Thomas and Erin Smith with Cuppa Go Coffee Company

Thomas and Erin Smith with Cuppa Go Coffee Company

On this week’s podcast, Marcus sits down with Erin and Thomas Smith. This couple was born and raised in Mobile, attended the same high school and college, and now are co-owners and operators in their hometown. Their journey to opening Cuppa Go was loaded with many Youtube videos and lots of help from the City of Mobile. Listen or read to hear about this one-of-a-kind Mobile business and the drive it took to finally be on the streets!


Thomas: I'm Thomas Smith, the owner/operator at Cuppa Go Coffee.

Erin: And I'm Erin Smith, the co-owner/co-operator of Cuppa Go Coffee.

Marcus: Very good. Well, welcome to the podcast, guys.

Thomas: Thanks for having us.

Marcus: I really am excited to hear your story about Cuppa Go and how you got here, but to get started, normally we get some backstory about where the people are from, where you grew up, where you went to school, did you go to college, kind of what your background is, to give people a flavor of where you're coming from.

Thomas: Sure, yeah. I was born and raised in Mobile. I spent my entire life here. I went to University of South Alabama and graduated with a communications degree, which is about as useless as it sounds, and met Erin eventually. We ended up going to the same high school and same college, but never knew each other, and met each other about 11 years ago now at one of the places that we were working, and ended up getting married, and I'll let her ...

Erin: Also born and raised in Mobile, went to South, was in the communications department. We had the same advisor, everything.

Marcus: How in the world did you guys not meet in school?

Thomas: No idea.

Erin: And the school that we went to had one hallway. I mean, it was very small. I have no idea.

Marcus: Which high school?

Erin: We went to Mobile Christian. We're a couple years apart, but ...

Thomas: Yeah, so it's a smaller school. Yeah. We were about [crosstalk 00:01:45] years apart.

Marcus: Okay, and you weren't necessarily in the same grade?

Erin: We weren't in the same grade, but-

Marcus: Okay, and were you ... I guess at that point then, you weren't in the same classes at South either then.

Thomas: I'm surprised we weren't.

Erin: Actually, we might have been. It's possible.

Thomas: Yeah, it's possible, but yeah.

Marcus: That's too funny.

Thomas: It's just we never crossed paths. It was really strange, and yeah.

Marcus: So, how long have you been married?

Thomas: 10 years.

Marcus: Very good. Congratulations.

Thomas: Thank you.

Marcus: Any kids, or ...

Erin: No.

Thomas: No, two small chihuahuas, and that's-

Erin: They think they're children.

Marcus: Fur babies?

Thomas: Yeah.

Erin: Yeah.

Thomas: Yeah, they're a handful. One's two now, and she's crazy, so [crosstalk 00:02:20]

Erin: Furry toddlers.

Marcus: Yeah, and I can relate. We've got a Pomeranian/dachshund mix who passes as a chihuahua, but she's a little bit bigger, and she's eight pounds or something like that, but yeah. We'll share picture afterwards, but ... So, what made you study communications? Was there something ...

Thomas: Well, I had actually started off with pre-law, political science, and found out that was kind of boring, and I've always had a passion for filmmaking and storytelling and that sort of thing, so I got into the communications departments at South, took all the film classes there, TV production, thinking that maybe I would be a camera guy for the new station, something like that, and make some films on the side, and once I got my degree and graduated, realized there's not a lot you can really do with that communications degree, and ended up working at TeleVox Software as a scriptwriter for on-hold messages, which is very strange.

Marcus: Weird.

Thomas: Yeah, and she actually-

Marcus: They have a person that write scripts?

Thomas: Yeah, yeah. So, if you call into a doctor's office and you get that automated message that says, “Please hold. Our team is busy, and we'll be with you shortly," someone that writes that, and she recorded some of those messages, and that's actually how we met there. She was a voiceover artist, and so with that communications degree, I still continued to make short films on the side and do filmmaking, and still do that as well, but it was a driving force for me.

Marcus: Yeah. Now, you have started a new business called Cuppa Go, and so we'll get into that a little bit, but where are you, where currently as far as jobs go?

Thomas: I still have a full-time job as communications director at [inaudible 00:04:19] Smith.

