People Over Profit: Cloud Nine Coffee Co

A cute trailer, delicious coffee, and a young owner had everyone talking in Bakersfield!  Cloud Nine Coffee Co. quickly became something that several people were desiring to experience.  The simply adorable trailer is designed from the inside out by owner Morgan and then created by Mark Bertel, a contractor from Arkansas who specializes in tiny houses.

The Birth of Cloud Nine

“In the final months of senior year in college I was trying to plan and have the whole dream come into fruition.  It ended up morphing into something I didn’t expect,” says Morgan Burnard, 22 years old, owner of Cloud 9.  Cloud 9 has been open for only five months, and with all the ravings and attention it was getting, they were asked to park near the famous Petroleum Club building.  Ironically, Morgan says that most of their clientele doesn’t come from these buildings, it comes from people in the community who just want to come and experience Cloud 9.

Cloud 9, originally had a different name.  It wasn’t until Morgan sat down and wrote out her business statement where she felt the pressure to find the perfect name.  As she bounced ideas back and forth with her dad she mentioned to him that she wanted it to be a blissful experience.  Through that thought, her dad said “it’s almost like being on cloud 9.” And there it was, the birth of the name for this quaint and cute little coffee shop on wheels!  This name took root and deep meaning to Morgan as she stumbled upon 1 Thessalonians 4:17, where it mentions that all believers will be called up to heaven with the Lord.  This is when Morgan felt joy and peace that this name was the right fit!

Specialty Drinks

Cloud 9 features several coffee options but their most popular speciality coffees are the Julep and Cloudine.  Julep is a coffee created with basil and mint, it was created through trial and error and is by far the most popular drink.  Cloudine is a rare coffee with a blend of coffee and peach and was inspired by her grandmother Claudine who was famous for her peach cobbler.  This is the cutest drink topped with a peach ring around the straw!  There are some incredible flavors that have been released this fall- S’mores Latte (which is basically a s’more and coffee explosion), Chaider (which is chai tea and hot apple cider blend), Turtle Latte (pecan, caramel, and chocolate…pretty much all of the good things in a cup), and finally the Harvest Pumpkin Latte.  In November they look to introduce some specialty Christmas inspired drinks, while still carrying the fall menu!

Coffee + Politics

I began to talk to Morgan a little more about her life.  I asked her, why she’d chosen to major in political science if she always knew she’d want to be an entrepreneur.  She responded, “Politics is my passion.  I know in our current system people aren’t really happy and there’s so many reasons why people are not engaged, but I feel like there’s no better time to be involved with politics.  I actually believe that coffee and politics relate. I’m mostly passionate about people, that’s why I love politics and coffee, I feel like people get to connect and have real heart to heart conversations over coffee. I enjoy that the most,  that I get to create this type of environment and community.  We have so many regulars that come.  We know people by name and over time we’ve been able to know their kids and even their pets.  I enjoy sitting with my customers and talking about life: it could be about silly things or really deep things.  That’s what I love about what we do.  For me it’s not about making money, it’s about having an environment where people feel comfortable to have a good conversation over coffee.  We will see what the future holds, but my end goal is to some day be involved with politics and make a difference in my community.”

Small Business + Bakersfield

Here are a few final questions I asked Morgan as I sat with her over a delicious iced coffee Julipe.

What would you tell a young entrepreneur like yourself, someone that is maybe doubting themselves and their incredible ideas: 

“I think Bakersfield is in need of cool new ideas.  If you’re an entrepreneur and have a great business idea I feel like you should go for it!  We need this as a community. I don’t come from a lot of money myself.  The best thing to do is to come up with a great business plan (even if it sounds scary).  Take it to private investors or a bank. If you have the market research or good data then it may work and they may be interested.  If you’re coming up with a good idea, people will spend their money on you.  Get in contact with people who are willing to help.  I’ve met several people that have a passion to make Bakersfield better.  If you work hard enough and want it bad enough you can make your business happen!”

Since your grand opening, has this journey been smooth sailing for you or have you found it difficult?  What has helped you during hard times (if so)?

I’m currently investing every dollar into this business.  My family has really helped me through this launch.  They are absolutely supportive and it makes it so nice.  I come home to warm meals after long days.  If we are need of anything at the coffee shop, they are always ready and willing to run it to us.  I never feel like I’m in it alone.  

How do you feel when you see the end product of your vision and dream?

It’s been the best business decision!  It’s so different and unique.  People often come just to see it and experience it.  I feel proud and so happy. 

Final Thoughts from Rubi Z

If you have not experienced Cloud Nine Coffee Co, I highly recommend it.  I will be returning very very soon to try all of their fall specialty coffees, especially the s’mores and the turtle!  Oh….and come on, you have to go see Lemon (the big beautiful fluffy dog)!  She’s like the mascot of this place and she is super friendly.  I think petting her is just part of the experience.  She’s absolutely perfect!

I was really inspired to sit with you Morgan.  You are more than a “young entrepreneur.”  I think you are brave and incredibly wise.  I admire your courage and hard work to make your dream a reality and I thank you for putting another cute coffee shop in my world! Lol.  As a fellow creative entrepreneur, I cheer you on!  May your later be better than your former as you continue to journey through entrepreneurship.

 

Cloud Nine Coffee Co.

Builder: Mark Bertel Jr. Construction

Bakersfield Californian’s story/invite on Lemon’s wedding

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