joe cart: Utica’s NEW Instant Neighborhood Cafe

joe cart leaves the garage for the first time, headed out on the streets of West Utica!

On October 15th, Utica’s NEW Instant Neighborhood Cafe, affectionately named “joe cart”, took to the streets for the first time.  joe cart strives to be a grassroots, pedal-driven platform to showcase Utica’s local small businesses, non-profits and causes. As the name implies, “joe” cart is a coffee cart pulled by a bike.  In celebration of all things Utica, joe cart will offer Utica Coffee Roasting Company Coffee.  (For the maiden voyage, the folks at Utica Coffee Roasting were kind enough to donate all the coffee for the run.)

joe cart was constructed out of mainly reused materials, some new things and lots of local time and energy. Here’s a listing of what went into making joe cart:

Reused Materials:

  • reused wood and hardware (free),
  • previously used cart frame built from an old bed frame, hospital bed and two front forks from old bikes ($20 from a farm in northern NY),
  • “awning” frame adapted from a child’s toy lemonade stand ($4 at a thrift store),
  • one wheel from an old bike (the other wheel came with the cart) (free),
  • other supplies thrifted or bartered (around $15).

New Materials:

  • new wood trim ($15),
  • vinyl table cloth ($10),
  • whiteboard tabletop ($10),
  • paint, adhesive, various bolts, screws and other supplies (around $25)

Local (West Utica) Talents:

  • John Ossowski, Jr. (concept, procurement and construction);
  • John Ossowski, Sr. (engineering assistance)

joe cart is FREE…private donations to offset operation costs are accepted, but not required.

Want more joe cart?  Be a sponsor!

Q: Who can sponsor?

A: Anyone!  You can be an individual, a non-profit or a small business.  The only requirement is that the idea, product or service you promote must support the quality of life of EVERYONE in our community.  (No negative advertising or bashing or any kind.)

Q: How do I sponsor joe cart?

A: Sponsoring a joe cart run is as easy as:

1. supply coffee, goodies, etc. to give away to neighbors
2. supply some signage and literature
3. supply a volunteer or two (ON BIKE) who will represent you, help serve coffee, and make good conversation

Contact John to get the cart rolling:

joe cart at the Polish Community Club for the October 15th West Utica Meet and Greet Event

joe cart is a simple, clean, effective and fun way to make neighborhoods more livable – and safe.  Safe neighborhoods are neighborhoods where neighbors know each other, look out for one another and have a regular presence on the street. joe cart provides an instant, free, outdoor café venue where neighbors can gather and enjoy each other’s company over coffee or tea. In doing so, joe cart supports the social fabric of our neighborhoods, which is essential to public safety.

Have some ideas for joe cart’s next run?Contact John at

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2 Responses to joe cart: Utica’s NEW Instant Neighborhood Cafe

  1. Kentin says:

    Great idea and great execution! When’s your next run?

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