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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Mathy’s got ‘Mojo’

    Colin Prenger
    Colin Prenger / Arizona Daily Wildcat Dan Mathy, owner of Mojo coffee stand near the Newman Building, makes coffee and serves students breakfast food each morning.

    At Mojo’s espresso cart, owner Dan Mathy gets to know all of his customers. There’s no waiting in a long line to get a mass produced something-ccino with “Asher” scribbled on the side when it should be “Ashley.”

    Running Mojo’s and a restaurant on Lake Michigan are hobbies for Mathy. He’s been retired for 20 years.

    And, for more than the last 10, Mathy has kept tabs on his customers. He remembers it all, from their majors and ages to their hometowns, to a family’s summer vacation plans or past surgeries.

    Stopping at Mojo’s, outside of the St. Thomas More Catholic Newman Center, is an entirely new espresso experience where all of Mathy’s customers feel special: It’s as enjoyable as a good “Cheers” episode. Plus, Mathy also fixes a mean mocha.

    “I didn’t know a thing about coffee before I bought the cart,” Mathy said, but he’s fine-tuned his espresso-making skills and charisma since then.

    And the experience brings more and more customers through the years.

    “I’m keeping up with the lives of 50 to 100 people on a daily basis,” Mathy said.

    Mathy also owns and runs a popular pizza restaurant on Washington Island in Lake Michigan, where he escapes the Tucson heat six months out of the year.

    Come November, Mathy is back at the UA, setting up his stationary cart and ready to get back to the customers he’s grown to know and the campus energy he loves.

    Customers are even concerned if Mathy doesn’t open precisely the first week of November.

    “Dan’s back! I’ve been worried about you, I didn’t think you’d ever be back,” says one customer while grabbing a quick espresso.
    “Every half-year, I’m back like a bad penny,” Mathy said.

    Though customers wait on him for months, Mathy says, “I’ve been waiting on customers half my life.” In his past jobs as a “soda jerk” in college or selling lumber or radio airtime, Mathy says, to sell, “you have to genuinely enjoy waiting on people and be able to humble yourself.”

    Half of the time the customers come to you, Mathy said, but the other half, you have to go to them.

    He encourages people to stop by for not only his drinks and food but also to enjoy the eccentric hospitality.

    “Life is a little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down the pants,” Mathy said. “And if you’re taking this life too seriously, you’re doing it wrong.”

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