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Man and his mule serve coffee in Boise foothills

Local man serves coffee to all those who recreate in the Boise foothills.

BOISE -- Some of us start our day with a cup of joe, while others may start with a morning run. But one man is up in the foothills making sure you get a little taste of both.

Every Saturday you can find Matt Bishop and his mule, Richard, walking the Boise foothills providing those who recreate up there that little extra shot of motivation.

"Being a parent with a younger kid and a couple others in the house, I was always tired. I said man this would be great to have a cup of coffee up here," Bishop said.

So this former Green Beret officer started Café Mulé. A trailside service providing pour over coffee to all those who may pass by.

"It's an awesome feeling when somebody rides up and says, 'Hey, you want a cup of coffee?'' Matt Bishop said, "I get the, 'I don't have a wallet or money.' I get to say it's on the house, and I joke that it's on the mule."

Richard, a mule who's the engine behind the business, hauls close to 200 pounds every Saturday.

"Some people say they're stubborn, but it's a matter of intelligence and my father is a very intelligent guy and his nickname was mule growing up," Bishop said. "So I thought that if I was going to have a mule, I should name him after my father."

It wasn't always that fancy. When Matt first started the business, he ran into some trouble with permits. However, a loophole in the U.S Forest Service allowed Matt to pursue his dream under two conditions: he couldn't charge and he was limited on the number of people he could serve.

"Less than 75 is to keep under a group permit requirement for the Forest Service. I was capping myself at 73 people served with me serving would be 74," Bishop said.

Now, Matt operates Café Mulé on private land, which alleviates the thought of permits. However, don't worry the coffee is still free, his business runs off donations only.

"For me I thought it was something else that kinda fit the character of Boise and where we live was to do it on a pack mule," Bishop said.

Bishop says he hopes to grow the business into something bigger and to have his own coffee brand. If you’re wondering where you can find Matt and Richard every Saturday he posts his location on his website Cafemule.com.