Welcome to The Loose Caboose!
The Loose Caboose Espresso stands are an icon of community character in Missoula. They boast four drive up locations around town, and also a mobile cart at the Saturday Clark Fork Market. The Loose Caboose is known for both exceptional quality in espresso drinks, and also for genuine, engaged customer service.
Owner, Malcolm Lowe, says that this reputation is the result of very intentional goals.
“I have always stressed that it all begins with the coffee. It is not about 31 flavors of hot milk,; the foundation of the business is in the espresso shots.
The second equally important part of the business is customer relationships.
“As people spend more and more time in front of computer screens, I believe there is a need for real human to human interactions. We strive to meet that need with genuine interactions where eye contact is made along with a smile.”
We are a unique company of diverse and passionate individuals who are willing to risk ourselves to cultivate human engagement. We develop and grow relationships with our customers by exceeding their expectations. To do this we must achieve the highest standard in drink quality and personal service. We value close, respectful relationships within our company, and believe this attitude can have a positive affect in our community.
About the Owner:
Malcolm Lowe moved to Missoula from Seattle in 1993. In 1991 he managed Uptown Espresso, on lower Queen Anne for owner Phil Groves. He then went on to help Groves open the first DIVA Espresso in North Seattle.
“It was sort of a cliché that all you had to do was live in Seattle to become an expert on espresso, but I actually had some experience when I came out here. I learned from some of the original gurus in Seattle.”
Lowe first started Blue Mountain Espresso Services in 1993. Blue Mountain is a company that sells and services espresso equipment, and distributes supplies to espresso retailers. He sold his company in 1999, but his technical knowledge of espresso machines is an important factor in assuring the best quality shots.
“I have “razooed” these machines to produce very consistent shots at a high quality. Temperature control and daily cleaning are all important.”
Before the move to Missoula and coffee, Lowe worked in a professional theater as an actor, signer, composer, and sound designer from San Diego to Seattle. But between theater gigs he would work as a barista.
“I think I pulled my first shots in 1984 at the Ashland Bakery and Café during the off season of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.”
He has continued to be active in Missoula with the Missoula’s Children Theater, the University Drama Department and the choral group Dolce Canto. He also teaches the VSA choir for adults with disabilities.
Why a Caboose?
Lowe attributes the design of the Cabooses to his theater background.
“I didn’t want just another square building. I wanted something with character, something that could be identified with the Old West and Missoula’s history.”
“It is really more of a streetcar than a Caboose, but I kind of morphed it into a Caboose. And red never hurts in marketing – every directed know to put the leading lady in a red dress.”
Cravens in a true specialty coffee roasting company headquartered in Spokane, Washington with a Sales, Distribution and Custom Service Center in Missoula, Montana. Cravens’ employs 28 people serving 600 wholesale accounts throughout Washington, Idaho, Montana and Colorado.
Check out their website for more information:
• The Loose Caboose Blend
Loose Caboose Blend
Primarily Colombian Huila (region pronounced wee-la) Supremo (grande) to an Italian roast blended with Costa Rick Tres Rios (region) and Sumatra Mandheling Grade One to lighter roast levels. A well balanced coffee of complementary roast levels and varietal profiles!
*This blend is available for purchase at Rosauers Supermarket.
Loose Caboose Decaf
A blend of South American Natural Process and Indonesian Mountain Water decaffeinated coffees. Chemical-free decaffeinated preserves the unique qualities of the coffee yielding a full bodied flavor profile.