Take a Detour with Mike Hargett and the Detour Coffeebar Truck

by Sam Perley

Three years ago, Mike Hargett was working a corporate job and had just about had enough of punching in numbers every day on an Excel spreadsheet. A former barista at Border’s Books, he began researching and learning how to open his own breakfast spot. Eventually, the Detour Coffeebar truck was launched.

“I wanted to do something that was community-focused and invested in the daily impact,” said Hargett, now the owner and operator. “So, I went back to my roots. I went to community college and enrolled in the business school it had. I took a class called Food Truck 101 for six weeks. I didn’t just throw everything in the air and see what happened. If there’s passion, make sure there’s education behind it.”

He added, “I thought of about six different names for three years. We knew we wanted to convey a quick message of ‘coffee here,’ but not always in the same place. Because we’re a little bit different and not the traditional coffeeshop, it’s a detour from what you’re used to everyday. That’s where the name came from.”

Launched last October, Detour sells a variety of different coffees, smoothies, breakfast burritos and pastries. Hargett recently launched two new arrays of selections with a percentage of proceeds going to an amazing cause.

“Ten percent of our sales on the summer menu and our 90’s menu are going to [non-profit organization] Classroom Central,” explained Hargett. “The 90’s menu is something I’m very excited about. We’ve got items like the Boyz 2 Mint, Hey Macaroona and Destiny’s Chi. It’s only been a week and we’ve done pretty well with those.”

“We’ve done events where we’re able to create a custom drink for that person, that street or that wedding. Some people have chosen to buy the truck for a day to celebrate a special occasion. We’re on wheels, so we can squeeze ourselves into any location. That’s what makes us different, but it is definitely about quality as well as convenience.”

Normally, Detour makes its rounds at schools, offices and other commercial locations, but because of the ongoing pandemic, has swiftly pivoted to more residential areas (locations are posted weekly on Detour’s Facebook and Instagram pages). Despite the trying times, Hargett is adamant about continuing to support smaller businesses like his own.

“I think it’s important to be intentional about where you’re spending your money and to be diverse with how you spend it. I’ve had some people ask me, ‘Why support Black?’ The fact that you have to explain why diversity matters is why diversity matters. We are a Black-owned business and we encourage support of other small and Black-owned businesses, but we also support women-owned, veteran-owned. We’re supportive of all.”d


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