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There’s quite a “HubBub” surrounding one Sigma Chi Penn alum. Drew Crockett '05 and his gourmet coffee business are creating a buzz on Penn’s campus and in downtown Philadelphia.

Crockett started serving HubBub Coffee in 2009, out of a bright red food truck parked about a block from the Sigma Chi chapter house. Four years later, the HubBub truck is still in full throttle -- so much so that in January, Crockett opened the doors to a bricks-and-mortar HubBub Coffee in Center City.

Before rolling his coffee truck up 38th Street, Crockett spent four years on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange. It was an exciting -- and impressive -- career path for the Penn grad, but he soon realized his passions were leading him away from Wall Street and back to Philly.

“I started to become very interested in the businesses that I was trading, as opposed to the business of trading,” Crockett says. He began to pay attention to the elements of success -- the nuances that give some companies advantages over others. And, as he pondered these things on his way to work every morning, he’d grab a cup of joe from a man who had figured out how to put an espresso machine in his coffee cart.

“That was the underlying driver,” Crockett explains. “I saw a different opportunity for a coffee experience that didn’t exist in Philadelphia.”

Now, Philly’s no stranger to food trucks -- in fact (as you remember), they’re an integral part of the Penn experience.

“Going to Penn as an undergrad, it’s a very common part of everyone’s day to get food, whether breakfast or lunch, from a truck on the street,” Crockett says.

But curbside coffee? The streets were wide open.

When Crockett, who earned an MBA from Boston University, talks about his business, he’s quick to emphasize that it’s not just about a cup of coffee. It’s about an experience.

“What we’re trying to do is bring people together through different, unique coffee experiences,” Crockett says. True to its name, HubBub aims to generate a buzz (pun intended) through the medium of coffee.

When coffee shops are ubiquitous in nearly every urban setting, it takes something special to grab java junkies’ attention. To make HubBub about more than just a cup of coffee, Crockett stands by three crucial elements: product quality, location, and preparation.

HubBub Coffee comes from small-batch roasters, which Crockett compares to microbreweries in the beer world. “They put a lot of thought/craft into what they’re producing,” he says. “Our coffee is exceptional.”

Combine that with a convenient location and skilled baristas who actively engage customers, and you have a brew worth talking about.

Having grown up under the umbrella of his family’s business, Crockett has been nurturing his business sense since childhood. “It doesn’t dawn on you that your friend’s family isn’t having that conversation (about business) at Thanksgiving.”

But business sense is only part of the equation. Leadership skills are essential for entrepreneurial success, and Crockett credits Sigma Chi with shaping him as a strong leader. During his time as consul, Crockett learned to mediate and motivate -- two qualities he uses daily as a business owner. He also learned the value of a lifetime relationship with his Sigma Chi brothers -- even those he’s never met.

It’s not unusual for active Sigma Chi brothers to stop by the HubBub truck for a cup of coffee and a quick conversation. That’s something that comes full circle for Crockett, who was always impressed when brothers who had graduated would stop by the chapter house when they were in the area, even if they didn’t know anyone who lived there.

“There’s this instant connection,” Crockett says. “Whatever it is -- whether it’s the tradition of dinners or chapter meetings -- whatever it is, there’s a bond that connects everybody.”

That’s certainly true for Sigma Chi brothers. And, given the hubbub surrounding HubBub, it’s also true for people who know where to find a great cup of coffee.

Reconnect with Drew at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..