The bold red truck at the corner of 38th and Spruce streets is moving to a brick-and-mortar location just a few steps away.
HubBub, the food truck specializing in coffee since 2009, will open its second storefront location in the fall at 3736 Spruce St., the storefront Gia Pronto occupied before it moved a few stores away. The new HubBub location will be open every day, with longer hours than its food truck equivalent.
The store will still offer its premium coffee and French pastries, accompanied by an expanded menu that will include bagels — “something that is missing at the moment”—parfaits made in-house, yogurt and fresh fruit.
The first HubBub store opened this past January at 17th and Arch streets. As for the truck, it will be at the Navy Yard on Tuesdays and Wednesdays until August, while a fall location has not yet been decided.
Owner and 2005 College graduate Drew Crockett said that the shift from truck to store was a natural move.
“Since we opened the truck, we’ve always wanted to have a more permanent location at Penn,” he said. “Not only is it a great part of the city, but also it’s a great crossroads of campus — between on and off campus, with not only faculty, students, staff and administration but also the Vet School, doctors and nurses.”
Crockett said he hopes that the location will be a gathering place for people, rather than a grab-and-go stop like the food truck.
“It’s going to be a great environment for people to hang out and meet,” he said. “It’s going to be unlike anything else that’s on campus or around the neighborhood.”
While at Penn, Crockett experienced Philadelphia food truck culture. After graduation, he worked in New York, where he was introduced to “a different level” of food trucks.
“Going back to when I was in college, it was very hard to find a good cup of coffee,” he said. “That’s really where [HubBub] began, and having the opportunity to do it in a truck, doing something different, with the goal of having consumers creating a community in a different way — that’s how we ended up with the truck.”
Executive Director of Real Estate Ed Datz said the success of the truck was a factor in choosing HubBub for the Spruce Street storefront. Datz also thought HubBub aligned well with his goal of promoting entrepreneurship.
“If you look at HubBub, it’s very similar to Greek Lady and a couple others — they started out as food trucks and they feel that they have a business concept that they can expand,” he said. “A key part of our retail strategy is to keep that entrepreneurship in with regional and national players.”
Among the many food options on campus, HubBub is unique, Crockett noted.
“What sets us apart is really understanding where everything that we’re sourcing is coming from and partnering with companies that have similar philosophies and passions,” he explained.
Come fall, Crockett will have made a more permanent mark on campus and he hopes others will appreciate it.
“It’s funny how things in life come full circle — not only from opening a store on campus but also considering it’ll be right around the corner from the truck, where we started the company,” he said.
“Our hope is that this becomes a flagship store where people really engage us in the community and want to have events and learn about coffee and share a good time together,” he added. “We want to become that kind of hub, no pun intended.”