Wilton mother and daughter Wendy and Madison Fellows shared a dream to open a café and with collective vision have created a business they are passionate about. Their concoction, Bubble and Brew, a mobile café housed in a vintage fire truck, has been charming the Wilton community at every stop since driving onto the local culinary scene in May 2018.
“What we do on the truck is take all the things we love: our teas, our baked goods, and driving, and we ball it all together,” Wendy says.
Bubble and Brew opened for business with a private event at the Wilton home of British ex-pat Barbara Nordquist, a party in celebration of the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Megan Markle. The catered reception served more than 50 guests. For the High Tea part of the party guests were treated to the vast selection of fine teas and wide variety of baked goods from the Bubble and Brew truck.
“Our friends thoroughly enjoyed Bubble and Brew, a fantastic addition to our party. Wendy and Madison were very lovely. Despite the rainy day, they set up outside and provided a welcoming presence,” Nordquist enthuses.
Since then the Bubble and Brew duo has been busy traveling throughout Wilton to introduce their unique café to the local community. Spotting the shiny red fire truck at traditional events like the Memorial Day parade, Fourth of July Fireworks, the annual Street Fair and Sidewalk Sales, and the weekly Wilton Farmer’s Market, evokes an instant nostalgia for simple pleasures found at home. Customers can choose from multiple racks of homemade baked goods that include scones, cupcakes, cookies, muffins, and a variety of specialized confections such as sticky toffee pudding.
Bubble and Brew also offers between three to four gluten sensitive choices made with ingredients that contain no gluten. Madison has been gluten free since 2015 and through her personal quest to find delicious gluten free baked goods she circled back to her family kitchen.
“We have been baking all of our lives. When Madison needed to make adjustments, we just said, ‘We can figure this out,’” Wendy says.
Over the years, mother and daughter also have sampled hundreds of fine teas, both domestically and abroad. During many road trips–a Fellows family tradition–Wendy and Madison have devoted themselves to mastering the craft of pairing baked treats with fine teas.
But it was after a recent tea-tasting road trip through Europe last summer that they decided to open Bubble and Brew, and that their next excursion would pair passion with business. Last September, Wendy and Madison traveled to Kentucky to attend a Tea Masters seminar at the renowned Elmwood Inn for further insight into owning a tea business.
The Bubble and Brew truck is always stocked. There are an abundance of choices, with over 37 varieties of fine loose tea available to brew at moment’s notice; bubble tea (a Taiwanese tea made with tapioca pearls); and a few select iced teas. Coffee lovers can also take heart–the truck is equipped with a hand-built La-Pavoni espresso machine and homemade ginger and chai reductions.
The equipment on the truck is impressive, yielding truly scrumptious goodies. Wendy knew exactly what she wanted when she set out to create her mobile venue. Finding it was easy but rebuilding the inside proved challenging.
Bubble and Brew was built in a Citroen HY van, a retired fire truck from Normandy, France that had been housed in museum before a dealer acquired it and later sold it to Wendy. It was in exceptional condition and the bulk of work was limited to renovating the inside of the truck. With her own design in hand, Wendy did extensive research to find an engineer who could build a battery to fit into the truck.
“It was crazy expensive but it is really important to us to minimize the pollution and to be quiet, which is part of the experience,” she says.
That Bubble and Brew experience promises to be a tranquil one, with every detail considered with care. From the purest ingredients in every morsel of food, to the expansive collection of beverages, to the gorgeous truck that fuses vintage charm and state-of the art technology, and the environmentally conscious serving-ware (compostable straws!), Wendy and Madison Fellows have created an authentic café unlike any other.
The true charm of Bubble and Brew is how it brings Fellows family traditions, passion, and the comforts of homes from all over the world and infuses them into the Wilton community.
“We just want to be part of the community. We love each job and we love meeting new people. The flexibility to pop up anywhere in Wilton is a challenge we love,” Wendy says.
Visit Bubble and Brew’s website to find a schedule of their upcoming events, to shop their collections of fine teas and tea ware, and to get in touch about customized private catering. Or, look for Bubble and Brew on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter.