happyfastdelicious Brings West Coast Coffee Vibes to South Lakeland
By Diego De Jesus
Coming from America’s Finest City, San Diego, California, happyfastdelicious today opened a location in Lakeland on South Florida Avenue that it hopes will be touted as one of the finest coffee establishments in the city. One word that happyfastdelicious wants to bring to Lakeland is “exuberance,” according to its founder.
Andrew Nesi, the Founder of happyfastdelicious, started the coffee shop as an idea in 2020 with a couple of friends who helped him develop the eponymously named app and perfect the coffee.
“I created this business because I wanted to take what I think are the best parts of myself, the most aspirational parts of myself, and bring them into the world,” Nesi said. “For me, that’s exuberance and a smile. That doesn’t mean I’m like that all the time, but it’s me at my best.”
For Nesi, 36, his business is a way to bring optimism into people’s lives, he says as long as he’s done that, he’s done his job.
The first location was just established last October in San Diego, but there was a lot of preparation and analysis to contribute to happyfastdelicious’s success and quick expansion. He chose Lakeland for its small community feel and the location for its drive-thru design.
“As a small business, it’s really hard to find existing drive-thru real estate,” Nesi said. “Most drive-thrus are owned by brands like Taco Bell, Starbucks, or Dunkin’; it’s really rare for a small business to have a drive-thru location. They’re expensive to build, so we were lucky to find one already built.”
South Florida Avenue is at the heart of Lakeland, with a lot of traffic pouring through the area, which is what Nesi was looking for in a location.
In an age where businesses are utilizing mobile apps to offer quicker service with the same quality product, happyfastdelicious wants to be tech-savvy innovators while paying homage to the intimate feel of a traditional coffee shop.
One way the business aims to build community is through its app, where Lakelanders are already crafting their own creations customizing drinks and others can see what drinks are trending locally.
“I’m thankful for the San Diego shop we have because we did a lot of testing in the early days of the things we got right and wrong,” Nesi chuckled. “One thing we decided to do here, based on what we learned there, is have that window only be for mobile pick-up and parked-order.”
The service is quick and easy, bringing the customer’s drinks to them in seconds, ordering through their mobile app that displays all the orders and customizable options. Nesi wants the customers to be served by smiling staff that exude warmth.
As noted, customers and baristas can add their drinks to the menu for others to order; their entire menu is based on this concept. They also serve energy drinks, sodas and seltzers, along with pastries from Honeycomb Bread Bakers in Winter Haven.
Nesi said their coffee is less bitter and acidic, which better suits iced beverages in terms of preparing them faster and with better taste. Being a small business, Nesi stresses that being close-knit with the community is imperative.
He’s made strides for his coffee shop to become part of the community by donating all of the grand opening proceedings to KidsPack, a local non-profit that helps feed hungry children.
“If I get hit by a bus tomorrow, I wouldn’t want the obituary to be like ‘He delivered great returns to a private equity firm,’” Nesi said. “I would want it to be like ‘He was a force for positivity and joyfulness in people’s lives.’ I think a coffee shop is like an unusually good way of getting to do that.”