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Small Business Spotlight: Nimble Coffee Bar

It’s a moment we all know very well. At least those of us who love coffee.

Warm or cold, the moment that beverage works its way through our tired selves is magic. We are restored.

Lisa Vaccarello has seen many of those moments in her life, and has made it her life’s mission to make those moments happen as easily as possible.

After 10 years of working behind the counter in traditional coffee shops, Lisa decided it was due time to make coffee more accessible. How exactly does she accomplish this? She started Nimble Coffee Bar, a mobile coffee bar that features simple, yet robust options for coffee lovers of all varieties.

“I decided to launch Nimble Coffee Bar because I had always believed in the idea that one truck could bring the coffee experience people loved to many unique locations and occasions,” she explained. “When, at age 30, I overcame a serious medical condition, I knew I didn’t want to squander my second shot at life.” 

Instead, she took her passion for coffee, hospitality, and all things culinary, and built a brand around the experience she wanted to create: “convenient coffee with an elevated level of product and service, plus the playful excitement of the food truck industry.”

The mobile shop brews Wisconsin’s own Kickapoo Coffee and features craft coffee service, a full espresso bar, pastries, and hot breakfast sandwiches.

River House recently had the opportunity to sit down with Lisa to talk coffee, business, and a shared love of Milwaukee.

River House: What has been the biggest challenge of your career and how did you overcome it?  

Lisa Vaccarello: The biggest challenge of my career was learning to say no. As a natural team player, I was always volunteering myself to help out my employers when they were in a pinch, and I enjoyed doing it. It became a problem when my employers began asking more and more of me, at the expense of my own job performance. I was no longer proud of the work I was doing. When I finally started to say no to these requests, I received pushback from management. This was a main catalyst for starting my own business.

RH: What do you most enjoy about your career?  

LV: I enjoy creating a playful culinary experience: something that will make someone’s day just a little better. I believe that a great cup of coffee and customer-barista interaction is a beautiful, purposeful way to start the day. This is what drives me.

RH: Who inspires who and why?

LV: Any entrepreneur that has come before me, blazing new trails: those who are resourceful, clever, efficient, and not greedy.  It’s hard to pick just one. I listen to the podcast How I Built This, where every guest fits the description – it is a very inspirational listen.

RH: What is the most important lesson you’ve learned about running a business?

LV: If something isn’t working, change your strategy. But never change your values.

RH: Can you describe a moment or moments when you stopped and realized this is why you are doing what you’re doing with your life?

LV: Every time someone walks up to the truck.  It’s so personal to me.

RH: What advice would you offer to other small business owners?  

LV: Fear and self-doubt can be crippling. Find a way around it, even if you have to trick yourself.  You will have enough challenges running a business; don’t become an enemy to your own success.

RH: Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? (all in good fun)

LV: Let’s go with egg.

At River House, we believe wholeheartedly in living your best life. And we know that for many of us that starts on a daily basis with the beautiful wonder that is coffee.

That is why River House is proud to announce a new partnership with Nimble Coffee Bar.

In addition to receiving coupons and information about the business in River House’s welcome folders, we have scheduled the following days for Nimble to visit River House.

Nimble Coffee Bar Schedule at River House

9 a.m. Sunday, April 29

9 a.m. Sunday, May 20

8 a.m. to noon Friday, June 1

For more information, or to schedule a tour of River House, please call (414) 273-3300 or visit us online.