ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Motor Oil Coffee is opening two retail locations in Albany and Troy. The brand’s products are currently only available for purchase on the Motor Oil Coffee website, at farmers’ markets, festival events, and on Amazon.
The company was founded in 2021 by Joe Bonilla and Rich Fazio, who met at UAlbany and together started the creative strategy firm, Relentless Awareness, just over 10 years ago. Bonilla said he used to co-own a coffee shop in Upstate New York where he learned the retail business. Through this experience, they decided to start Motor Oil Coffee.
“But how did we come up with the name? In our work in creative strategy, we visited car shows and auctions across the United States – from Pebble Beach to Kissimmee – and no matter if a car sold for $1 million or $1,500, the people setting up these shows would say the same thing: ‘This coffee tastes like motor oil, ha, ha, ha.’ And the name kind of stuck,” said Bonilla.
The co-founders were originally just looking to sell their products wholesale and through events. But Bonilla said these opportunities to open retail locations were worthwhile and they couldn’t pass it up.
The Troy location, in partnership with 518 Craft, will feature hot and cold coffee, a small selection of fresh baked goods, and bags of all Motor Oil Coffee blends for sale.
“The response we’ve received through online sales and through our markets has been amazing and we’re thrilled at the opportunity to expand our presence here in the Capital Region,” said Fazio. “This partnership with 518 Craft enables us to be in the ‘java nexus’ in that of Downtown Troy and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be part of this community.”
The co-founders said the Albany location will serve as the flagship Motor Oil Coffee “charging station.” It will feature hot and cold coffee, baked goods, beer, wine, cider, cocktails, and in partnership with Clark House Hospitality, pre-made food. This shop will be located in Albany’s warehouse district and the exact location will be announced later this month.
“Having worked on so many projects and initiatives within the Warehouse District, this is truly exciting that we’re able to open Motor Oil Coffee right in Albany,” said Bonilla. “As our flagship location – and yes, we intend to explore and open additional locations based upon demand – we want our fans and customers to come in to truly experience the Motor Oil Coffee lifestyle of revving up to start your day or keep your body’s engine rolling.”
Customers at both locations can enroll in Motor Oil Coffee’s loyalty program, Sparks, to earn free coffee. For each one-pound bag of coffee purchased, Sparks users can earn one Spark. Every 10 Sparks earns a free one-pound bag. Subscribers of MO at Home, Motor Oil Coffee’s home-based subscription service, can earn extra rewards, as coffee purchased through the service is worth two Sparks per bag.
The Troy location will be opening later in May. The Albany location will be opening later this summer.