New coffee shop provides mobile experience to Elizabethton

Richard Rogers, or “Rich,” is taking his seven years of coffee-brewing experience to a true brick-and-mortar location in 2020, but his busy customers can still enjoy his beverages just like before. After all, he set up the drive-through just for them.

Mason Joe Coffee To Go is a small, black building on Legacy Drive, just off West Elk Avenue at the west end of town.

“I started selling it in farmer’s markets,” Rogers said. “It was a ready-made crowd of people looking for quality.”

After that start in 2012, Rogers said he slowly realized he had a sense of joy when he was able to provide customers with a completed cup of coffee, not just the beans or brew he would sell at other places, and so, in 2016, he took a vintage camper and started driving, taking his passion for high-quality coffee throughout the area.

“We believe in the small businessman,” he said. “Without that, I do not think the larger businesses would do as well.”

During that time, he developed a close network of food truck owners, and as the years went by, he decided there was room for expanding the reach of his business.

“There is coffee shops all over this area,” he said. “We needed to be in a location where people can easily get to us.”

He said they focus on quality as much as possible, wanting to provide as good an experience as the customer can get.

According to Rogers, only one other local coffee shop has a drive-thru, and they are in Johnson City. In fact, he said his store is closer to Milligan College than many of the Johnson City places.

“We live on this side of town,” he said. “The trailer shuts down during the winter anyway.”

304 Legacy Drive in Elizabethton is basically a slightly expanded version of their mobile truck, with more room to maneuver, but they serve the same beverages there that they will on the mobile store, which will still run as it always has.

Mason Joe’s does not serve just coffee, though. Other beverages include smoothies and some kinds of tea.

Rogers also said he is working to have regular food trucks at their location, as well.

“We want to introduce food trucks to this side of town,” he said. “My goal is to have them here regularly.”

A food truck owner himself, Trucky Cheese, Rogers said he hopes it will bring people to appreciate West Elizabethton more, especially for Milligan residents who he said can find traveling all the way to downtown Elizabethton or other areas of the county difficult.

“I am most excited about convincing the thousands of cars that drive by to stop and enjoy one of our drinks,” Rogers said. “I am excited to see stuff happen.”

Next week, January 6 through 11, will be the company’s grand opening week, and each day of the week will feature a different food truck to enjoy along with their drinks, from pizza, Caribbean, grilled sandwiches and more.

The store is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. They close on Sundays.

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