KC Cars & Coffee Cofounder Bugra Durukan Interview
Our own Bugra Durukan who is not only Car City Wholesale's General Manager, but is a co-founder of KC Cars & Coffee told us about how the early days of Cars & Coffee and what it took to become a staple of the KC car community. If you want to see upcoming C&C or any other KC car events, look at our monthly calendar.
Q: How long ago did you start Kansas City Cars & Coffee?
A: "Stephen Cook and I started it about 5 years ago. Other Cars & Coffee groups had tried to get started in Kansas City, but for one reason or another they didn't work out long term. Stephen and I knew there were a few big car meets each year, but there weren't many regular meets people could look forward to, so we figured there was a need there and gave it a shot."
Q: How did the first event go?
A: "For our first event we partnered with the KC Auto Museum, who saw the potential of having a regular event like Cars & Coffee in their parking lot. They had about 40 parking spots and we filled up just about all of them. We didn't know how many people were going to show up but we did a lot of prep work and marketing and it really paid off."
Q: How quickly did KC Cars & Coffee gain traction?
A: "It only took the next 2 to 3 events to get over 100 people showing up. The fact that so many people were coming really showed how hungry KC car enthusiasts were for an event like Cars & Coffee."
Q: What was your biggest surprise getting it up and running?
A: "We spent so much time and money getting things like permits, insurance and finding a spot to even host it. Stephen even sat in some city council meetings to help us get it set up. Even with sponsors we pretty often pay for the event out of our own pocket. We're a non-profit, so if we do come away with some money we donate it to (Include charity here)"
Q: Have you ever avoided a potentially disastrous Cars & Coffee?
A: "We tend to have a problem we need to deal with each meeting, but my favorite memory was when one morning we were getting ready before anyone had arrived yet and it started pouring. We had already set up and figured nobody would show, but soon one car pulled in, then another and very quickly dozens of people were driving in during this downpour. We ran out of room so we all cruised in this rain storm to a nearby mall and set up in the parking lot there. We quickly set up the tents in this parking lot we didn't even have permission to use and had a pretty good time! People were staying under the tents to stay dry and were hanging out drinking coffee and doing their best to stay dry."