Erin: And I am over at TeleVox West doing voiceovers still.

Marcus: Still?

Erin: Still doing those. It's a really fun little job. I like it.

Marcus: I was gonna say, there is not many opportunities for somebody with that skillset, so I have to ask you, were you ever in choir or did-

Erin: Oh, yeah.

Marcus: Okay.

Erin: I started off at South in vocal performance, opera and musical theater, and realized that while that was great and what I wanted to do, I still needed something to kind of fall back on. I always enjoyed journalism and writing and that sort of thing, so I went and got a journalism degree, which is so useful these days, so much.

Marcus: Our stories are the exact ... Literally, I went to James Madison, studied voice-

Erin: Oh, wow.

Marcus: ... and I was a music education major, but I never learned keyboard, and so in order to graduate, I would've had to stay for six or seven years in order to pass the keyboard proficiency exams, and I was paying my way through college, so I was like, I'm not staying around for an additional three years so that I can teach kids how to sing. If it's gonna take me that long, I'm just gonna switch. So, I switched the English, and so it was the closest thing I could do to a business degree without actually going back to business because of the reading skills and writing skills and stuff like that, so that's really cool, though. Yeah.

Erin: Yeah. I figured if I wanted to go for a career in performance, I could do that really with or without a degree as long as I had the training. So, I went and got the fallback degree, I guess, and ended up using the vocal performance way more than I never used the communications degree.

Marcus: Interesting.

Erin: So, that's how I got started doing voiceovers. I did a lot of theater and did a little bit of radio, and they were looking for voiceover artists at TeleVox, and got started there, and it's a really cool gig, so I just stuck with it.

Marcus: I've never met a voiceover artist. This is a first. That is so cool.

Thomas: She annunciates very well, all the time.

Erin: I do.

Marcus: And most vocal performance majors do. Yeah, they kind of beat it out of you. So, the short tangent, I don't know where I picked it up. I have a feeling it was because of my love of U2, that With or Without You, so I always said my [chu 00:06:56] instead of you-

Erin: Chu, mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marcus: ... or whenever you say a T, sometime it comes out with a C-H instead, and so my vocal professor was just like, “Where in the world did you grow up, because ...” Then I was like, “Well, I grew up like two hours away from here.” James Madison is in the Shenandoah Valley, and I grew up, for the most part, in Northern Virginia, and he was just like, “Yeah, I've never heard that,” and I think it was just because of the kinds of music that I was listening to. They just didn't pronounce things correctly.

Erin: I did the opposite. I was born and raised here, but I trained a little bit in New York, and they were always asking me where I was from because they didn't believe I was from here, so ...

Marcus: Right. Yeah.

Erin: But just with the annunciation and-

Marcus: Lack of ...

Erin: ... lack of Southern accent.

Marcus: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.

Erin: But I still sing all the time professionally, and it's been fun.

Marcus: Very cool.

Erin: I've enjoyed it, but the day job is basically telling people to press one for English over and over again.

Marcus: That's great.

Erin: Somebody has to. It's me.

Marcus: Somebody has to do it, yeah. No, that's great. Well, go back for me. Go back to your first job. Can you picture that?

Thomas: Out of college, or-

Marcus: No, first job.

Thomas: Very first job? Yep. I was working the lawn and garden section of Target at the mall, Bel Air Mall, back when they actually had one.

Marcus: Nice. Yeah.

Thomas: Yeah. It was during the summer. I was saving up to pay for a trip to go to London.

Marcus: How old were you?

Thomas: I was a junior in high school, so 16, 17-ish, something like that.

Marcus: Any lessons that you learned out of that? Anything that you took away?

Thomas: People. It trained me to deal with people, because you could get a gamut of someone who's really sweet and really nice, and then someone who just wouldn't care if you dropped dead come through that line, and also, it was summer in Mobile, rain and heat and everything, and it taught me to just endure what you had to to do your job, that not every circumstance is gonna be nice and cushy, not gonna be air conditioned with a chair and anything.

Marcus: Well, there's some foreshadowing there.

Thomas: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Outdoor, rain, heat, yeah. Yeah.

Marcus: Yeah. How about you?

