Brewing success: Teen sisters open coffee truck

Sisters Lukabella Sage Wiebe, 18, left, and Lacianna Juliette Wiebe, 15, work in their truck for their business Sage & Juliette Coffee Co. when it was parked in the Bank of the West parking lot in Newton. Wendy Nugent/Harvey County Now

By Wendy Nugent, Harvey County Now

NEWTON—Customer Liz Alderfer of Newton, who attends Bethel College, told the owners of Sage & Juliette Coffee Co. on Thursday that her mom told her about them.

“I was like, ‘I have to go,'” she told them.

The owners, sisters Lukabella Sage Wiebe, 18, and Lacianna Juliette Wiebe, 15, had their coffee truck parked in the Bank of the West parking lot that day, selling coffees and smoothies for about $5 each.

The two live near Goessel on the family farm. Lacianna is a home schooled high school sophomore while Lukabella attends Butler College online.

Menu items include lattes, mochas, cappuccinos, frappuccinos, chai latte, ice tea, hot tea, smoothies made with real fruit in Tropical Twist and SunShine Smoothie flavors, and specialty offerings including White Dirty Chai, Brown Sugar Shaken Espresso, Honey Bee Latte and The Classic. They also sell Affogato, which is ice cream with espresso.

Although they don’t have any decaf options, they plan on adding non-caffeine items to the menu like lemonade refreshers, which are tea, lemonade and juice concoctions. Their cold drinks are 16 ounces and the hot ones are 12 ounces.

The business’s grand opening was June 18.

Lukabella said they set up basically in Harvey County, like in Newton and Hesston and also in Goessel.

“Newton is our main location,” she said, adding they’ve never served at the same place twice, as they like to serve at different locations around town.

“Almost every time we go out, we get invited to a different place,” Lukabella said.

They’re experimenting with how they do at each location and they’re also experimenting with their hours, which generally are 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m. when they go somewhere. Their next location will be those hours this Wednesday through Friday at the Newton Food Truck Court, and they post on their Facebook page and Instagram where they’ll be every week.

The pandemic led the young ladies to coffee making when their family moved here about two and a half years ago, before quarantining. While in quarantine, the two played around with instant coffee and then they got an espresso machine, serving to family and friends.

“We really both enjoyed that,” Lukabella said. “Then we went to an event last August. It had food trucks and we said, ‘Let’s start a business,’ joking around. Our dad loved the idea, totally supported it and helped us get off the ground.”

Having the business is a great way to combine her business major with the business to get real-world experience.

Lacianna likes having the business.

“Just making the coffee,” she said about what she enjoys. “Bella does the actual business side of it and social media, and I’m more just like making the coffee and chai.”

She likes experimenting and creating her own drinks.

Lukabella said that every recipe they have they played around with and made their own.

That seems to have paid off, as their business is growing. Currently, they’re serving two days a week, usually Wednesdays and Thursdays, and they want to add another day, possibly Tuesday or Friday. They also do events on weekends.

They found a roaster they like in Texas called Independence Coffee Co.

They love coffee and they’re planning to purchase items they need locally, like syrups. They also use natural ingredients, like real fruit and juice in smoothies.

The sisters plan to keep their business around for a while and to be around all year round.

Currently, the money they make is going back into the business and they also have talked about joining with a baker.

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