In Arizona, monsoons signify a changing of seasons, with strong winds accompanied by precipitation during the summer. They represent a transition.

The Verlennich household faced a monsoon of their own in August 2019, when cancer took a member of their family, prompting a sudden change in the family’s future.

Dave Verlennich and his wife, Lori, had dreamt of opening a food truck — the idea brewed in their minds for years. Dave started roasting coffee as a hobby in the late ’90s, while Lori had an extensive background in the restaurant industry. But when Lori passed away, Dave opened the food truck in October, a bit sooner than anticipated.

“It was a huge change of seasons in our life,” Dave said. “And so that’s when we just decided it would be Monsoon Coffee.”

Dave swiftly purchased a used food truck, redesigned it and wrapped the outside with the black and purple Monsoon Coffee logo.

Monsoon Coffee is food truck known for its skilled “art of the brew.” Dave and his son, Gunnar, run the operation, creating menu items, engaging with customers and maintaining the truck. Dave’s daughter, Arika, helps two days a week.

Although Dave has a background in food, construction and chemistry, he was always drawn to coffee.

Pride oozes from his pours.

“It was just something fun to do,” Dave said.

Dave knew he wanted to get back into the restaurant business.

Dave Verlennich, owner
of Monsoon Coffee. [Bryan Mordt]
Since, Monsoon Coffee has established a reputation for high-quality coffee and providing a sense of community.

They have a go-to menu that includes caramel vanilla latte, mocha and chai latte.

“We try to have those things, and we try and do them with a more coffee-forward flavor,” Dave said. “Our whole thing is trying to create balance with the flavors of the seasons.”

With the turn of each season, Gunnar takes the lead creating new menu items for customers to enjoy, incorporating seasonal flavors and trends.

In the future, the Verlennich family hopes to move into a brick-and-mortar shop where they can further grow their customer base.

They love to educate their customers about coffee, what makes it good and bad. It’s more than just coffee, it’s an art, Dave said.

“The concept of our business is not a food truck,” Dave continued. “It’s really the community and interacting with our people.”