The rich story of Pour Boy Coffee and Mobile Barista

The Renaissance man behind Pour Boy Coffee and Mobile Barista has done it all, and so much of what is his past is part and parcel of this uniquely original brewing brand.

Coffee is clearly the theme, but who Keith Smith is as a person and an artist are the backbone of his business whose trailer operations launched on January 1, 2023, and whose shop on Waters Avenue opened on February 22.

“I definitely felt the lack of places,” said Smith, who has lived virtually across the street for the last five years, and his Pour Boy shop now fills a niche for the nearby neighborhoods of Oakdale and Bacon, Highland, and Kensington Parks as well as the nearby businesses up and down Waters.

“It’s been as good as I could have hoped for,” he said of the early days of the café’s existence.

Savannah’s coffee culture is strong, a rich dark roast of locally owned cafés.

In Skidaway, Cutter’s Point is king. In Habersham Village, Coffee-Deli is always crowded. Thomas Square denizens have Foxy Loxy and Perc, and just a few blocks further north are Henny Penny and The Sentient Bean. In Starland, Café Colibri recently took over the former Troupial house, and you can even grab a fresh-brewed cup inside Picker Joe’s.

Once you are north of Forsyth Park, the options abound, and honestly, Starbucks is only an option if you are walking down Broughton or cursing your way through commuter traffic along Abercorn, DeRenne, or Victory.

When you are coming back from the mall or from your kid’s soccer match at Jennifer Ross or to reward yourself after your doctor’s appointment or surviving a visit to the Georgia Department of Driver Services, you can stop into Pour Boy’s brick-and-mortar home base for a non-chain coffee bevvy.

Truly, this is the only coffee for miles in any direction, and this cup is served with a sweet backstory.


“When I was growing up, I always wanted a spot where I could go and hang out,” said Smith, a born-and-raised Savannahian and Joe of all trades who has ten albums of his own music and an edited anthology of gothic horror stories on his résumé.

On Halloween back in 2009, his band’s first live performance was at The Sentient Bean, and although that gig by The Guilty Peaches was “forever ago,” the space itself made a lasting impression on him.

For the better part of his college years, Smith was a barista at Cup to Cup and learned the ropes.

“They’re great people, James [Spano] and Greg and all those guys over there. They taught me how to make coffee,” he said of that experience.

During that time, Smith also was leading ghost tours around downtown, and he sold his comics at Planet Fun and copies of his horror compilation at The Book Lady.

He mentioned that one of his initial ideas was putting all of his life pieces together in a “haunted café.”

“I was going to park at cemeteries late at night, and it was going to be super-creepy,” Smith explained before conceding that his own objective assessment of that business model questioned the profitability.

click to enlarge The rich story of Pour Boy Coffee and Mobile Barista
Keith Baudry Smith

“I’d miss out on a lot of income. Weddings. If I’m scary when kids walk up, I’m probably going to lose a bit of money,” he said with a smile, “so I wanted to go for something that was less terrifying and more wholesome-spooky, which is where we landed on the retro-cartoon skull cup.”

That Pour Boy logo is his own artwork, and what hangs on the shop’s walls is just a sample of the “totally self-taught” artist’s own portfolio, some of which has become the backbone of his branding, cleverly using public domain cartoon names of yore for coffee concoctions.

This is Felix the Cat meets Fallout in rubber hose animation of Smith’s own creation.

“I’ve done a lot of stuff,” he said, “and it was pretty evident right away that this was different, somehow.”


Smith said that the plan to lease the brick-and-mortar storefront “developed over time,” largely the result of his need for a commissary kitchen that was not simply a business expense.

“I was paying a lot of money every month just to have that kitchen that I wasn’t using at all,” he shared. “I would literally show up once a month to give the guy his money and leave. It felt like I was throwing my money into a bottomless pit.”

Roughly six months in, Smith knew that he would be better off putting that money into a property that “would bring in its own income.”

On October 1, he signed the lease on the space that had previously been home to a couple salons and set to work. He and Team Pour Boy built the counter and back bars, painted and decorated the interior, hung news lights and curtains, created an office, and created a separate kitchen area, all of which feels like Kensington Park’s answer to Gallery Espresso or The Sentient Bean.

“This counts as my base of operations. It’s a better situation now than it was,” Smith said, evidenced in the moment by a family coming in to sit and sip some brewed bevvies.

“It’s basically a family business at this point,” he added, thanking his parents and sisters, all of whom are local. “I’ve been lucky to have very supportive family and friends around me. Everybody got really excited about Pour Boy.”


Over the first year in business, Smith estimates that he set up his mobile barista trailer as many as seven times a week, though he saw a drop-off this past summer.

“I’ve only got one year to go off of,” he reasoned, “but in that one year, I saw that the fall was wildly busy for me. I spent most of my days very tired.”

We are all thinking of the inherent irony here: a tired coffee entrepreneur.

“Everybody laughs at that, and I want to laugh along,” Smith said, smiling again.

He confessed that there has been a commercial learning curve, understanding exactly when clients are going to want an on-site pop-up coffee service. If a mobile barista booking begins at six a.m., his day starts more than an hour before that.

“When I had the idea, I did not really piece all this together,” Smith said. Because the trailer is just that, he does the driving and then all of the set-up and service.

“If I’m going to do it again, I’ll have something that has an engine, for sure,” he added.

The entire brewing and preparation operations are self-contained onboard, custom-built by Arete Food Trailers and fitted with a fridge and the water tanks. Before it was delivered, Smith went back and forth with the designer to make sure that it would meet local codes, and after it landed in the 912, he installed all of the equipment and “made it functional for coffee.”

click to enlarge The rich story of Pour Boy Coffee and Mobile Barista
Pour Boy Coffee

He likened the process to unboxing a meal prep kit but making a dish different from what the recipe dictated.

At the Waters Avenue shop, the menu has a handful more items, simply because of the space to stock and store additional ingredients and supplies. Throughout, the baseline is Cup to Cup’s roasted beans, one of the hometown brand’s blends.

No “single-origin” or “high-end” bean here, Smith said, “Mine is more focused on people who just want a reliably good coffee drink on the way to something else.”


“I was going for a retro-futuristic post-apocalyptic opera-house theater-café feeling, and it’s coming through,” said Smith of the shop. “I’m very proud. I love how it’s all come together.”

The other day, a woman came in with her teenage son who was eager to meet the artist-author-musician-tour guide-coffee brand originator, inspired by his characters.

“I’ve had a few interactions like that, and it’s been really neat,” Smith shared. “I’ve never had anything resonate on that level with people before.”

“I’ve made the joke a lot recently: nobody cared about my art until I attached it to a coffee shop,” he said. Add ‘self-deprecating comic’ to his résumé.

Smith said that he has “big plans” for the brand with franchising in Pour Boy’s future.

First, he deserves some sleep - or a couple cups of coffee.

Pour Boy Coffee (6608 Waters Avenue) is open Monday through Wednesday (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and Thursday through Saturday (7 a.m. to 9 p.m.); pop-up and on-site services can be booked at and @pourboy.mobilebarista.

click to enlarge The rich story of Pour Boy Coffee and Mobile Barista
Keith Baudry Smith

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