Searching for great coffee, Utah couple finally open their own coffee truck

Louise Matthews

For Ashley and Jayson Johns, it started with a quest — to locate the fantastic go-to coffee store in Utah.

The few stay in Eagle Mountain, and they had been eager to vacation to fulfill their aspiration. According to Jayson, they tried “at minimum 80{ead4cb8c77dfcbdb67aba0af1ff8dfae0017fcc07a16fe7b51058939ac12c72a} of the coffee stores in just about an hour radius of wherever we’re at.”

The criteria for their quest: A area to get good coffee, and a specified je ne sais quoi — a unique taste that could turn into section of their normal espresso regimen.

“It’s challenging locating a little something that experienced excellent flavor, but you in no way missing the espresso flavor,” Ashley reported. “You both obtained genuinely sweet or sturdy — no flavors to enjoy with.”

Due to the fact they relocated to Utah County from St. George, they experienced been hunting for a thing in distinct — and searched from Magna to Moab to locate it.

“We’re both of those quite major coffee fanatics,” Jayson reported. “Getting up listed here, that was one particular of the 1st matters that we really [did] was trying to branch out. We couldn’t find a coffee shop that we definitely relished that was nearby.”

In April 2022, although on yet another analysis excursion, they started out thinking if the way to discover the most effective cup of espresso was to make it themselves.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Holy Grounds Connoisseur Espresso in Lehi on Thursday, March 16, 2023.

“We discovered this trailer for sale on the web that seemed like it was a really fantastic offer,” Jayson claimed. “It was the correct size, anything we talked about. … So we just form of flirted with the plan a tiny bit far more again and forth on the travel.”

After yet another unsuccessful expedition, they determined to buy that trailer — which now bears the identify Holy Grounds Gourmand Espresso.

The Johns accept that it was a wild aspiration. Neither Ashley nor Jayson experienced any expertise as a barista.

“We did not even have the espresso device,” Jayson said.

They found an espresso equipment and purchased it, and obtained a 3-hour crash program from the people today who sold it to them on how to pull a shot and other barista techniques. Just after that, they viewed films and did exploration.

Then Ashley got to do the job. “She experienced a complete menu produced in a 7 days following heading in on the espresso device,” Jayson stated.

The truck even now carries that menu, which has some thing for every person in 5 main types: “Holy Criteria,” “Cold Brew,” “Chai-ing to Get to Heaven,” “Folklore Magic Monster Energy” and “Sweet Magic Lemonades.”

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Ashley Johns at Holy Grounds Connoisseur Espresso in Lehi on Thursday, March 16, 2023.

Sure, there is a topic listed here. “I really like fantasy like ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Harry Potter’,” Ashley explained. Some of the drinks have such names as “Dragon Fireplace,” “Unicorn Blood” and “Goblin King.” (Some of the owners’ favorites involve “Calypso”, “Boondock Saints” and “Fairy Dust.”) A different concept is paganism, and participating in with the spiritual facet of the enterprise title.

When devising the truck’s special flavor solutions, Ashley explained, she usually commences with a one taste, like a syrup. Jayson pointed out just lately that Ashley experimented with Torani syrup’s taste of the year: salted egg yolk.

“It appears plain awful,” Jayson mentioned, “But she obtained it and was like, ‘I want to see what I can do with this mainly because it’s unique.’ That’s form of our matter: we like discovering one of a kind flavor blends.”

Soon after a number of check operates, Ashley recognized the syrup with the off-putting title had a custard-like flavor. From there, she designed some drinks primarily based on desserts, like tiramisu and banana product pie.

For every consume Ashley produces, the Johns set it through a flavor-exam protocol prior to serving it to customers: They test it, set it aside for 30 minutes, and see if the style holds up. If not, they tweak it.

What will make a very good espresso, the Johns say they have discovered, is one thing with a good harmony that can previous awhile, but stands powerful with flavor.

The following challenge for the Johns: Getting a long lasting location to park their truck. It hasn’t been effortless, Jayson mentioned. They’ve bounced from just one parking whole lot to a further, he stated, generally asked to go away by business proprietors who say the truck is including competition.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Hebrew chilly brew at Holy Grounds Gourmet Espresso in Lehi on Thursday, March 16, 2023.

“We’ve confirmed that in most sites that we go, we’re seriously upheld by our regulars,” Jayson stated. When they are compelled to shift, consumers flock to their remarks web page with recommendations. (Not too long ago, the Johns have designed an agreement to park at the Traverse Mountain Outlet Shopping mall in Lehi.)

Component of the challenge is the notion, Jayson stated, that Utah is a tough market to sell espresso. Some of that is primarily based on the prohibition in opposition to coffee for users of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-working day Saints.

“Hot drinks … are not for the body or belly,” according to The Term of Knowledge, the established of principles set forth in 1833 for what food items and consume are forbidden or authorized under doctrines of the Latter-working day Saint faith. In recent yrs, the rules in opposition to espresso have been clarified to involve drinks with names that include things like café, caffé, mocha, latte, espresso or anything at all ending with -ccino.

Jayson recalled one particular instance when their truck was parked by a sporting items store, and a mother strolling by shielded her son’s eyes from seeing the truck.

“Utah’s variety of villainized coffee,” Jayson stated, with a chuckle. “There’s so a lot more than what we’re giving than just the espresso.”

The Johns’ reaction has been to offer you a extensive wide variety on their menu. At times, they supply samples of their lemonade, to show they have a little something for every person.

Finally, the Johns want to expand Holy Grounds’ territory into Salt Lake County. That may well acquire some time — the company experienced electric power troubles with their truck in late February and purchased a second truck when prospects mentioned they had been sad that they missed their favorite coffee location for numerous days.

“It’s been a match of ours,” Jayson reported, “to try and obtain a lengthy-time period position because the very starting.”

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Fairy Dust at Holy Grounds Connoisseur Espresso in Lehi on Thursday, March 16, 2023.

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