Tyler Rogers doesn’t let age get in the way of business. At just 18 years old, the Scott County High School grad is the owner of the new café, Far Out Espresso.
The café is the second business endeavor of Rogers, who does videography for construction and travel companies. The coffee shop was self-funded by Rogers with his earnings from his videography work, which had taken him to Germany at one point. He continues to maintain his videography business as a secondary job to his café.
Rogers employs baristas who are around his age, usually recent high school graduates. Out of a renovated, antique horse trailer, Far Out Espresso serves up organic and locally sourced espresso, coffee and tea. The coffee beans come from City Roastery in Georgetown.
“Compared to the one or two month old beans you’re getting at a Starbucks, our stuff was roasted, like, last week,” said Rogers. “So it’s got a much smoother, a lot more vibrant flavor.”
Far Out Espresso’s most popular drinks are their frappés, made with Ghirardelli chocolate, said Rogers. But his personal favorite drink is ristretto, a concentrated shot of espresso made with half the amount of water.
The business began with a broken espresso machine.
“My dad used to own a café, about 20-something years ago,” said Rogers. “We always had this older espresso machine that had never worked that they had received at his café and was never put to use, because it hadn’t worked from day one.
“So I got it out and started repairing it and learned how to service it. We got it running and replaced all the parts and stuff. That kinda got us started into catering. We started doing weddings and events for coffee catering.”
Far Out Espresso started as a catering company back in January. Positive reception at events led Rogers to open up his storefront on Lexington Road in May. The small shop consists of a trailer with shaded outdoor seating and a drive-through. The location was chosen to allow commuters who work in Lexington to grab coffee on their way to work. The mobile shop continues to cater coffee drinks for weddings, parties and other events.
Rogers hopes to keep his shop open year-round and expand his business with another location.
“Hopefully, if it goes well enough, we’re planning to invest in a second location across town,” said Rogers.
The biggest obstacle of being a young entrepreneur is not being taken seriously, said Rogers. But that shouldn’t deter young people from starting their own businesses, he said.
“You can do most things, regardless of how old you are. It just takes a little longer. It’s a lot of networking, but usually you can get stuff figured out.
“We’ve done a lot of it without the assistance of people who would be older and normally opening cafés. It just takes a lot more work and a lot more trial and error.”
Far Out Espresso is located at 1191 Lexington Road and is open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Noah Oldham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.