Erin: First job was senior year of high school. I worked at JC Penny at the mall, Bel Air Mall, upstairs in housewares, and about four other departments, and I learned that people can be awful, but I also learned that ... I had a really great manager. He knew everybody's name. He knew everybody's birthday, what their hobbies were, and was just amazing to work for, and I learned that that really ... It makes people want to work harder when they know that they're working for somebody who actually cares about them, and that was my greatest takeaway from that.

Marcus: It's amazing to me how ... I mean, because I also worked for a bunch of jerks, but I also worked for a couple of people that really did care, and it's amazing how that can really shape that positive attitude from a manager, especially if you have worked for somebody who really just, you're like, why is this person the spawn of Satan. I mean, when you finally get to work for somebody that actually shows an interest in you as a person and wants to see you grow and all that other stuff, it's amazing how much that inspires you to kind of do good by that person instead of just kind of half-assing it.

Erin: Get through the day.

Marcus: Yeah, exactly. Punching the clock. Now, we talked about it just a second ago, but why don't you describe to people what Cuppa Go is?

Thomas: It's very unique to the area. We're the only one for I think until ... Montgomery is the only that has a similar situation, but it's a tricycle that on the very front of it has almost like a kegerator mounted on the front. It's just a big box that houses kegs, nitrogen gas, and has taps built onto the very top. So, it serves coffee, cold brew coffee and nitro coffee on tap, and it has a little motor on the back, so I can peddle it around, or if I get too tired, I can just let the motor do all the-

Marcus: Just go.

Thomas: Yeah. It'll go up to 20 miles an hour, I think, which is kind of fun.

Marcus: Wow.

Thomas: But it's a very interesting journey with that.

Marcus: I want to ask, because I think you have an interesting story in the sense that you had to have some legislation passed or something in regards to ...

Thomas: Yeah, very complicated. We've been working on it for about a year-and-a-half now. The initial idea for the business came in like January of last year, 2017, and within two months we had the bike and everything at our house, ready to go.

Marcus: Ready to go.

Erin: Oh, yeah.

Marcus: You're thinking, man, we're gonna be in business in a month or two, and then-

Thomas: Yeah, yeah.

Erin: Yeah, yeah.

Thomas: I'd done all the research, and asked around to some of these other places and-

Marcus: Yeah, pump the brakes.

Thomas: ... just figured out what we needed to do, and everything seemed pretty simple, pretty straightforward, and so we spent the past year-and-a-half dealing with health departments and city licenses and all this because it's so new. No one knew what to do with this.

Marcus: I can imagine the health department was kind of scratching their head like-

Erin: Oh, they had no idea.

Marcus: ... are your fingers clean?

Thomas: Yeah. No, we talked to the Montgomery Health Department, since there was a similar setup up there, and kind of got the rundown from them, and it was pretty basic and straightforward. We passed that information on to our local health department, and we just went back and forth with them. We just couldn't get a really straight answer on anything. So, eventually, January of this year, a year, we were pretty much ready to throw in the towel and just say, “This is-”

Erin: We unpacked everything. We were done.

Thomas: Yeah, we unpacked everything. We were like, maybe we can put this on the back deck, and it'll be kind of a cool thing for parties, something like that. So, we wrote an email to our City Council representative, Bess Rich, and that night we got an email right back of her wanting to help, trying to get everything situated. She thought it was a cool idea, and so I think a total of like a month, month-and-a-half-

Erin: Something like that.

Thomas: ... working with her and Wanda Cochran, who was the attorney for the City Council, to get everything situation. We ended up not having to do the legislation-

Marcus: Oh, cool.

Thomas: ... which was cool, because it could've been, what was it, a franchise agreement between us and the city, and to be able to peddle up and down the street and use the sidewalks and all that, but ended up not having to do that because it's so small. It's not like we've got a fleet of these things out there. It's just one, and-

Erin: We're not using any power or water or anything.

Thomas: Right. Yeah. Yeah, and so Bess Rich was really instrumental in making this happen.

