Perking up PC MARC poolside
Caroline Kiley could not have picked a better name: Perks Espresso. The new coffee stand which is offering a lot more than coffee this summer serves PC MARC guests, perking up workouts and lunch lulls. Perks Espresso officially opened last month, serving the healthiest versions a mobile cart can offer of coffee, sandwiches, smoothies and protein shakes.
Two weeks ago, Kiley added a partner to the business, Madonna Marron. Marron has lived in Park City for the past two and a half years and also has a background in the food service industry from her time in Atlanta, Georgia.
From almond milk to locally sourced deli meats, Perks Espresso is redefining cart food, a fact Marron is quick to point out as the newly appointed "promotional" member of the team.
"We want to let people in the community know we are here," Marron said. "We’re fast. You can get a smoothie to go, help you get ready for the day."
Before starting her first business in Park City, Kiley came from a background in coffee making, first working at Salt Lake City Coffee Roasters in college and moving on to her own business, mobile cart coffee stands set up in hospitals along the Wasatch Front.
For the last five years, Kiley has been searching for her Park City opportunity and when she saw the PC MARC was looking for a mobile restaurant business for the summer, exactly her background, she jumped at the chance.
"The great thing about this gym setting is people are health conscious, they are paying attention to what they are putting in their body, and that’s been great for me.
So often people will order a smoothie assuming its good for them and it might not be. You can easily order a 700-calorie smoothie filled with chemicals."
Perks Espresso uses 100 percent crushed, frozen fruits to make their smoothies and often include a wheat and alfalfa grass shot for a boost of vitamins. But Kiley jokes that because children enjoying the pool in the summer time are such a big part of the business, she’ll have to hide the green color of the smoothie in a coffee cup so the children won’t notice.
"We try to keep away from the pizza/hotdog menu," she said. "I could have sold food like that and probably made a fortune doing it, but I believe that this environment demands health. The parents want health, not battling with their child over whether to order a whole wheat turkey sandwich or a corndog."
With less than two weeks to open, Kiley had to solidify the menu, find supplies, a mobile cart and a get set up, a feat she said was only possible because of her past experience with mobile food businesses.
The contract covers the next three summers, but Kiley and Marron are hoping to take their business indoors when winter hits. Conversations with city employees at the PC MARC are underway, with hopes that Perks Espresso could be serving up coffee and protein shakes after the summer contract ends in September.
"When you look at anything we have, we try to keep it healthy," Kiley said. "The espresso part of the business is the smaller part right now. I’d love to grow that side but smoothies and sandwiches and healthy snacks are big for the summer."
PC MARC at 1200 Little Kate Road
Serves PC MARC guests
Monday thru Saturday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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Park City within weeks intends to file an application involving the development of an arts and culture district along Bonanza Drive and Kearns Boulevard.