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Drive-Thru Coffee Shops A Growing Trend In Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- The drive-through at the Green Tree Starbucks always seems to have a line -- even in the middle of the afternoon -- which suggests a growing trend in the coffee business.

"I have to say we're fairly popular," says Dorie Schwendeman, who owns Island Bean Company. "We have a crowd every day, and our customers consistently tell us we have great coffee."

Schwendeman operates a drive-through coffee kiosk along McKnight Road in Ross Township.

Do you buy your coffee at a drive-through?

It turns out a lot of people are, and there are many entrepreneurs in the Pittsburgh area who are banking that this is the future of coffee.

"It's a trend, and I think you're going to see ever-increasing numbers," consultant Ed Arvidson told KDKA money editor Jon Delano.

Arvidson with Expresso & Coffee Consulting in Oregon consults nationwide with anyone who wants to open up drive-through coffee kiosks.

"Coffee is the most widely consumed beverage on earth after water, and the second dollar traded commodity behind crude oil," said Arvidson.

"So it only makes sense that people rushing to work would like to grab their cup of joe or latte or cappuccino out of a drive-through window and not have to leave their car," he adds.

Sensing that trend, Ken and Michelle Zeff, the owners of Pittsburgh-based Crazy Mocha, are about to open their first drive-through coffee shop on Route 8 in Shaler.

"You're thirsty, you don't want to get out, so you just drive right in," says Zeff. "We'll give you a cup of coffee while you enjoy the comfort of your car, and then you can just speed on out of here."

Workers are completely re-doing the coffee kiosk which will open in August with the same menu available at other Crazy Mochas.

Zeff says there could be more.

"Our goal is to test this and see if it fits into our business model. And if it's successful, then we'll certainly start making the push."

Making it easier for every coffee addict to start their day.

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