Marcus: Well, and I think the reason why, it's important to kind of talk about that, is because there's oftentimes this idea ... Well, first of all, there's often an idea that starting a business is easy, and it's not. I mean, it took a year for you just to find the person that you needed to talk to as an advocate, but then the second this is when you do run into a situation like that, having an advocate. Right? So, it's important to kind of put your feelers out there and figure out who is that person if you do find yourself ... As a business owner, I'm kind of talking to the audience now, of if you're a business owner and you've run into that wall, find that person that can be your advocate, because otherwise you probably won't break through.

Thomas: Right. I agree.

Erin: Yeah, we wouldn't have.

Marcus: Yeah.

Thomas: No.

Marcus: There's a number of folks that are put into position for that. I would also just say, if you're dealing with the city of Mobile, then the I-Team, as I always call them ... I don't know. They like to be called the virus for the city of Mobile, but I oftentimes think of them as the vaccine because they're actually fixing the things that are wrong with the city, so they're coming in and talking to people about their experiences, and if the gay guys, if you're listening to this podcast, then here's another example, I mean getting something like this passed. I'm sure it could've been fast-tracked a little bit, but ... So, this isn't a franchise then? It was just an idea that you had?

Thomas: No, no. This is just an idea.

Marcus: Did you have to have the bike custom made, or was there a provider, or-

Thomas: Actually, yeah. So, the whole thing started, it was, like I said, January of 2017, and sometimes I'm the worst about this. I was just like, Saturday mornings while I'm waiting for Erin to get ready, for the hair and makeup, all of that.

Erin: To finally come out of the bathroom so we can leave.

Thomas: Yeah, just trying to be nice about it.

Erin: I admit it.

Thomas: Yeah. We'll just sit around and I'll just throw out some of the stupidest idea I've ever had, just to entertain myself or her, whatever, and so I just said, “You know, it would be great if there was this company that would drive around and deliver coffee, and call it Cuppa Go, kind of like cup of Joe.”

Erin: Yeah, and I absolutely agreed, because I need the coffee. If they could bring it to me, that would be great.

Thomas: Yeah, and so for some reason it stuck, and I'm not even a coffee drinker. She's the one that has the coffee background and the coffee interest, so I'm not even a coffee drinker. So, then I started doing some research online one day, because I was just kind of curious. It was extensively bugging me. I couldn't quite explain it. It just kind of stuck, and so this was before Yellowhammer was in town, so we didn't have the coffee truck in the area. So, I looked at that, and it was really expensive to even start with a coffee truck, but then in that search I found this company. There's two of them. There's one called Bike-In-A-Box, and then one, Icicle Tricycles, that make these, and they're popular out West, places like Portland, of course, and they make them for beer.

Marcus: I can see you trying to get that through.

Thomas: Yeah, good luck.

Marcus: Yeah, good luck.

Thomas: Beer, donuts, popsicles, and some of them are also set up to be like little boutique dress shops, which is strange.

Marcus: What?

Thomas: Yeah, they have these racks that kind of pop out-

Erin: A little popup.

Thomas: ... and I guess you can't try anything on, but they hang there, and they make them for everything. It's crazy.

Marcus: That's interesting.

Thomas: So, the entry level for these is pretty inexpensive, and it just looks cool, and there was nothing else like it here. I don't even think New Orleans had anything like this, so that's-

Marcus: So, who are you getting ... Or is there a source for the coffee?

Erin: Yes.

Thomas: Yes. It's a smaller company called Nightbird Coffee out of Jackson, Mississippi, and they've been really great.

Marcus: Okay, so someone real local.

Thomas: Yeah, yeah. It's regional.

Erin: We were trying to keep it as local as-

Thomas: Yeah, as local as we could.

Erin: Yeah, as we possibly could.

Thomas: And they've been really great and very helpful. Craig, I think he's also supplied some other companies down here as well, but he's been really supportive of the whole endeavor.

Marcus: I mean, it is also cool because I'm assuming that you're intending on keeping your daytime job and that this is just kind of a side hustle for now.

Thomas: Yeah. I mean, I just thought it would be really cool for Downtown Mobile, something like this just peddling around, for the people coming home on the cruise ships, the people hanging out at the fort, tours, just something unique for the city.

