Mobile Coffee Shop MorningRX Celebrates One Year in Denver | Westword

Coffee Emergency? MorningRX Can Handle It

Cara Benton transformed an ambulance into a mobile coffee shop that's celebrating its first anniversary.
Cara Benton drove to Cleveland to purchase the ambulance that is now MorningRX.
Cara Benton drove to Cleveland to purchase the ambulance that is now MorningRX. Sara Rosenthal
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Some mornings, as I groggily make my way downstairs with my dog, Lucy, I am delighted to spot an ambulance parked in front of my building — because this ambulance is strictly for caffeine emergencies.

MorningRX is a coffee truck helmed by preschool teacher turned business owner Cara Benton, who first had the idea to launch a cafe on wheels during the pandemic after deciding to retire from her career in education. With her husband, who happens to be a trained chef, by her side, she began to look for the ideal vehicle to start her company.

"Every time we searched for a truck, this ambulance kept popping up. My husband pointed out that an ambulance is perfect because it’s wired for power and can be completely sanitized. So I drove to Cleveland, got it inspected, purchased it and drove it back to Denver," Benton explains.

During the road trip back home, she brainstormed names for her new business, eventually settling on MorningRX after a conversation with her mother-in-law. On June 14, 2023, she parked the ambulance on a street in Denver and began serving her espresso drinks to the public.

The inside of MorningRX is an impressively efficient use of space. Benton repurposed the ample storage that ambulances are equipped with, retaining cabinets and countertops to enhance functionality. As the sole employee of MorningRX, she also ensured that everything would be lightweight enough for her to operate on her own.
click to enlarge woman posting in front of an ambulance
Cara Benton was a preschool teacher before launching her coffee business.
Sara Rosenthal
While the ambulance attracts customers, what keeps them coming back are the coffee offerings (which can all be purchased for less than $6). MorningRX offers a range of well-balanced espresso beverages — not too sweet or too bitter, despite decadent flavors like French toast and churro. It also sells seasonal items like a pumpkin pie latte in the fall and an apple pie latte in the summer. All of the drinks can be made hot or iced, and the syrups and whipped creams are all handmade.

The coffee beans are sourced from a proprietary roaster in Colorado, and the beverages are complemented by a selection of rotating pastries and breakfast burritos from a local supplier. Benton is well aware that Denverites love dogs, so she also gives out Puppaccinos made with non-dairy whipped cream topped with a tiny treat.

At the heart of MorningRX’s success is Benton’s personable and warm customer service. Her background in hospitality — honed from her childhood in California, where her parents ran a food truck and later several discount grocery stores — shines through in her interactions. "I love people and get my energy from being around them," Benton says. Her genuine interest in her coffee drinkers has fostered a loyal following, and she knows many of her customers’ usual orders by heart.
click to enlarge hand holding a latte in a blue cup
A French toast latte from MorningRX.
Sara Rosenthal
"Anyone can go to a big-brand coffee shop, but I wanted to offer something you can't get anywhere else and truly set myself apart," Benton notes.

Looking ahead, she sees endless opportunities for MorningRX. Her immediate focus is continuing to serve the Denver community and exploring new collaborations. Having started the business last June, she has weathered the challenges of operating through the Mile High’s fickle seasons and is excited about the upcoming summer. Regardless of the weather, Benton’s commitment to showing up — rain, snow or shine — has earned her a reputation for reliability.

In addition to her coffee business, Benton proudly shares that her eleven-year-old son, Cade, is a competitive skier who has won gold at nationals two years in a row. Her family’s achievements and support are a source of pride and motivation.

To find out where MorningRX will be each day, follow it on Instagram @morningrxcoffee. MorningRX can also be booked for private events; learn more at
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