Words by Paige Townley
There are many reasons in life to celebrate: an engagement, a wedding, a big family reunion, or even business milestones. And those celebrations—to Donavan and Kasey Perry, Emerald Coast transplants originally from South Africa and New Orleans, respectively—should always include a hot and personalized cup of coffee. That was the inspiration for the creation of their company, Coastal Coffee Bar.
Opened in February 2019, Coastal Coffee Bar is a mobile craft coffee bar that can makes its appearance at weddings and all sorts of private events held along the Emerald Coast. In addition to offering local, freshly roasted coffee, the company offers complete customization to elevate the event. “We’re definitely not just a cup of coffee,” says Kasey. “The personalization adds value so that the bride and groom, or whoever is hosting the event, can make it so much more than just a coffee bar.”
Coastal Coffee is certainly anything but your typical coffee. The mobile coffee bar offers a variety of ways to personalize its offerings so that it thoroughly highlights the special event, whether it’s the “Big Day” or the big corporate event. The coffee cups themselves can be stamped with the bride and groom’s monogram, names, or whatever speaks to their special day. It can even be stamped with a company’s logo. The top of the drink can also include a special stencil design, which furthers the custom experience and branding. “Those are the types of things that really make the coffee bar special and over the top,” Kasey says. “It’s all about their brand and not about us at all. We’re just the (delicious) giveaway for all of the attendees to enjoy.”
The menu is also customizable by the hosts of the celebration. Kasey and Donavan certainly share recommendations of their most popular drinks, but the event can include two signature drinks in addition to the traditional espresso menu that speak to the special day. “The mocha and caramel macchiato are always two popular ones,” Kasey says, “but we’ve had some clients get really creative. We had one client from Ohio that wanted a Buckeye Mocha, so we played around and got the perfect peanut butter and chocolate recipe. It really helped make the event special.”
For those really wanting to go all out on their own branding, Kasey has even added an upcharge option to customize the signage on the mobile bar as well. “Whether it’s the event’s logo on the coffee or on the cart, guests think it’s really cool and tend to take pictures and share them on social media,” Kasey says. “From an event standpoint, it’s more unique and fun than handing out pens that just get taken home and put in a drawer.”
Another added bonus of the Coastal Coffee Bar is that all of its coffee comes straight from another Emerald Coast favorite: Amavida Coffee. Kasey and Donavan actually took their barista training classes at Amavida—Kasey even developing a taste for coffee herself during the process. “I know it sounds crazy, but before we started this I didn’t drink coffee,” Kasey says with a laugh. “I am from New Orleans and also lived in Seattle, but I never drank coffee at all. When we really got going, I tried it out one day at Amavida and realized it’s actually really good. I’ve been drinking it ever since and haven’t looked back.”
Kasey and Donavan also haven’t looked back in offering up the perfect blend of deliciously personalized drinks all along the Emerald Coast (specifically Walton, Bay, and Okaloosa Counties). And that’s one of the reasons why the Coastal Coffee Bar—in its three short years of existence—has already set up shop at celebrations for celebrities, tech executives, and major businesses and corporations. “It’s really a special thing for us to be a small part of so many important events in the lives of others,” Kasey says. “We love sharing what we love—the coffee shop culture—with a community we love and helping them include it in a way that’s truly meaningful to their special day.”