Marcus: Well, and we love Serda's, and also, we had [Shallure 00:18:44] on. They're getting ready to open up a coffee shop downtown in the Innovation PortAL, but I think that may be a little bit further away, and downtown needs other options for coffee, because it may seem crazy, but to walk from end of Dauphin down to the other end of Dauphin, you're not gonna drive down there because there's no parking, so you're gonna walk or take the electric skateboard or something down there, and it takes time, so it'd be nice if there were other options on this end of Dauphin Street, but ... So, we're actually hopeful that even though Shallure is opening up, they're over on St. Louis Street, so that doesn't help things much, we're hoping that the [PV's 00:19:28] or somebody will open up a coffee shop closer to Moe's BBQ instead, but if you guys are in the area, then that'd be great, too. I don't know when this is gonna be released, but we had an art walk this past weekend, and you all were at that. How was the reception?

Thomas: It was pretty good. It was like a soft opening for us. We were at the back lot, and it let us work out some kinks and figure out some issues that-

Erin: That you'd never know until you actually get out there and get started with it.

Thomas: ... we never would've thought about, what worked, what didn't work, because when we first turned it on, we unloaded the bike from the cart and plugged everything in, it was all set to go, and then this coffee started spewing out of the spigot. We had a tarp over it. When we uncovered the tarp, the handle was just slightly-

Marcus: Just slightly ... Yeah.

Thomas: ... bent down enough to start pouring, but it smelled great when coming out.

Marcus: Yeah, I'm sure. Yeah.

Thomas: But stuff like that, so maybe we should watch that, but it was pretty good, and people seemed to really enjoy the coffee and liked the taste, and cold brew's kind of everywhere now, but nitro coffee is still rare. I think there's only one other place in town that might have that right now-

Erin: Yeah, I think so.

Thomas: ... and so that it's new for the area, and it looks cool.

Marcus: I am a fan. It's so good.

Thomas: It's like Guinness. That's what-

Marcus: Yeah, it is very much ... It has that same velvety texture that a good Guinness has, but without the alcohol.

Thomas: Yeah.

Erin: Which we decided to go with that, and the flavors that we offer are mostly cocktail-inspired-

Marcus: Interesting.

Erin: ... so we had a lot of people asking if they had alcohol in them. When they took a sip, they were like, “Oh, my god. Does this have alcohol in it?”

Marcus: Yeah. No.

Erin: No, it doesn't. It's just really tastes like it.

Marcus: No, but if you're drinking it at night, you might find yourself organizing your closet at 2:00 a.m.

Thomas: Yes.

Erin: Oh, when we were testing flavors, I had four cups in front of me because we had to make a full cup in order to figure out ratios and things like that, so I had four cups of coffee in front of me. I did not sleep at all for days.

Thomas: Yeah. So, someone came. It was about 6:30 when we set up. They got a cup, and then they came back the next day when we were set up again and got another cup, and said that they were up till whatever the night before, binge-watching Lost in Space on Netflix.

Erin: They watched a couple episodes of Lost in Space before they could make it to bed.

Marcus: Yeah. I have to watch myself because I will oftentimes go down to Serda's and get an iced coffee with the coffee ice cubes, so that's the kicker, is iced coffee is brewed at double or triple the strength in order to account for the ice that you put into it, but if you get the coffee ice cubes, then it kind of negates that, and so you're drinking three or four cups at the same time.

Thomas: Yeah.

Erin: And cold brew, really, it has about 30% more caffeine than-

Marcus: Caffeine.

Thomas: Yeah.

Marcus: Yeah.

Erin: Yeah. So, yeah, you could get real wired real fast.

Marcus: Yeah. You only get a small when you do that.

Thomas: Yeah.

Marcus: Now, do you remember the first ... Was this the first evening that you were selling at art walk?

Thomas: Mm-hmm (affirmative), yes.

Marcus: It was. So, my questions is normally, do you remember the first time that you made a sale that you think there might be something to this, but if that was just five days ago, then is there something to this?

