Like a lot of people, Trevor Mertens and Ryan Perry moved to San Diego for the beaches and beer. These guys happened to have a plan to start a coffee business when they arrived: Bump Coffee. The Bay Area transplants went to high school together, then went off to college and a traditional career path before deciding to quit their jobs and pursue something they could better adapt to their lifestyle.
"We were doing our own things," recalls Mertens, "and got to a point we were both kind of over working for somebody else and sitting in an office all day."
"We were always going through San Diego," says Perry, "back and forth, surfing, and when it was time to start the business, we thought San Diego was the perfect place."
They made the move in 2013, and in March of 2014 launched with a booth at the Encinitas Wednesday night farmers' market, working off pour over stations fashioned out of old apple crates. They've been growing the business primarily at farmers' markets in the two years since, which has made at least one big impact on their product.
"Being in the farmers' markets," Mertens points out, "everything that everybody sold was organic."
Perry adds that serving organic coffee was something they had considered doing early on, but decided not to because they couldn't be sure the local market would support it. "But once we moved down here people were always asking about [it]," he says. "Already we felt like we should be doing that, so it was an easy decision to switch everything over."
They found a coffee roaster simple enough to operate while enjoying a few beers, and started cooking fresh beans for their markets. While they've explored a variety of origins, they've started narrowing their focus to organic coffee from Mexico.
Tthis summer, they've made a move to literally move their business forward. After looking at Carlsbad and Cardiff locations to establish a permanent shop, they decided the risk was too big, and a fixed address too confining. Instead, they got themselves a coffee truck.
It's an '88 Chevy diesel number they picked up for ten grand before spending three times its value to rig up for coffee service. While Bump will hold onto its booths at farmers' markets in Little Italy and La Jolla, Mertens and Perry hope the new truck will allow them to pick their spots around north county coastal areas, keeping them close to the beaches that inspired them to move here. They also aim to sell coffee at surf contests, 5K runs, and similar outdoor events.
"Our brand is not your typical coffee shop," Mertens concludes, "We want it to be more about an active lifestyle," adding, "It's really simple — just hot coffee or cold brew. There's no espresso or lattes or macchiatos or anything like that… the whole idea is, it's just quick. You get to just vibe out with your friends, on your morning walk, about to go surf, whatever."