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Front Seat Coffee Parks on Johnson Green

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A customer at Front Seat Coffee - MOLLY ZAPP
  • Molly Zapp
  • A customer at Front Seat Coffee

Front Seat Coffee has opened a coffee truck in Johnson, bringing proper cappuccinos, homemade baked goods and Local Donut sweets to a town that has been without a coffee shop for more than two years.

Owner and "head croissant roller" Tobin Porter said that community interest — and one doughnut deliverer in particular — made expanding his business beyond its original Hardwick location "a natural idea."

"A lot of the credit goes to Jen Burton," he said. In the spring and summer of 2020, Burton, a local justice of the peace, ferried baked goods from Front Seat's Hardwick location to Johnsonites eager for something sweet and delicious.

Eventually convinced of the town's promise as a market, Porter secured funding from the Vermont Community Loan Fund, purchased a sleek mobile unit from design company Up End This and got permission from the Town of Johnson to park his coffee truck on the town green at 2 Lower Main Street East. The truck started serving on June 14, sharing picnic tables and cornhole with its sandwich-selling food-truck neighbor, Mudgie's.

Porter said the truck's menu matches that of his brick-and-mortar location. In addition to espresso drinks made with beans from Carrier Roasting and milk from Sweet Rowen Farmstead, the Front Seat truck sells breakfast sandwiches, empanadas, Spanish-style tortillas and erbazzones (Italian-style spinach pies).

Currently open daily from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., the food truck will remain on the green until October; Porter is still considering where to park it during the winter. If all goes well this year, he hopes to bring his coffee truck back to the town green next spring.

The original print version of this article was headlined "Summer Perks"