By Cara Beth Lewis
With every cup poured and treat served, Firehouse Coffee Company has a goal to keep the memories of fallen firefighters alive while serving customers with a smiling face and the urgency of a firefighter.
Shawn and Marissa Hunsinger, the owners of the new mobile coffee shop, shared, “We come from a long line of full time, part time, and volunteer firefighters and first responders, as well as law enforcement officers. Our family loves to help others in need.”
Shawn is originally from White Oak, NC, and has lived all over the world. He is fluent in Romanian and English. Shawn met Marissa in the coffee capital of the world 15 years ago. Over the years Shawn has worked in the construction industry as a crane operator to support his family, while Marissa has obsessed over drinks and flavors and how to make some of the best combinations for energy drinks and coffee.
Marissa and Shawn shared, “We’ve enjoyed a lot of different coffee tastes in the coffee capital of the world! Everywhere you turn there are coffee shops, big and small, even to include the very first Starbucks! We, as a family, came back to the great state of North Carolina in hopes of this being our last and final move. We decided to put everything on the line and chase our coffee shop dreams! We’ve tried hard to perfect what coffee should taste like. Even before opening our coffee truck, we had to find the best Coffee Roaster who was local in NC. So, we found ourselves tasting an abundance of coffee to provide our customers with something we are proud of.”
Q: What inspired you to start your small business?
A: “Both of our families come from a long line of Officers, Fireman, Veterans, and even a Fallen Firefighter (Shawn’s oldest brother), most of which were or are residents of Bladen County. We wanted to do something to honor our family roots and ALL of our community’s first responders, while also having the ability to give back to the community. So, needless to say, much like coffee tends to do, we were able to build this idea from scratch that brings everyone close together as a community!” – Shawn and Marissa Hunsinger, owners.
Firehouse Coffee Co. explained that they care for their customers deeply. They shared, “We offer what we call ‘Hero Appreciation’ which means that if you’re a Firefighter, EMS, Law Enforcement, Veteran, or Medical Professional, we give you 20% off of your entire drink order year-round… Not just one day a year. We believe in giving back to our community. We try, no matter what, to give what we can in drawings and giveaways throughout the month! We love doing giveaways because it is our way of being able to give back just a little to the people in the community!”
Using a blend of the best coffee beans from a local company, they offer cappuccinos, americanos, macchiatos, flavored hot and iced lattes, mochas, cafe specials, and more. They also have a variety of frappuccino flavors that can be mixed-and-matched. Extra smooth smoothies that remind you of ice cream and plant-based energy drinks are also offered at Firehouse Coffee Co.
The owners continued, “Also, TAZO tea is a great option for a caffeine pick me up for the ones who aren’t looking for caffeine today. We offer green tea, black tea, orange tea, and passion tea. We offer them hot or over ice with all natural honey, sugar, and cream as an option. Cream you ask? – Yes, we offer cream for your tea. It’s amazing!” Speaking of tea… their chai tea is also a popular menu item.
What makes Firehouse stand out? They explained, “Our consistency and customer service is something we take very seriously. We started from the ground up and continue to learn as we go. We aren’t perfect but we do our best to do so. We love to make our customers’ day and look forward to pleasing each and everyone of you.”
Even though this business is new, they already have big plans for the future. Marissa and Shawn shared, “We have recently obtained a new space behind where we are now. We are working on designing a new, more permanent-type building to look like a miniature firehouse! It’s a cute space and much larger, making it able to provide outdoor seating as well! We then will be able to free up the coffee truck and can then take it to events!”
Convenience and consistency is important to the Firehouse team. They stated, “Even though we started in a truck, we are staying in one spot so you can count on us Monday through Saturday 5:30am to 6pm!”
Upon finding a food truck to purchase, they worked hard to fix it up and create a pristine coffee unit. Then, they had to choose a location. “After searching around we just knew we wanted to be in Tar Heel. Tar Heel was the perfect place for us. Tar Heel is slowly growing but needs more than food. We found a temporary spot to rent where we are now,” the owners explained.
“We appreciate everyone’s love and support during this process and will continue to strive for perfection, as the small business we are. Everyone’s feedback is greatly appreciated because it helps us know how to continue to better serve you. We are currently on Google, Facebook, and Instagram. We love to see everyone’s reviews and photos on google and Facebook… So please share your feedback! The best way to connect us is to call or text at (971)-813-9603. We do our best to stay on top of Facebook, so feel free to reach out on there as well. We also have a company email that we check regularly: Fhcoffeeco57@gmail.com. Thank you all so much for taking the time to read a little bit about our business. We absolutely love what we do and we can’t wait to serve you.” – Shawn and Marissa Hunsinger, Owners and founders of Firehouse Coffee Company.