Ugly Coffee is an up-and-coming coffee cart featuring products from talented separate companies such as Slightly and August Uncommon.
Once proper permits and documents are obtained, the coffee cart is estimated to be open for parties by the end of May or the beginning of June this year.
“Our main goal is to partner with passionate and talented people, and to showcase their products,” said AJ Deseo, co-owner of Ugly Coffee.
Rather than creating a new coffee shop and competing with other local small businesses, the owners of Ugly Coffee decided to partner with other small companies who would thrive with more customers.
“I’ve worked with these guys before and they are super talented,” said Brenna Warolin, senior international business major. “I’m really excited that they’re not only using quality products but showcasing those companies for others to try. I think the coffee culture in Riverside is a huge part of this city so it’ll be fun to watch (Ugly Coffee) grow, be a part of it all and bring some great coffee to the table.”
Deseo explained these small companies specialize in brewing “excellent coffee and tea experiences for customers,” so partnering with such brands allows the industry to be expanded while in alliance with one another, rather than one small company breaking through a confusing and always changing industry.
“We want to really take the term ‘coffee community’ and see how far it can go,” Deseo said. “We find that by collaborating, instead of competing, the drinks taste better in a way that would never have come about if we had just tried to do everything ourselves.”
Ugly Coffee received its name as a unique marketing strategy for the cart, according to the owners.
“Ugly Coffee is the name for no other reason than the fact that it sticks in people’s heads and it is a conversation starter.”
“And I guess the two owners are ugly too,” he said with a laugh.
According to Noah Castellanos, co-owner of Ugly Coffee, the title of the coffee cart has no real theme, allowing for the cart to remain open for a variety of collaborations.
“A big part of our operations is to properly showcase quality products, and give them proper credibility.”
Instagram is the company’s current platform for scheduling events. Students and business can schedule the cart to be featured at a party or special event. In order to make a reservation, simply follow the coffee cart Instagram, @ugly.coffee, and send the owners a direct message.