Local coffee shop on wheels brings smiles to campus – The Torch

Some clouds. Low near 55F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph..
Some clouds. Low near 55F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph.
Updated: September 19, 2023 @ 7:44 pm

What college student doesn’t have a caffeine addiction? Better yet, who doesn’t love and look forward to their daily iced coffee? Delicious and convenient, Bright Love Coffee has it all. Students, faculty and staff are invited to get their daily fix at a new university favorite. From campus one day to around the Valpo area the next, the business’ success is as simple as wheels and mobilization. 
Bright Love Coffee is new to the Northwest Indiana (NWI) area, only officially launching last month. Though there is no physical storefront up for the business, there has been a heavy focus on private events and similar activities, including making appearances in the Chapel View Lounge in Valpo’s own Harre Union, in concert settings and at
 Popcorn Fest. 
“We’ve wanted to pursue this business for many years now, and finally had the opportunity to go for it. I’ve always had a love of craft coffee, and have dreamt of having my own coffee business for many years. After living in Florida for the past seven years, we decided to chase after the dream of Bright Love here in Valparaiso, where my wife and I started our journey together. Bright Love is a mixture of my wife and I’s names from our birthplaces, so it has a special place in our hearts. We don’t currently have a brick-and-mortar store, and are focused on pop-ups, events and catering,” said Gabe Glass ‘13, founder of Bright Love Coffee and Valpo alum.
Glass finds that Valpo is the perfect place to start such a business as it offers a plethora of opportunities and new beginnings for a craft coffee business such as Bright Love. Not many other craft coffee offerings are near the area, so he hopes to be a part of the positive shift towards growing the craft coffee market in NWI. 
“Craft coffee is still in development here in NWI. In a metro area like Orlando, Fla. there are dozens of independent shops and roasteries with a saturated industry, but for now, Valpo has a lot of potential and room for a new business like ours to be part of the growth. With our focus on being mobile, we’re able to cater to a market that hasn’t had much action yet, and we’re excited to see what kind of growth we can achieve,” Glass said. 
Owning and operating his own business has opened the door to various opportunities for the founder. Glass acknowledged that these chances may not have otherwise been offered if he simply worked at another coffee shop. He and his wife are allowed full entitlement of what goes on in the decision making process and what goes on with the business. They find the greatest amount of joy and fulfillment when they are able to collaborate with other members of the community and other local businesses. 
“One of the greatest parts of owning our small business is being in full control over the brand, schedule and trajectory of the business. If we want to change the menu, try something new or take some time off, we’re able to make those decisions for ourselves. We also love getting to network and collaborate with other local businesses, seeing how putting entrepreneurial minds together can create some really great opportunities to serve the community,” Glass said. 
One of Bright Love’s most Valpo-centered collaborations is their partnership with Yaggy Road Roasting Co, which is owned by a Valpo alum Ben Montgomery ‘20. By engaging in this partnership, they are able to maintain ties in the community as well as support ethical coffee farming along with high quality goods. 
“Pretty early on in our plans for Bright Love, we were connected with Yaggy Road Roasting Co., which is another small business owned by a Valpo alum. It’s been great building that relationship and being able to use coffee we can trust [that] has been sourced in ethical ways, supporting coffee farmers at the source and ensuring the highest quality due to Yaggy Road’s expertise in roasting. We’re always looking for ways to expand Bright Love’s reach in the community,” Glass said. 
To learn more about Bright Love Coffee or to schedule an event with them, follow them on Instagram @brightlovecoffee or visit their website brightlovecoffee.com.  
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