In 2016, Nicole Grinstead and Andrew Sepic opened Nomad Coffee in a tiny mobile house on Main Street in Essex Junction, near the busy Five Corners intersection. Around December 11, they'll hitch up that house and move it to Sugarbush Resort, where they'll spend the winter serving skiers in need of a cappuccino or a pastry from Sweet Simone's in Richmond.
Although the resort's restaurants serve coffee, Gerry Nooney, the mountain's vice president of culinary relations, "understands that they can't focus on training people to do coffee really well there," in Sepic's words. So he decided to outsource.
To cope with long lines of parka-clad customers, Sepic and Grinstead will bring more staff on board, but they don't plan to change their process. "We want to have the quality and the product be at the same level," Sepic said. "If we can't serve everyone, so be it."
While the mobile shop will move on, Sepic and Grinstead may return to Essex in the spring, and they hope to retain a presence there through next winter. They're seeking a space in which to open a pop-up, using a small espresso bar setup that they have on hand for catering. "We've talked to a few different businesses that we thought would be a nice, symbiotic relationship," said Sepic. But so far, nothing has panned out.