BONESTEEL — Dan and Trisha Cahoy are up before the sun rises, hopping in their truck and hitting the road. They’ll drive over an hour before opening up the Mighty Mojo Coffee Co. as early as 7:30 a.m.
They may be short on sleep. The night before, the couple was likely awake, brewing homemade syrups and cold brew coffee. Nevertheless, they’ll serve over 100 drinks — each one with the upbeat vibes coffee lovers seek.
Years ago, the Cahoys were visiting a friend in Spearfish when they stopped at the Blue Spruce Coffee Truck for a boost.
“We had a really good experience at the one truck this one time and it never left my mind,” Trisha said.
Dan and Trisha, who also own Cahoy’s General Stores in south-central South Dakota and northern Nebraska, had tested out running coffee shops in their stores before, but it just wasn’t right.
“We thought about doing a pull-behind trailer, but we didn't proceed with it,” Trisha said. “The idea just kept coming back to us over and over again and we decided life’s too short to wait.”
The couple started looking for trucks, and, in March, found a fully equipped coffee truck in Minneapolis. By June, they began travelling the region to serve up their specialty coffee.
“The concept for South Dakota is that there’s not too many coffee trucks around,” Dan said. “Its different, and it’s pretty cool.”
“Coffee is a big trend, so we’re in these small towns so people are excited to have (high quality) coffee,” Trisha added. “It’s the stuff people can get in the big cities.”
In addition to the basics, Mighty Mojo Coffee Co. offers specialty coffee drinks, teas, smoothies, cold brew, hot chocolate and energizer drinks — made from club soda.
“We change out featured drinks seasonally,” Trisha said. “We had a couple over the summer that were hot hits that will be brought back.”
Dan and Trisha say their most popular drinks are the Dirty Turtle — with espresso, milk, toffee nut and chocolate — and the Bear Claw, made to taste like a cinnamon bun with white chocolate. They also have some food items, including cinnamon rolls.
To learn how to make the best coffee for their customers, Dan and Trisha actually attended a three-day coffee school in Texas.
“There’s a lot of information and everybody drinks coffee and everyone makes coffee a different way. We just wanted to find out a baseline of how you’re supposed to do it,” Trisha said. “It taught us everything we needed to know about running a coffee shop.”
And people love Cahoys’ twist on coffee. In just over five months, the Mighty Mojo Coffee Co. has amassed nearly 1,000 likes on Facebook. Each post announcing their next stop garners shares and comments of excitement.
“We’re busy enough with the (grocery) stores, and we wanted to make this a fun thing we could bring to people to brighten their days,” Trisha said. “Our mission is a big part of this business.”
The couple say they wouldn’t be able to run the truck if it weren’t for their trustworthy employees at the grocery stores and on the truck.
“We’re pretty busy with the stores, but we have really good employees to free up some time and let us concentrate,” Dan said.
As a bonus, the Cahoys can use the store’s resources and commercial kitchen to have the supplies and equipment for their truck.
However, the Mighty Mojo Coffee Co. is about more than bringing coffee to their small-town customers — it also serves as a charitable cause.
“Our main goal is to brighten people’s days,” Dan said, “We also have done a couple local fundraisers where we donate a dollar per drink.”
They recently held a fundraiser in Burke to help raise funds for a family who had lost a loved one, and another in Bonesteel for an area woman struggling with an illness.
They also donate 10 cents for every drink sold to area causes, charities and organizations.
Dan mentioned the two are looking into the potential option of a brick and mortar Mighty Mojo Coffee Co. store, but for now, the truck will continue operating into the winter as long as weather allows.
“There’s a lot of nice South Dakota days in the winter,” Trisha said,” but it’s kind of a ‘we’ll see.’”
After all, some areas in western South Dakota just received up to 14 inches of snow, she pointed out.
The truck is booked through most of November, but the Cahoys are fielding requests to travel to events or locations. They asked that any requests be submitted by leaving a message on their Facebook page.