By Dianne Sudbrock
Those of you who travel Hwy. Z in the mornings may have noticed a coffee truck parked at the Wentzville VFW lately. Hopefully, you’ve stopped by to sample a cup.
11 Bravo Coffee Company is the brain-child of U.S. Army Veteran Victor Alaniz and his coffee-loving family. Inspired by his mom, Norma, who commutes from Washington, MO to St. Louis everyday, and a desire to do meaningful work and help fellow veterans, Victor and his partner, Erin McChesney, decided to start a drive-up coffee truck.
11 Bravo Coffee Company isn’t your average coffee truck. First and foremost, the intent is to support veterans and other veteran-owned businesses while offering an exceptional cup of coffee (or tea or hot chocolate or orange juice…and some baked goods!)
Victor and Erin have partnered with Bob Mastin, an award-winning Vietnam Veteran roastmaster from Rhode Island. The coffee is made from only the finest specialty-grade, high-grown Arabica beans that are roasted on two U.S. made, state-of-the-art Diedrich roasters in a small batch, per order, process to ensure maximum freshness. Victor and Erin have also carefully sourced other top quality ingredients including naturally flavored syrups, milks and sweeteners.
One dollar from every pound of coffee sold goes to support Veterans. Victor likes the fact that he can control where and how the donations are given, such as to local VFW posts, organizations, and private individuals rather than to some national organization with high overhead.
Victor served four tours of duty in Iraq (a total of 2.5 years) and achieved the rank of Sergeant before his honorable discharge in 2011. Like many other veterans in his shoes, transitioning back to civilian life proved tough. Victor was unable to find a job where he felt the values and skills he learned in the Army were fully understood. Owning his own business has allowed him to put those skills to use, given him a sense of purpose, and allows him to also pay it forward. Victor now brings the commitment to excellence, dedication, quality and service that he learned in the military to his customers. He also hopes to help other veterans start their own business by franchising 11 Bravo Coffee Company to other vets in other locations.
11 Bravo Coffee Company is open on the Wentzville VFW parking lot, 1414 Hwy. Z, seven days a week from 7 a.m. to about 10:30 a.m. In the two months since it opened, Victor is pleased to say they have built a regular following of loyal customers, and business is growing every week. The menu features a variety of coffee drinks including espressos, lattes, cold brew, plus teas, handcrafted hot chocolate or cold chocolate milk, and a selection of fresh baked pastries and donuts.
Customers can call or email ahead to place large orders at 636-359-2783
. For a menu and other information visit www.11bravocoffeecompany.com
11 Bravo Coffee Truck at the Wentzville VFW.
Drive up or walk up to the 11 Bravo Coffee Company truck. Here, Alan Davis orders a cup before the MOSAC Tractor Pull at the VFW Aug. 27.
Vic, Erin and their rescue dog, Simba outside the 11 Bravo coffee truck.