We interviewed Dan Barletta, one third of the Jitter Bus trio, to find out more about the hip java bus!

How did your business get started?
Our business was started by Paul Crosby, Andrew Mesiouris, and me, Dan Barletta. The idea first came to Paul in the summer of 2014. Paul thought of the idea to have a mobile cafe and decided to tell Andrew and me about it. We thought it would be a cool way to sell coffee and started slowly throwing ideas together. In February of 2015 we found a short school bus on craigslist and decided to buy it. In order to raise money for all the equipment and labor involved in converting the bus into a cafe, we started a kickstarter. Friends, family, and strangers helped us to raise a little over $5,000, which allowed us to make our dream a reality.
What’s unique about your product?
We care tremendously about where our coffee is sourced from. We get our coffee from Saccuzzo Coffee out of Newington, CT and GIV Coffee out of Canton, CT. We try to only use fair trade or organic coffees. It is important to us because we believe that these details are what makes the best coffee. People have told us time and time again that they prefer our coffee over anywhere else because they can taste the care and quality that goes into our product.
What’s the story behind your business name?
The name Jitter Bus was the first name that came to mind and it just stuck. It’s a silly play on words referring to the feeling you get if you are coffee addicts like we are.
What is your favorite product?
One of our absolute favorite drinks that we make is a dirty chai, milk steamed with a chai tea spice and then poured over espresso. A good amount of our customers love this drink and it is definitely a staple at the Jitter Bus.
Tell us about your use of local ingredients.
All of our coffee is locally roasted. We use Farmer’s Cow Milk for our milk products which is located in Lebanon, CT. We also offer pastries which are baked daily at Whole G Bakery in New Haven.
What do you like to do when you have spare time?
The three of us have been long time friends since the early days of high school. We hangout a lot outside of work doings things such as skate boarding, fishing, hiking, and just being outdoors really!
What’s one thing you want everyone to know about your business?
Our business started off as an idea between three best friends. In the beginning stages of building our business, I could not have expected how many people would believe in us, The positive reaction from the thousands of people that have come to us makes all of this worthwhile to us. We love the fact that people are always excited to see us parked at our usual spot at the corner of Hillhouse Ave and Grove St, or at the Saturday farmers markets.

What are the best and hardest things about being in this industry?
The hardest part about being in this industry, especially in New Haven, is the abundance of cafes. There is a cafe almost everywhere you look in New Haven and a lot of them have something great to offer. The best part about this industry in New Haven is that people love what we do and we’ve been able to gain very loyal and simply awesome customers.