KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – At twenty years and one day old Trevor Bayne had hit a peak. The Knoxville-native became the youngest ever to win hoist the Harley Earl Trophy in victory lane at the Daytona International Speedway. He had won the coveted Daytona 500.
Fast-forward to 2019, after four seasons with Roush Fenway Racing Bayne got the call no driver wants to answer.
“We got a call that I wasn’t going to be in the car which was really hard to get,” Bayne said. “When that happened we were like what in the world are we going to do.”
Bayne hasn’t officially retired, but without a team to race for, he and his wife Ashton were looking for their “what’s next?” Ultimately they’d revert back to their time in the racing world to find it.
“When we were racing, we got to go to all these awesome coffee shops all over the country,” Bayne said. “We would find the best local roaster and check it out. We’d take our kids and we found on the coast there were all these awesome shops that felt kid friendly. We were like if we have a coffee shop we want it to be that family environment.”
The Baynes had their what, they just needed to learn how.
Friends of the Bayne’s own Kai Coffee, a popular roastery on the Sunshine Coast in Australia. Last August Trevor, Ashton and their children made the trip for a ten day coffee crash course. There, they learned how to roast, how to pour latte art and even how to barista.
“That knowledge was invaluable,” Bayne said. “I also talked to them a lot about blending coffee, what origins to get. What importers to use, they just gave me a ton of knowledge.”
In the early hours of the morning, you can see Bayne putting that knowledge to work. He spends the first part of his day roasting Mahalo’s coffee.
“I’ve never wanted to be a leader who was in the back at home bossing people around,” he said. “I wanted to learn what it takes to do the business so every bean of coffee that’s here I’ve roasted.”
There’s no blueprint for the future of Mahalo Coffee Roasters. Right now, Bayne and his family are enjoying watching their young business on Emory Road thrive.
“I would love to have a few more shops in the area,” Bayne said. “I think there are so many great communities like Powell/Halls that we could serve really well.”
Until then, it’ll be coffee with pastries, a smile and Mahalo with each purchase.
Mahalo Coffee Roasters is open Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. The coffee shop is located at 1317 E. Emory Road in Knoxville. You can follow the local business on Instagram @mahalocoffeeroasters. https://www.instagram.com/mahalocoffeeroasters/