Sonoma’s Cafe Apae rebounds from fires with gelato and espresso carts

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Have you come across Cafe Apae? The unique gelato and espresso catering service is owned and operated by two Sonoma Valley entrepreneurs, Andie Buffkin and Nick Gast. They purchased a 1959 Vespa espresso bar and 1964 gelato scooter from their close friends, Nick and Carissa Grimm of Cafe Scooteria, last spring.

Gast and Grimm grew up in Sonoma together riding motorcycles and sharing a passion for classic vehicles.

“It was a natural decision for us to take over the carts as the two Nicks teamed up about four years ago to build them,” explained Buffkin. “At that time, they had been working together building custom food trucks from vintage and unusual vehicles.”

Apae’s “Motorino Zucchero” service provides gelato from a mint-green Vespa scooter and sidecar, using Tony Fiorello’s Artisan Gelato.

“Espresso Vivo” is their espresso bar service. They source their espresso beans from Oakland-based Mr. Espresso.

“We like the company because they roast all their beans on site and provide organic and fair trade options,” said Buffkin. “Our milk comes from Strauss Creamery which makes our lattes and cappuccinos extra delicious.”

Unfortunately, this past fall their 1959 Vespa espresso bar was damaged in the wildfires.

“We have remained positive and are in the midst of a cart rebuild,” said Buffkin. “It’s our goal to have our 1956 Lambretta espresso bar serving the area by this May.”

Until then, visit them online at cafeapae.com.

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