PEWAUKEE - A new way to get your coffee fix uber-quickly on your way to work, or literally whenever, has opened in city of Pewaukee, following a lengthy five-year process.
Octane Coffee, W229 N1400 Westwood Drive, will make use of a "fully automated" kiosk system that cuts down on "those dreaded coffee waits" in drive-through services of other coffee shops.
"Octane Coffee isn't just about speed; it's about changing the very nature of the coffee drive-thru experience," Adrian Deasy, Octane's founder, said in a news release ahead of the service's grand opening Oct. 6-8"We're thrilled to invite the community to check out the best coffee drive-thru experience first-hand."
"We call the system a 'Fly-Thru.' We are trying to redefine the drive-thru," said Chuck Kubiak, chief operating officer of Automated Coffee Shop Inc., which operates Octane Coffee. "A drive-thru implies waiting at a window for who knows how long. We are trying to eliminate the waiting part of the drive-thru."
Octane Coffee created its own speedy system
Deasy, a local engineer and entrepreneur involved in automation and other types of technology development, joined with investor Dan Voell to help him deliver on an idea he said he spent years developing, beginning in 2018.
The fully automated, robotic system works like this: Customers order remotely (from anywhere) using Octane Coffee's app. The system then uses GPS to calculate various factors, including where customers will be driving from (even accounting for the number of left turns in the journey) and how long their orders will take to make.
"All sorts of other stuff to ensure their drinks are completed and placed in the pickup window just moments before they arrive," Kubiak said. "The vast majority of our customers are sipping away in under 15 seconds, so there is no line. Mission accomplished!"
The process from plan to opening Octane Coffee in Pewaukee took some time
Support from Wisconsin Venture Capital and two Angel Investment firms, Lancaster Investments and the Tundra Angels, Octane was able to soft-open in May, testing out equipment and preparing for the grand opening rollout. But the process didn't move quickly.
Deasy first publicly announced his Octane Coffee plan in March 2021, gaining the zoning and site approval of the Pewaukee Common Council the following month.
The lag time from approval to opening was due to the rest of the technical process. "We still had to build the exterior building, get approval from all sorts of government bodies, and test it," Kubiak said. "There were definitely some challenges to creating new technology."
Octane makes use of other shops' coffee brands such as Pilcrow Coffee and Stone Creek Coffee
Unlike most coffee shops, Octane isn't in a building, per se, and isn't boasting its own brands. It's partnering with others to deliver on its "best of the local flavors" beverage vow.
Deasy said the company has joined forces with Pilcrow Coffee, Stone Creek Coffee and Healthy Roots Juices, all of which "align with Octane's dedication to local businesses while serving the best coffee Milwaukee has to offer."
It operates within a freestanding stone-faced kiosk, a kind of coffee hut, in a parking lot.
Where is Octane Coffee in Pewaukee and when you can drive through?
The kiosk is adjacent to the building that for a generation was home to American TV and Appliance, off Redford Boulevard (Highway F) just north of Interstate 94. (The building now houses several businesses, including Point Burger Bar.) It's on the north side of the building.
Because of its automated nature, its service is available anytime. More Octane Coffee locations could follow, but for the moment, Pewaukee is it.