Bringing personalized craft coffee to the Lansing community
Doug Mains is a local entrepreneur who’s had over 10 years of experience in customer service and coffee. Along with his wife, Lindsey, he runs Lansing’s only mobile espresso bar, Runabout Coffee Co. His journey to Runabout has been filled with numerous other business endeavors. His previous coffee experience ranges from working at Panera Bread, Bloom Coffee Roasters and Strange Matter. It wasn’t until the year that Mains decided to work as a freelance writer that the idea for Runabout finally struck.
What inspired you to start Runabout Coffee Co.? “I’m really just a lost, wandering soul that somehow landed in specialty coffee. Also, Lansing seems to be in a sweet spot. The local craft coffee scene is still very infantile and impressionable, but Lansing has proven itself in recent years to be fertile soil for small business and specialty crafts.”
What sets Runabout Coffee apart from other coffee shops in the Lansing area? “We are strictly mobile and event-based. Our focus is to help event planners and party hosts foster connection among their community and create unforgettable events by transforming their space into a full-blown coffee shop. I do my best to make the most delicious coffee I can, I call it ‘honoring the bean.’ We use Lansing-area roasters [Craft and Mason Coffee Roasters] who have the same regard for specialty coffee. We make our own syrups that complement the espresso rather than overpower it, and we offer really cool custom cups for our events where we replace our logo with one specially made for the event.”
What does living and working in Lansing mean to you? “As I wrote in a recent Instagram post REO Town was a ghost town [in 2008] with more potholes than street; more closed than open; more heartache than joy and yet it bore a history fossilized and a teeming potential. Not everyone saw it, but some did. It was then that I fell in love with Lansing, not just for all that it was but for all that it could be. As friends moved away, we stayed and watched this city grow, develop, embrace local business and welcome new idea after new idea. We love Lansing thank you for doing the same. Thank you for moving here, staying here, growing here being here. You are what makes this city home for everyone else.”’
Whether it’s making coffee, playing with his band, Doug Mains & the City Folk, writing freelance or just being a dad to his two children and dog, Mains plans to roll with the changing tides of life however his interests and passions may change.
“I don’t think I’ve necessarily landed in life, but that’s OK. I’ve given up on the idea that there is a single destination for each of us — we are all just figuring life out as it goes and, more often than not, we plan for one thing and end up somewhere we never expected. That’s just the nature of life. We are all runabouts.”
To book Runabout Coffee Co. for your next event contact Doug and Lindsey Mains at runaboutcoffee.com. Be sure to follow them on Instagram @runaboutcoffee.