Dining With Denise Neil

Wichita will get a new mobile espresso truck this fall

This red bus will soon be a mobile espresso business rolling around Wichita.
This red bus will soon be a mobile espresso business rolling around Wichita. Kate Clause

A new bright red espresso truck will hit the streets of Wichita later this fall.

Sunflower Espresso is the longtime dream of Kate Clause, who also works as the on-air host of “Morning Edition” on KMUW. About a year ago, she bought an old bus that a local couple had been using to transport hearing-impaired people to church. She’s remodeled the interior and given it a new paint job, and after she installs some sinks and passes some inspections, Clause will be ready to roll.

Her plan is to develop a route among larger local businesses, such as aircraft companies, who don’t have coffee shops nearby.

“I will bring their coffee break to them,” she said.

She also is open to catering and to participating in group events like Food Trucks at the Fountain. She’ll use locally sourced-beans to make lattes, mocha, espressos, cappuccinos, drip coffee, seasonal drinks and more. Clause said she has plans to partner with local bakeries and doughnut shops to offer breakfast items as well.

She plans to keep her day job, so when she first opens, Sunflower Espresso will likely be serving only on weekends and in the afternoons. After she gets established, she plans to hire people to get the truck out in the mornings as well.

Clause has worked in several coffee shops, including Reverie Coffee Roasters, and said she wanted to have a place of her own.

“I’ve been working on it for a couple of years,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to do my own coffee.”

Clause will be providing updates on the truck’s progress on the Sunflower Espresso’s Facebook page and on its Twitter account.

Wichita’s first mobile coffee business was Espresso To Go Go, which Warren and Ann Tandoc ran out of a 1973 Airstream Land Yacht for about eight months. The two traded in the truck for a stationary spot at 102 St. Francis and also have a new location inside The Lux at 120 E. First St.