Thomas: I think so. It took Saturday, I think, because that night, I think we were just exhausted, and South Sounds was going on too, so it was just kind of crazy, so it's kind of a blur, and the mayor stopped by, so it was just super crazy, but then Saturday, we actually got out of the back lot and peddled it around Dauphin Street and took it around the block, and that's when we kind of noticed people going, “Hey, what's that?” We were stopped at a red light, and someone said, “What's this? What's that?” Carol Hunter at Downtown Alliance stopped us, and she had a cup, and then it was just this swarm of people.

Erin: We ended up with a line.

Marcus: That's so cool.

Thomas: Yeah. So, it was like after that, we're like, this is kind of cool. People were-

Erin: Yeah, and we've been doing quite a bit on social media, and we found that a couple people came looking for us. They saw where we were gonna be out, and they came looking for us and got a couple of cups to take back to people, so ...

Marcus: Yeah. One of the things that Yellowhammer does a good job of is getting word out of where they're gonna be, because you do start to build a following, but if you're just gonna be pretty much downtown, then it'd also be kind of interesting to figure out if there's some way for people to beckon you to their location, like, “Hey, could you stop by 412? We're all kind of dragging.”

Thomas: Yeah. That's one of those things that we want to eventually kind of look into. Right now, since it's just the two of us, we're just kind of focusing on some weekends and special events, that sort of thing, but then as we can kind of maybe build onto it, have some folks peddling around downtown in the mornings, maybe, or midday, something like that-

Erin: That's the expansion plan.

Thomas: Yeah, that's the expansion plan.

Marcus: Yeah, it's the 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. kind of thing, because-

Erin: Yeah, that 3:00 p.m. slump.

Marcus: Yeah, that 2:00 or 3:00 when most people are having another cup, so ...

Thomas: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marcus: Now, if you were talking to someone that wanted to get started in running their own business, even though you are new at this, obviously you've learned some lessons already, so what's the one bit of wisdom that you would impart to them?

Thomas: Research, because we found that when we're going to the health department and all these places, they may not know 100% what's needed, but if you can just say, “I've done all the work. Here it is. This is what-”

Marcus: Here it is. Make it easy for them.

Thomas: Yeah, that makes it a lot easier for them to say yes or no, and also, it's gonna be a lot less stressful on you, too, so just know what you need to do, research, go in prepared.

Marcus: Nice.

Thomas: Yeah.

Marcus: You want to add anything to that, or ...

Erin: He took the words right out of my mouth. I guess if I were gonna add anything to it, I would say don't make any large purchases of anything until you know when you're going to start. Have the start date. Otherwise, especially if you're going into something that's food service-related, you may end up having to toss some stuff, and that kind of sucks.

Marcus: Yeah. So, in hindsight, wait to buy the bike until approval?

Erin: Well, less that, and more like wait to buy creamer and sugar and stuff like that. Yeah.

Thomas: Yeah. Yeah, because we had a couple of false starts when we thought we were ready to go, and we just had to end up throwing out a box of creamer.

Erin: I mean, I've had really great coffee in the mornings for a while now because we had to get rid of some stuff.

Marcus: Eating the product, yeah.

Erin: Yeah.

Marcus: So, you guys have been through some trials and tribulations over the last year-and-a-half. Are there any books or podcasts people or organizations that have been helpful in moving you forward?

Erin: The City Council.

Thomas: City Council.

Erin: City Council.

Thomas: I'm trying to think of any books or websites.

Marcus: Obviously, you mentioned the Montgomery Health Department.

Thomas: Yeah, the Montgomery Health Department.

Erin: Yeah, they were great.

Marcus: But outside of that, obviously, when you start the process of running or forming a business, you're obviously looking to other sources. You mentioned Carol Hunter in Downtown Mobile Alliance. Anything along those lines that ...

Thomas: Yeah. Locally, people like Carol Hunter, Bess Rich, and Wand Cochran, and then as far as all of the ... We just hit the internet like crazy on doing all the research, so it was everything we could get our hands on, any kind of website, any kind of information, YouTube, just to kind of inform everything that we needed to know.

Marcus: You're simplifying that, because you don't think of that as a resource, but the truth is YouTube is an incredible wealth of information. There's not a day that goes by that I'm not watching something on YouTube.

Thomas: Well, I think when we got in we just had to put some of the stuff on the bike together, and it didn't quite make 100% sense, so I just went on YouTube found little instructional-

Marcus: Yeah, and you would go ahead and figure it out.

