Danielle Sanders is no stranger to the streets of Oakdale. With over 10 years of experience in the real estate industry, some might add she’s equally no stranger to customer service.
One on the hunt to find the Oakdale native, however, won’t find her alongside a Realtor friend or lender for that matter, unless of course they happen to be thirsty. Earlier this year, Sanders returned to the area with a little something extra to share with the community.
Sanders is ‘the’ barista of Wandering Barista, a mobile coffee trailer which may be spotted at Oak Valley Hospital or, as was the case recently, Westurf Nursery in Modesto, for a special event.
“The idea just came to me one day,” Sanders said of the business she began in the Pismo Beach area almost a year ago. “I thought three of my favorite things, driving, coffee and people.”
Not one to jump blindly into a business without a plan, the business owner decided to first seek out a barista position with an area grocery store coffee shop. It was an experience which fulfilled two of the three things she loved, as well as taught her how to brew on a larger scale.
Close to two years later, Sanders began searching for a trailer to pull from her SUV and put her business plan in place.
“I wasn’t tied down to one location,” the barista said of opting for a trailer versus a traditional coffee shop or kiosk. “I could go to the people.”
While the trailer came equipped with all Sanders would need to take her percolating on the road, the exterior mattered just as much to the coffee lover. With sights set on attending functions such as parties, weddings and the like she kept the aesthetic appeal just as much a part of the overall plan.
“I didn’t want to do it like a food truck, because that’s super busy,” she said of the facelift given to the exterior of the pre-owned trailer. “I wanted it to fit in all environments, so I went basic.”
The ‘basic’ she opted for is a replica of the 1957 green T-Bird. A bit of an homage to the 1957 white T-bird Sanders sold to make her dream move to the coast over six years ago.
“The biggest challenge thus far is finding new locations throughout the city,” she stated. “I can go anywhere in Stanislaus County.”
As a native of the 95361, Sanders noted that as she continues to look for new locations and opportunity by way of events, the community at large has been tremendously supportive.
Sanders hopes to reciprocate that support, looking ahead to forging partnerships with area schools, Parent Teacher Clubs, businesses, as well as sports clubs.
“It’s great,” she said. “Everybody’s been super supportive. People have gone out of their way to come get coffee and as word of mouth spreads, more people that I don’t know are showing up.”
And there are some important support personnel assisting with the venture.
“I couldn’t do this without the community, well, and my parents,” the barista said, offering a nod to the support of her parents Larry and Louise Sanders. “I appreciate my family’s support as I follow my dream and I love when my mom comes to work with me.”
Ultimately, Sanders has learned the three things which brought her such joy are now creating a synergy which makes her day in and day out not just fun, but rewarding.
“I enjoy the interaction with the people,” she said, “and nobody’s truly upset when they come to get coffee. If they don’t like it, they hand it back to me and I make them something different. There’s nothing in here we can’t fix.”
To find the Wandering Barista at her next stop, visit Wandering Barista on Facebook for daily location updates or call/text 287-4671 for additional information.