LOCAL PROFILES: Jared Domingos - Periscope Coffee (1.9.19)
If you’re anything like us, you’re always looking for a new way to get your caffeine fix, er, coffee. When we stumbled on Periscope Coffee’s cart one morning, we were in luck (and quickly in love). After 3 years in the Financial District, Founder/Owner/Operator Jared Domingos shared with us everything you need to know about Periscope, and where you can find the carts…
Tell us about Periscope Coffee...
After 3 years in business, Periscope Coffee has become New York City's highest rated coffee cart known for serving only the finest quality and best tasting drinks in the Financial District. The original idea for my coffee cart was inspired by my love and passion for the mobile food vending lifestyle. In 2010, I became a food vendor for Wafels and Dinges and quickly fell in love with the street vending community and culture. I took great interest in the coffee cart business model which seemed to offer the best customer service and convenience, yet low quality coffee and limited choices. I then spent the next 3 years developing, designing and building our first Periscope Coffee cart with my own two hands. Not only did I want to offer the highest quality coffee, but also desired to keep the traditional coffee cart benefits of speed, convenience and affordability. This has proven to be a recipe for success with over 250 5-star reviews and the opening of a second location at the South Street Seaport off word-of-mouth advertising alone.
Why the name Periscope Coffee?
Periscope Coffee was originally named Esprezzatura, meaning studied nonchalance in the art of espresso preparation. Our more accurate and user friendly name is used to represent our mobile operations and was inspired by our generator rooftop exhaust muffler that looks like a periscope. Our little coffee carts are also engineered similar to a submarine where they are able to move everyday. Everything inside the cart has a specific place and a purpose creating a very efficient working environment.
What makes Periscope Coffee so unique?
With the Financial District having the highest concentration and fiercest competition of coffee shops, what really sets us apart is that we care more about our community than the coffee. While every guest would say our coffee is the best, this is only a small piece of the Periscope Coffee experience. We guarantee the taste and quality of all our drinks by freshly brewing Lavazza premium Italian dark roast drip coffee and hand-crafting every espresso drink. What keeps our regulars coming back is the full-service experience where we do all the brewing, mixing and stirring for them. We just do coffee and made-to-order beverages allowing us to focus all our time and attention on making sure your drink is perfect and made exactly how you like it. Being a coffee cart also creates a unique and convenient on-the-go drinking experience similar to an Italian espresso bar. Our guests also enjoy the personalized customer service and pride only a small business can deliver. With only a team of 3, we all care about doing our best every time and are able to form real emotional connections with our daily regulars.
What inspired you to open Periscope Coffee in Financial District?
I've admired and been love with the financial district since first moving and living here for five years beginning in 2006 while completing my MBA in public accounting at Pace University. The big streets and open sidewalks make it ideal for mobile food vending. Obtaining a permit for Downtown was always desired due to the business culture and high intensity work ethic that makes coffee a daily necessity for many people. The to-go coffee experience also appeals to the changing demographics of the FiDi now consisting of residents, commuters and tourists. One of the main reasons I love and enjoy my business so much is due to our awesome customer base and the joy Periscope Coffee is able to bring them.
What can locals expect when they visit Periscope Coffee?
Questions. Locals can expect a lot of questions when ordering from Periscope Coffee. In order to make sure your drink is perfect, we always have to know exactly how you like it. Since we only offer beverages, this allows us to craft an extensive selection of drinks. If you can think it, we can and will make it. Since everyone has their own preference when it comes to their coffee, we also offer multiple milk and sweetener options. So this can be a little overwhelming on your first visit. Guest should also expect a very helpful, welcoming, and friendly atmosphere as well.
What's coming up for Periscope Coffee next year?
After expanding relatively quickly with a second cart at the South Street Seaport in October 2016, we are continuing to focus on ways to improve your on-the-go drinking experience from Periscope Coffee. We're currently doing this by upgrading our private digital loyalty program and increasing our speed and convenience with a text ahead order feature. Everyday we seek to learn and grow whether through training, new recipes or cart improvements. Even though we're a small team of three, consistency and quality control improvements are essential to our success. We are also launching new specials to captivate our regulars and promotional giveaways to attract new customers. Our vision of success includes a fleet of carts and our own commissary where the carts have to be stored at night.
What are your favorite local spots asides your own?
Being a modest food vendor, I usually bring my own lunch to save time and money. This allows me to explore and enjoy the beautiful public hideaways the FiDi has to offer such as the Indoor plaza at 180 Maiden Lane, the East River Esplanade at Pier 15 and The Elevated Acre Park at 55 Water Street. I'm constantly seeking out other hidden escapes and secrets.