Carrie Rengers

Heartland Tech and sister company Kookaburra Coffee are expanding

Rebecca McNelly and Edward Fox plan to expand their Kookaburra Coffee truck to retail sites.
Rebecca McNelly and Edward Fox plan to expand their Kookaburra Coffee truck to retail sites. Courtesy photo

Rebecca McNelly and business partner Edward Fox have expanded their specialty coffee equipment company and are now looking to pour more cups of coffee, too.

They own Heartland Tech, a company that started in 2014 to sell and service coffee equipment.

McNelly says they have clients such as Starbucks and McDonald's, "all the way down to your local coffee shop."

Heartland has branches in Wichita; Joplin, Mo.; Bentonville, Ark.; and now Springfield, Mo., with the acquisition of Queen City Coffee.

"We're working on saturating the markets that we have right now and ... growing our local business coverage," McNelly says.

In September, the former barista and Fox started Kookaburra Coffee because McNelly missed serving coffee. The truck mainly does catering, but it will be stationed at Riverfest throughout the festival this year.

"I am considering some retail locations," McNelly says.

Her first likely will be in Missouri, where she spends a lot of her time, but McNelly is interested in one for Wichita, too.

Her plans don't end there.

McNelly, who spends a lot of time traveling to teach coffee technician training, plans for Heartland to open a center to train specialty coffee technicians by 2020. The center will have its own brand.

She says it also will feature a Kookaburra Coffee site and a showroom for commercial and home coffee equipment. The center also will have a shop for espresso machine customization and repair.

Look for more information as McNelly's plans progress.

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com.
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