every person in Jackson to become inspired by what it is, and what it is growing into. The possibilities are limitless, join us in the journey by helping us get started!

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Give $5 or more

2 claimed

Let's Get Creative!

*Choose your own adventure incentive* You choose your incentive, based on what we all decide is possible, fair, and mutually beneficial. Perhaps you need help with gardening and landscaping or a sewing project. Maybe you'd like some commissioned art by one of us, or our whole family; or a Pilates session with Koren, or Reiki with Evan...or we could help you with some graphic design or web site development. Let's talk!!

Give $25 or more

7 claimed

You're awesome!

A token of appreciation, handmade for you by a member of the Cuppa family. The variety of handmade tokens ranges from hammocks to paper cranes lovingly packaged.

Give $50 or more

6 of 50 claimed

We love you!

A hand created token of appreciation as well as a stylish Cuppa shirt. Designed by a Jackson local artist.

Give $100 or more

10 of 50 claimed

Let's do this!

A token of gratitude, made for you by a Cuppa family member, and a VIP pass to the Cuppa Bus Kick OFF party! There aren't many details for the party yet, other than it will be epic. AND (yes, that's a big and) an exclusive Cuppa Bus t-shirt! It's gonna be SWEET!

Give $300 or more

1 of 10 claimed

You Must Love Coffee!

A coffee tasting, pairing, and brewing class. Learn to discern the flavors, what to pair your coffee with, and how to get the best brew at home, no matter what method you use! Not to mention, a hand created token of appreciation, and a VIP ticket to the Cuppa Bus Kick Off party!

Give $300 or more

0 of 10 claimed

Share the Love!

Invite all your friends over and have a private party with coffee service provided by the talented baristas of Cuppa. Up to 20 cups can be served to your entourage. Dates and times are negotiable. We'll make a whole show of it...somehow! The party also has to stay within Jackson/ Ann Arbor/ or the Lansing area.

Give $500 or more

0 of 5 claimed

Now we're getting serious!

You will be given the opportunity to help decorate the interior of the bus. Design a seating area, pick the curtains, or decide what color the walls should be painted! You can then "dedicate" the area you have helped with and make a sweet little plaque to show off your dedication! Of course you'll be working along side of us, and anything that goes against the ideals of love, respect, and sustainability will be re-evaluated. Along with a hand made item to say "thank you," of course, and a VIP ticket to the Cuppa Bus Kick Off party!

Give $1000 or more

1 of 10 claimed

Let's Talk Business!

*Advertising level sponsorship* You will have a 3'x3' area on the bus with your message painted, by you or someone else. The design is subject to approval by the laws of loving one another, and good taste. It can be a business logo, favorite quote, a silly joke, or just a favorite drawing! You will also get a token of appreciation created for you by a member of the Cuppa family, and 2 VIP tickets to the Cuppa Bus Kick Off party! For any small business owners and entrepreneur backers, we will promote your business, brand, or project wherever we roam. Your 3' X 3' square on the bus will be seen anywhere we set up shop throughout Jackson, and in other cities that we'll travel to, at times.


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