Trailer Perk Coffee LLC owner Amber Ottoson will realize a business dream with the Sept. 18 opening of her shop in northwest Springfield.
“It was always a pipe dream to have a brick-and-mortar spot,” said Ottoson, who previously operated Trailer Perk for six years as a mobile coffee business. “When the trailer started growing and growing every year, I realized I could only reach a ceiling as far as revenue working a one-person trailer by myself.”
The shop’s 2848 W. Chestnut Expressway location also has history behind it. The site is the original home of Red’s Giant Hamburg, which shuttered in 1984 after nearly 50 years in business on Route 66, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting. A new version of the historic burger joint opened in 2019 at 2301 W. Sunshine St.
Ottoson, who purchased the Chestnut Expressway land for an undisclosed price, said the historic connection was a surprise to her.
“I was not aware of that until I closed on the property,” she said. “It blew my husband’s and my mind.”
Ottoson leads a staff of nine at the 480-square-foot shop, which includes dual drive-thru lanes and a menu she said expands upon the drinks sold out of the trailer. Those include smoothies and a latte slushie, called a granita.
Startup costs were undisclosed for the shop, built by Ottoson’s husband, Peter, and Bruner Construction and designed by Hood-Rich Inc.
She said the trailer was sold in early August as she turns her professional focus full time to the new shop.
“If we do the mobile access again – and in a perfect world, we will – I can purchase a new trailer and design it in exactly the way that I want it to be,” she said.
Although 7 Brew Coffee opened a new location in May at 333 S. Western Ave., near the Chestnut Expressway and West Bypass intersection, Ottoson said coffee shop options are in very short supply near Trailer Perk.
“I’m a west-sider,” she said. “There was this big, underutilized spot that had nothing.”
With roughly 20 years of experience working in coffee shops, Ottoson said she was ready to have a permanent location of her own.
“That was an adventure I was willing to take a risk on,” she said. “It totally surpassed my dreams. I’m really excited about it.”
This year, for the 38th season, the Springfield Ballet Inc. will perform “The Nutcracker” on the proscenium stage of the Landers Theatre, with six performances set Dec. 15-18.