Thomas: Yeah. It was like, how do you do this, and so yeah, that has been very helpful.

Erin: Yeah, and I worked in coffee shops for several years. I've made cold brew. This is not, I guess, my first rodeo, but still, making sure that we had ratios correct, and making sure that we hadn't forgotten anything. I'm still looking at YouTube, how to make cold brew, how to ...

Marcus: I mean, Tad, who's my lead developer, Tad and I often say that if it wasn't for Google, we wouldn't have careers, because most everything-

Erin: It's true.

Marcus: ... that we've learned has been through Googling and finding somebody else that has done something at least similar, so you mentioned you came up with the idea, and then got online and started Googling, and found that there were these companies on the West Coast that make these bikes and stuff like that. I mean, I would just encourage whomever's listening that if you have an idea, spend the time doing that research, and Google and YouTube are gonna be your friend.

Thomas: Yeah. I don't know how anyone functioned before Google and YouTube. I don't remember.

Erin: I know.

Marcus: Yeah. We walk around with ... It's interesting. We could spend another 30 minutes talking about the education system, but there's been a number of talks where it's like, why are we still teaching people to remember rote dates when we walk around with basically a supercomputer in our pocket. So, it's like let's focus on thinking creatively, but again, a podcast for a different time. So, what do you like to do to unwind?

Thomas: Something I haven't done lately. Usually, binging Netflix. That's what it's been lately. It's like after this past week of getting everything ready and being out on the street, we just came home and snuggled up with our puppies and watched Netflix.

Erin: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marcus: Documentaries, shows?

Thomas: We binged a few episodes of Series of Unfortunate Events, the second season, and-

Erin: Just finished Santa Clarita diet.

Thomas: Yeah, and then special features on some DVDs. We picked up The Last Jedi and The Greatest Showman-

Erin: The Greatest Showman.

Thomas: ... and stuff like that.

Marcus: Yeah.

Thomas: So, yeah, just try to relax, but then even when I'm doing that, my brain is still going on 12 other things, so ...

Erin: One of my-

Marcus: No, I'm often the same way. So, when I am looking to just kind of relax, it's Netflix or YouTube, and I'm oftentimes watching comedians, just because I like to laugh, like to end the day on a funny notes. So, tell people where they can find you, and I don't mean physically, like in a virtual sense. Where can they find out?

Thomas: Yeah. You can go to, and that will take you over to our Facebook page. We've got Instagram, Cuppa Go Mobile, and then a Twitter page, and you can find them all right there. They're all linked up, and when we're out and about, we'll post on our social media where we are, so just kind of stay tuned. I think we're gonna try to be back out on the 28th of April-

Erin: Mm-hmm (affirmative), for Market in the Park.

Thomas: ... for Market in the Park, so kind of keep an eye out for that.

Marcus: Nice, and you may want to give Heather [Feffercorn 00:30:49] at The Pillars a call about the market that she does-

Thomas: Market at the Pillars, yeah.

Marcus: Yeah, she does, because I know a lot of people are gravitating towards that, so ... Well, I want to thank you again for coming on the podcast. Any final thoughts or comments you'd like to share?

Thomas: Thank you for having us, and we're honored to be here.

Erin: Yeah, really. Thank you so much.

Marcus: Yeah, absolutely.

Erin: It was too far.

Marcus: Well, it's a very interesting business idea, and I'm curious to see in another year where it is, so definitely keep us posted.

Thomas: Hope maybe one day we'll have a fleet of these things.

Marcus: A fleet, yeah. Fairhope, Orange Beach, Gulf Shores.

Erin: Well, this one is-

Marcus: Have you thought about Hangout Festival and talking about them as-

Thomas: Oh, gosh. I don't even know. I don't even know how we would even deal with that crowd. Huge, huge crowd.

Erin: But this bike is named Cuppa 1. Hopefully, there will be a Cuppa 2 at some point.

Marcus: Maybe they'll ... Yeah. Well, I appreciate your willingness to sit with me and share your journey as business owners and entrepreneurs. It's been great talking with you.

Thomas: Thank you.

Erin: Thank you.

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