There is catering for all sorts of things. Offices may cater ham and turkey sandwiches for a meeting, or bacon wrapped scallops for a party. At a wedding, you may hire a bartender or a disc jockey.
Now, into this world, is emerging the coffee caterer.
This is much more elaborate than having someone swing by Dunkin’ to pick-up a three liter Box O’ Joe. This is, in most cases, a dedicated coffee connoisseur hand crafting a cup of coffee, or an espresso-based drink.
In some worlds it might be the ultimate status symbol. In others, a totally unnecessary expense.
In the Boston area, David Simon at the Black Magic Coffee Company is making a go of it (the motto? “Coffee anytime, anywhere”).
Simon has catered wedding showers. He’s a regular at the SoWa Market in the South End. For a while, he was regularly going to the Twitter offices — something the company offered as a perk (literally) for employees.
“I’m an open bar. The only difference is I don’t serve beer and wine. I serve coffee,” Simon said. “I don’t do any food. All I do is coffee.”
He’s a bit of a coffee vagabond, setting up all around the area.
He’s targeted businesses in Kendall Square (“They seem to be a crowd that really… they certainly have a craving for it.”) When new businesses open, they’ll have him set up shop outside to draw new customers (“I call it bait. It’s basically bait.”) And there could be a broader market.
“You go to these events and conferences and it’s, oh god, terrible coffee,” Simon said. “There’s not a lot of thought put into that. I’m hoping that changes. I think I’m seeing sort of a spike in that now. At least with some of the bigger companies I worked with locally. They see an advantage.”
Zipcar has hired him for some instances where they set up a spot to try and attract new customers — and entice them with coffee.
Simon does espresso-based drinks (cappuccinos and lattes) and drip coffee. Pourovers, he says, would take too long. He uses a variety of roasters, many of which are hard to come by, including Ashland, Ore.-based Case Coffee Roasters, Austin, Texas-based Flat Track Coffee, Brooklyn-based Parlor Coffee, and Portland, Maine-based Tandem Coffee Roasters. He uses milk from Thatcher Farm in Milton.
“If you hire a catering company, you’re going to have great food, great wine,” Simon says. “Why not also have great coffee?”
Matt Viser can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.