Mobile coffee cafe brews work-life balance for Cleveland officer

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Coffee is how a lot of people start their day. A company with roots in Sweden is brewing new competition around the world and in Cleveland.

Wheelys is pedaling coffee by turning bicycles into mobile coffee cafes. Angelia Gaston is a franchisee operating in Cleveland. She started selling coffee last year.

"This came about through listening to a podcasts. I like being a ground-breaker," Gaston said. "I thought that this would be something great for the city with us trying to redevelop the downtown and give it a different look. It's the only one in the state of Ohio. The closest one to here, in the Midwest, is in Milwaukee."

Gaston sells coffee in the downtown areas during the week for a few hours in the morning. Her day starts with a trip to a warehouse where she stores her coffee cart. She then pedals alongside rush hour traffic to wherever she decides to setup shop. She's often at the corner of 12th Street and Hamilton Avenue.

A water tank and butane-powered stove for heating help the magic happen. Gaston said don't be fooled, the coffee she whips up doesn't skimp on taste. She makes it using the pour-over method.

"We use locally roasted beans, so they're fresh ground and probably the best cup of coffee you can get," Gaston said. "It's the traditional way to brew coffee. I would say (it's) the only way to brew coffee- death to the machines."

It cost her about $8,000 for equipment and permits. Since starting the operation, Gaston has been steadily growing her customer base. She said convenience, quality and customer service keep customers coming back.

"Just to be in the heart of the city and before you get to anything else... to be able to grab a fresh cup of coffee is pretty great," said Halo, one of Gaston's customers.

Tea and espresso are also on the menu.

Gaston said getting a chance to talk to people and get their day started off right is an honor.

"This city is full of beautiful people," Gaston said. "I have people who work at the health department, you have millionaires that come by, (and) baseball players. "So, it just shows us we're all one people and we all love coffee."

While Gaston enjoys selling coffee it's not her full-time job.

"I am a police officer in the city of Cleveland. So, I work nights. I work the late-night shift while everyone's sleeping," Gaston said.

Selling coffee doesn't pay like the city or offer benefits, but Gaston is fine with that.

"It makes me happy, and I think that's what it's all about," Gaston said. "Having balance on the job is very important. Community involvement and engagement- that's where my heart is."

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