At just 17 years old, San Marcos resident Claire Oksayan discovered her passion for coffee. Oksayan said she began working at a drive-thru coffee stand in Encinitas after moving to the region from Oregon.
“I was there for four years and always said it was the best job I ever had,” Oksayan said. “I even met my husband there; he was one of my customers and we’ve always had the love of coffee in common. After that I had a dream to own my own coffee shop one day so I could get back into the coffee business.”
Today, Oksayan is the proud owner of The Rush Coffee, one of few coffee trucks in San Diego County. Oksayan and her husband, Parsegh, opened the business just three years ago and recently expanded to three coffee trucks.
Together, the couple, along with two other full-time employees, can be found serving coffee from anywhere to Carlsbad to Kearny Mesa. Oksayan said the dream of owning their own coffee business led them to success.
“I think we both expected there to be more roadblocks or reasons why it wasn’t going to work out, but we kept moving forward and still haven’t found any obstacles that we can’t find a way to overcome,” Oksayan said. “We work way more hours each week than we would like to admit. We believe that we’re working towards something great that will eventually give us the freedom and flexibility that we seek.”
Although Oksayan, a mother of two, found success in the beverage industry in just three years, it didn’t come without its challenges.
“My biggest challenge in the beginning was my own feeling of inadequacy and doubt that I could operate a business of my own,” Oksayan said. I didn’t feel smart enough, well-resourced enough, or “tough” enough to make the decisions necessary to be a business owner. But after a while I realized that I did have what it takes as long as I stayed true to who I am and stopped trying to run the business how I’ve seen others do it.”
Inspired by God, her mother and mother-in-law, Oksayan said she also finds encouragement from fellow female food truck owners. In fact, with the knowledge she’s developed over the years as a business owner, she offers this advice to budding, female entrepreneurs.
“When you hit a roadblock, don’t turn around, find a way around it, over it, under it, or maybe you just went a slightly wrong direction,” Oksayan said. “When you start walking down a road that you believe in, look forward and see yourself being successful. When someone tells you it can’t be done, take that as a sign that they probably didn’t even try and go find out for yourself. When you need to cry, let it out. When you need to scream, do it in private, and then find a way forward.”
For more information about Claire Oksayan or The Rush Coffee, go to https://www.therushcoffee.net/.