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Drica's Favorites Brings the Joy of Coffee to the Neighborhood

By Elisha Neubauer

There have been portable sushi trucks, moving burger stands, and rolling hotdog carts but now....now, there's Drica's Favorites- a mobile café hitting the streets in Lakeland, Florida.

Adriana Mellas, better known to family and friends as Drica, knew long before launching Drica's Favorites that she wanted to open a specialty coffee shop. "I wanted to offer specialty brewed coffee, handcrafted espresso beverages and homemade delicacies from my grandmother's recipes books," Mellas explained.

"However, I could not set on an ideal location." It was then that her mentor jokingly suggested going mobile, like everything else, and the light bulb went off. "It made sense to have a mobile coffee boutique traveling throughout the city serving at local offices, offering catering services and participating at community events, going where the customers are, offering convenience, high quality products, and friendly services," she details.

Picking a name for her mobile café business was pretty simple when she got right down to it. "Drica is a nickname given to me by family and friends and is short for Adriana," Mellas says. "The coffee and pastries that I serve are all my favorites and have been handpicked especially for my customers. For that reason, I cannot think about a better name for my business than Drica's Favorites."

Since opening, Drica's has been wildly successful, seeing gushing reviews and steady business. "Our community has embraced and welcomed us in ways beyond my wildest dreams," explains Mellas. "We have been at some of Lakeland's most traditional and community-oriented events including 5k, Wine Festival, Pig Fest VIP event, we serve at local offices such as IGT, Marriott, State Farm, Geico, and some local businesses such as Sunshine Interiors and All Creatures Animal Clinic, Executive Plaza Suites to name a few."

There's a reason for this glowing popularity and it lies in the beans themselves. "We only offer Specialty Coffee, which are beans from high altitude, microclimate regions, small plantations, mostly naturally processed and handpicked, only roasted in small batches, per order," explains Mellas. "Our brewed coffee is always fresh and our espresso shots are handcrafted, which means we control the outcome: quantity grinds, tamping and time." She adds, "All this delivers a much higher quality with consistency in body, flavor and aroma."

Drica herself has some beliefs she likes to follow?and she integrates them into her business with ease. These include starting the day on a positive note, displaying kindness to each other, encouraging others to pursue their passions, building strong relationships in the community, showing integrity in everything we do both on and off the job, demonstrate loyalty to standards of excellence, and making sure to give back to the community. As Mellas sums it up, "Drica's Favorites is the expression of my passion, knowledge, expertise, and desire to serve the best coffee to my community."

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Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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