Mountain Mocha expands to mid-Gilpin County

Barbara Lawlor, Gilpin County.  Too many coffee drinkers. Not enough time.


Until now, when Mid-Gilpin County residents headed out the door, craving a hit of caffeine for their commute down the hill, they had to settle for a commercial cup at Taggarts or none at all. Waiting wasn’t really an option, so they settled. Sometimes they would make it to the Mountain Mocha Cafe in Black Hawk where they could order their mocha latte or expresso and smile with pleasure on their way down the hill.

Now they have a closer choice. The little white trailer at the edge of Roy’s Last Shot parking lot offers the coffee choices of Mountain Mocha Cafe at a drive-through window. You can pull up, grab your caffeine of choice and know you’ll make it down the mountain.


Jeremy Allensworth and his partner/wife Tiffany Hartz saw the need and responded to it.


Mountain Mocha Cafe opened three years ago when Jeremy and Tiffany bought the business in Black Hawk. They came from Saint Louis knowing they wanted to own their own business in the restaurant related industry. For years, the couple had come to Colorado to ski and every time they left, they would try to figure out a way to not go home.


Their quest led them to Bizbuysell where they found a listing for the previous local coffee shop in Black Hawk. It took a week and a half for them make their decision and their business has grown ever since. In May they celebrated their third anniversary.


Last summer they realized that the tourist business was going crazy, they were slammed with Peak to Peak traffic. In the winter, the locals kept a steady stream of business that kept the shop going during the slower time. At the end of the summer, they knew they wanted to do some sort of expansion.


For the past couple of years, Jeremy had been roasting his coffee in the former feed store behind Roy’s restaurant and when they decided they wanted a drive through shop, they approached Roy about the prospect of bringing in a trailer. Roy encouraged them to go for it and last February, Jeremy found a 1973 Cardinal Travel Trailer.


For the next four months, the couple gutted the trailer and remodeled it, bought the necessary equipment, made a drive through sign with an arrow pointing the way through, and opened for business in mid July. They have been busy ever since.


“There has been no custom coffee place between Nederland and Black Hawk until now and there has been nowhere for people who work at home to pick up a latte. This is something I knew I would appreciate. We want people to incorporate us into their routine and coffee is a part of their routine. This is an opportunity to change your routine to fit us in somewhere.”


Jeremy says that Black Hawk residents have become regulars at their shop, that they like the shop and what they have going on down there. They have ensconced themselves in the community life and love being in Colorado and being their own boss. They are open seven days a week and plan to do the same at Roy’s: hours are 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. and maybe until 2 p.m. later.


Mountain Mocha roasts its own coffee. “I do everything,” says Jeremy. “I am anal about quality and I touch every bean. We get coffee from all over the world shipped from California.”


The shop also sells pastries for now and maybe burritos later. There is a picnic table and a bench for those who want to set awhile and enjoy the view while they get their morning coffee fix.


Jeremy says when the drive through is up and running smoothly, he may look at expanding, filling in another niche on a Colorado highway.


Mountain Mocha coffee cart is located just to the southeast of Roy’s Last Shot, at 17268 Highway 119; Black Hawk, CO 80422.

Barbara Lawlor

Barbara is a reporter for The Mountain-Ear.