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Hidden Gems: Meet Tammy O’Bannon of Hillbilly Grind

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tammy O’Bannon.

Hi Tammy, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
In Goodyear, AZ, we started our little coffee trailer (Lil Miss Blue) in Dec. 2020, technically Jan. 2021. It was hard to find a place to be stationed; when we first opened, we were doing events all over the Phoenix area, mainly on the east side, and after a while, it took a toll on us. The driving from the west side to the east side. So I finally found a spot for us on the westside at the Moose lodge in Goodyear. Our spot at the Moose lodge is awesome, but I felt like we still needed to be at another location, so I kept looking and calling different farms when I came across the Amadio Ranch in Laveen. I spoke with the owner Eric and Kristina Amadio, and they said heck come on out to our farm and set up on the weekends. This was perfect; now, we can serve our drinks in Goodyear and Laveen. It will be a year in August that we have been doing weekends in Laveen, and we are so happy to have met the Amadio they are very gracious people. That being said, we decided to open a brick-and-mortar store so that people would have a place to come every day to enjoy our drinks, grab a bite to eat or have a place to hang out. Well, that idea was short-lived once we started looking at locations. I was not finding what we wanted, and the lease prices were outrageous, so we decided ok, let’s take another look at this, and we decided to buy a bigger trailer and sell our first trailer since it is only 2 of us we could not run both trailers at the same time. Well, we purchased the new, much bigger trailer (Miss Blue), and we are so excited to get this trailer open, but it gets better; the Amadio’s asked if we would like to keep Lil Miss Blue at the farm full-time, we thought about it, and here we are. We now have Lil Miss Blue currently open 5 days a week at the Amadio Ranch, hoping to have it open 7 days a week here soon once we have enough employees. As for the new trailer (Miss Blue), she is almost ready. Once the wrap is put on, and the inspection is done, she will pop up in Goodyear. So here we are now with 2 trailers, and we are so excited about growing our business. Never in my wildest dreams did I think in this short time that we would grow as quickly as we are, and if it weren’t for all of the great amazing people that come out to see us, this would not be possible. To all of our Hillbilly Grinders, we Thank-You so much!

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Oh heck no, I have had many nights of crying and wondering if we should close up and go back to work for someone else. Sometimes I have a 15hr day, well, most of the time. My poor husband Dennis has taken on some challenges with our current trailer. One story, we were at an event way out in Queen Creek, one of our very first big events. There were over 3k people each day for 3 days, and we were the only drink trailer there. It was crazy, but on our first day there, we pulled into the event and got out of the truck, and well, we had a flat on the trailer. So Dennis had to figure out a way to get this fixed so we could make it home. He put that little trailer on a jack we pushed through the event he bought a spare. We made it home to notice the other tire was about to blow out, but we thank God it made it home. Dennis also fixed that one to wake up to a water pump that was not working, and we had to be back at the event in less than 8 hours. So yes, we have had many challenges and obstacles, but we are such a good team that when problems arise, we conquer them together.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
We are a mobile coffee trailer serving specialty and Plant-Based energy drinks. Our drinks are handcrafted by us, mixing amazing flavors to make the drink experience the most memorable. We make our cold brew coffee, brew tea, and fresh squeezed lemonade ourselves, so you always get the freshest ingredients. Our brand is unique. We have a country theme, so our drink names follow the theme like the Winchester, the Gunslinger, Remmington, Calamity Jane, and so many more fun drinks. I think our creativity sets us apart; my many years of bartending helped us create our drinks. So when you come to see us, the drink menu is always changing, so you will not see the same drinks on our rotating drink board, and we always have special drinks for the kiddos.

Are there any books, apps, podcasts, or blogs that help you do your best?
This is pretty sad, but we work so much that we don’t take time to sit and read. As for blogs, I just peak here and there at food and drink blogs on Instagram.

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