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12 Questions with Doug Zumbach – Caffeine & Carburetors Founder

When did you come to New Canaan and what brought you here?

In 1991 – I looking for a retail space to start a coffee business in either Westchester or Fairfield County.

What did you do before you began the Caffeine & Carburetors empire?

I was a VP of Human Resources.

What started your love of cars?

I grew up in a family of car people – my father and two older brothers were always interested in cars so I guess it was in my blood.

A favorite car you’ve owned and why?

1960 Austin-Healey – It was the first car I ever owned, and it gave me freedom of the road at a young age. I’d also have to say a 1964 Plymouth Fury, 1972 Porsche 911-T, 1977 Porsche 930.

Let’s talk cars. Which fantasy car you would love to own?

Iso Grifo 5.7 Litre, Porsche 911 SC Weissach Special.

Car you wish you should have kept?

Porsche 914-6.

Car you could have purchased but did not?

1967 Fiat Dino Spyder.

How has Caffeine & Carburetors evolved since your first gathering?

We were small in the beginning. It was really just a handful of owners and cars until the word got out. One gathering seems to triple in size from the last event, and suddenly everyone knew that this was the place to be if you loved cars.

Did you envision Caffeine & Carburetors growing into a nationally-recognized event?

We knew there were a lot of car collectors and fans in the area, but we had no idea that it would grow into the massive event that it is today. We provide a platform for thousands of people to share their passion for cars and pass that love down to the next generation of car enthusiasts by offering an environment which encourages all levels of interest in the hobby – owners, collectors, and residents. We worked closely with New Canaan officials to make sure we were growing in the right way, being respectful to the town and responsible for the attendees.

Why open the Cafe when Zumbach’s is a wildly popular and beloved local institution?

I love new challenges. This is a different brand for a different clientele. It is about offering a destination for automotive enthusiasts to belong and hang with other people who share the same passion outside of the 4 major Caffeine & Carburetor events.

Favorite coffee drink?

Currently I’m drinking Brazil Daterra Estate – Black. The Gold Coast Blend Dark Roast is also a favorite, and Panamas are excellent.

Any plans to retire and enjoy your cars and coffee?

Not a chance. I have absolutely zero interest in retirement, too much still to do.

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