Kathie Mason was going to school to earn her degree in 2012 when she began working at Quick Cup in Tipton. Natalie and Dale Meyers had opened the drive-up coffee shop in 2007 and Mason loved working there. Years later when the Meyers announced that they were selling the shop, Mason and her boyfriend, Rick Shanks, decided to purchase it.
“We had always wanted something like this so it was a great opportunity,” says Mason, who has been pleased with how the shop has grown since they bought it in November of 2013. “When we first started, one employee could run it for a couple hours at a time. Now, one employee can’t be left there for five seconds. There’s too much traffic coming through.”
Not that she’s complaining. She’s grateful for the tremendous community support and the way locals not only frequent the shop, but also rally around her in tough times. There was perhaps no better example of that loyalty than during the COVID-19 crisis, which did a number on many small businesses. Mason’s biggest hurdle during the pandemic was getting her hands on supplies – namely cups.
“Obviously our business relies on cups, so there for a while I was in a panic driving to different states in search of cups,” Mason says. Once word got out in Tipton that Quick Cup had this need, the community responded. A woman who runs a restaurant in Cicero offered to get some cups from her distributor. The manager of the tobacco store next door said she’d ask her area manger to order some cups. A bowling alley proprietor also offered to help.
“I had people reaching out from all over,” Mason says. “I literally broke down and cried because these people were such a blessing. I have cold chills just thinking about it.”
Even now, maintaining an adequate cup supply can be difficult due to supply-chain issues.
“I have to admit, I’m a cup hoarder now,” Mason says with a chuckle. “We own a pole barn down the road from us, so if I’m at Sam’s Club and they get a couple cases of cups in, I’ll buy them and store them in the pole barn because you just never know.”
About a year and a half ago, they revamped the menu and began selling quick-serve food. In the mornings, hot sellers are biscuits and gravy, made with their homemade gravy.
“We sell out of it every day,” Mason says, adding that the sausage, egg and pancake breakfast sandwich is also very popular.
Customers also love the soft pretzels, hot ham and cheese sandwiches, and barbecue sandwiches.
Outside temperature does not seem to affect customers’ taste buds.
“Some days we sell hot drinks all day long, and other days blended drinks,” Mason says.
Frappés are a big seller, even in the dead of winter. Their popular hot drinks are caramel macchiatos and white chocolate mochas.
“You name it, we have the flavor to make it,” says Mason, who is thrilled to have her nephew Blake join her team as store manager. “He graduated from IU with a business degree and has been a godsend. He’s got so many great ideas like monthly drink specials and weekly muffin specials. Plus, he does all the marketing and social media posts, the scheduling, and bringing in new products like holiday drinks.”
Mason is grateful for her entire staff for their skill and dedication.
“These girls move,” she says. “They are on it. Sometimes I tell them, ‘I hope you wore your running shoes today because it’s busy.’”
According to Mason, they are the ones who keep the customers coming back.
“They work the windows,” she says. “They make the drinks. They are the face of Quick Cup.”
Though it’s a drive-up coffee shop, they do have a walk-up window for warmer months. They also set out picnic tables with umbrellas in mild weather.
Customers appreciate not just the drive-up aspect, but also the fact that they have two windows rather than one – one on the north and one on the south side of the building. This allows traffic to flow nicely.
Anytime an individual, church, school or community organization approaches Mason about the possibility of doing a fundraiser, Mason agrees because she so adores the people of Tipton.
“Being able to help people is what I love most about my life,” Mason says. “I have a heart for giving back. I feel that’s what I’m supposed to do.”
Just last month, Quick Cup celebrated its 15-year anniversary. They made it a month-long celebration by offering giveaways throughout the month of April.
“We did some birthday drink specials, a birthday cake frappé, and we ran a special on our cupcakes,” Mason says. “We were excited because 15 years is a big deal.”
Quick Cup is located at 302 East Jefferson Street in Tipton. For more information, call 765-675-2910 or find them on Facebook.