Carriage House Coffee remains true to its mission of providing fast and accessible coffee to local customers. The mobile business operates from a bright red truck named Ruby, which adds a pop of color to the dynamic city as it drives to NC State weddings, festivals and football games.
Co-owned by husband and wife team Skyeler and Tracy Lewkowicz, Carriage House Coffee was established several years ago to bring a unique coffee experience to the Triangle area.
After waiting in 45-minute lines at Starbucks and Dunkin’, the Lewkowiczes decided to experiment with a new strategy for getting their morning caffeine. During the pandemic, the couple started brewing their coffee at home and created a delivery system where customers could order via an app. This pandemic-limited distribution proved to be just the boost the new business needed to get off the ground.
“This gave us the opportunity to find out which drinks were ordered the most, in a way that represented the general public,” said Skyeler Lewkowicz. “So that gave us a base of support and a place to come back to with people who would give us recommendations. When we got started, it wasn’t with a big zero and just a new coffee cart; it was with people who vouched for us.”
Skyeler Lewkowicz says his wife is a former teacher and coffee fanatic, adding entrepreneurial passion to the business and administrative work he focuses on. It was Tracy Lewkowicz who came up with the company’s name during a brainstorming session and realized that the catchy title hadn’t been used yet.
“Carriage House has been used many times, but Carriage House Coffee has remained intact,” said Skyeler Lewkowicz.
The Lewkowiczes brought their mission to life through extensive fundraising and networking with the business community.
Kerrigan Walls, a barista at Carriage House Coffee, said she got into the business last December and fell in love with the coffee cart. Walls spoke highly of her experience at Carriage House Coffee, saying her shifts at the store allow her to meet a wide variety of customers, including people from New York, the West Coast and beyond.
“I found it to be a really good experience to join the community because what I love about Carriage House is that it’s a very community-oriented place,” Walls said.
According to Skyeler Lewkowicz, Carriage House Coffee uses quality products. The syrups, along with the coffee beans themselves, are less sugar based and have a stronger flavor impact. The ingredients, like coffee beans and honey, are sourced from several local North Carolina businesses, including Five Star Coffee Roasters in Holly Springs, a beehive in Raleigh called The Pleasant Bee, and Benelux, a local coffee shop.
“We’re trying to keep it as south as possible,” Skyeler Lewkowicz said. “We’re very focused on being the coffee shop for North Carolina by North Carolina.”
Ruby, the store’s bright red truck, is unique to the state and has toured the area quite a bit. Ruby was parked at the North Hills mall for six months before moving to its regular location in Fenton in Cary. The truck occasionally drives to events at Dorothea Dix Park. This year, Ruby will be parked at NC State Football home games all season.
Looking to the future, the owners are aiming for a stationary location with upscaling options.
“We have prepared everything to go towards retail and a larger location, which we are still working on,” said Skyeler Lewkowicz. “We have a rough sketch and are working with a couple of locations to try and finalize the concept. Now we just have to find a place for it.”
Try Carriage House Coffee at the upcoming football games or at the Fenton in Cary.