LAKELAND – If there’s one secret ingredient in Drica’s coffee and pastry truck, it’s a bunch of mirth and a dollop of friendship.
Adriana Mellas, 50, owner of Drica’s Favorites Specialty Coffee Boutique, has announced that she will serve her last cup in January when she retires from the coffee business.
“It has been my greatest joy to serve and share life with you,” Mellas said in a press release, “to know your families and your stories, to share the seasons of life over coffee , to make sure you left our window happier than when you arrived and started your day the right way – these have always been my goals.
“As a community you have poured your heart, loyalty and support beyond anything I could have dreamed of,” she continued. “Your love and enthusiasm have been the secret fuel that has kept me going and being successful year after year! “
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While busy planning for parties and planning stops in Polk County, the busy entrepreneur said, “I don’t know how to be half in it. I am either fully or thoroughly. So, I’m all out.
Mellas will sell the food truck but not Drica’s business or brand, the statement said. Drica’s favorites will be available at mobile locations across Polk County during the holidays before the truck window is permanently closed on January 8.
From the window of her big yellow truck, the native Brazilian served coffee drinks and house specials, including cheese bread, alfajores, guava cookies and empanadas.
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Mellas has developed a loyal fan base of regulars who would check his scheduled stops through his website calendar, which are then posted on his Facebook and Instagram pages. This is where his fans can see the truck’s final routes in the coming weeks.
Her regular stops have included Southern Homes, Watson Clinic, Small Wonders Daycare, Peterson’s Nursery and many more in the Lakeland community. The last stop on January 8 will be at Lakeland Group Fitness at 4688 Cleveland Heights Blvd.
Mellas also opened a cafe at the Mulberry Public Library in March to explore brick and mortar starting locations, but which closed in September with no plans for another location.
Upon hearing the news, client Patty Bennett of insurance agent Mark Lanier State Farm, where the truck often stops, said she and her office mates “never got anything that we did.” appreciated ”.
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“We’ve always had a wonderful experience with Drica,” Bennett said. “When you go to Drica, you will get Drica.”
Mellas started the business in 2013 after moving to Mulberry from the New York area in 2010. She had accumulated years of experience as a Starbuck Store Manager and earned an MBA from University. Wilkes, in Wilkes-Barre, PA.
Her husband, William Mellas, had asked his wife to join him in attending the Detroit Tigers’ spring training in Lakeland and she fell in love with the area.
Mellas said she plans to take a vacation and look for a job in the spring.
“Drica’s Favorites has been more than a successful and sustainable business,” she said. “It has been a way of life, a community, a safe place and a support system. I am grateful, humble and honored beyond any words that can ever describe.
Paul Nutcher covers business and industry for The Ledger. He can be contacted at [email protected]
This article originally appeared on The Ledger: Drica’s Favorites Specialty Coffee Shop in Lakeland Closes