Carpe Noctem Café: Dillon Mancuso’s Pop-Up Café

Hey, Regent students! Have you ever had a big dream? A friend of mine, entrepreneur Dillon Mancuso, aspires to open a pop-up café and invites others to hear his unique story! 

His Dream

The young entrepreneur, eighteen-year-old Mancuso from Williamsburg, VA, was inspired to start his own coffee business ten years ago when he witnessed the launch of Foundation Coffee, a coffee shop in Riverview, Florida. He desires to create a café that can be a place of solace away from the home and work. Mancuso has a strong sense for meaningful connections and introspective thinking. His vision is to create a space where customers find these pleasures.

Due to his nocturnal nature, Mancuso also wants his pop-up café to be a home for night owls. With creativity and ingenuity, Mancuso will be naming his business Carpe Noctem Café, meaning  “seize the night.” Mancuso states, “You’re confronted with your mistakes you’ve made throughout the day, and it can get rough. So I [suggest] that you seize [the night] and make it your own.” He desires Carpe Noctem Café to be a second home. “When life gets hard, you can stop on by and grab a favorite drink and just relax.”

His Goals and Inspirations

Intending to open his coffee shop in the next 2-5 years, Mancuso plans to use a retired shipping container which will hold the coffee bar and indoor seating for 2-4 people. Outside seating will include an overhead seating area suitable for 10-12 people. Mancuso was inspired to create an intimate setting by the themes of family and community, and he wishes to connect with the patrons that come by. 

He states, “Carpe Noctem Café is your place to feel judgment-free and welcome.” He wants to build a community space where people can hang out and feel known, where they will be welcomed into a modern day safe-haven. Mancuso seeks to keep intimate core values, avoiding large corporation ideas. His aspirations differentiate Carpe Noctem Café from competitors because his perspective of  “community comes first, no matter what.” 

His Experience

Like many entrepreneurs, Mancuso has experienced challenges with his start-up. Mancuso opens up about unexpected hardships in response to helping raise funds, he states, “I do find it difficult, I won’t lie. Reaching out for help to fund this café and getting cold shoulders is definitely disheartening. However, I know God is in control, and He will provide. For every trial He will be there. I have faith He will provide for Carpe Noctem Café. No matter how many times we receive bitter replies, Carpe Noctem Café will keep pushing through so that one day, we can build our location and share our values with the community.” So far, his GoFundMe is propelling his entrepreneurship. 

Mancuso has found the challenge of planning and fundraising an interesting journey that has allowed him to excel personally and professionally. 

Mancuso does not have any business partners right now except for those who have already donated to the start-up. However, once all his plans are in place, Mancuso desires to meet potential partners and customers. To keep track of his progress, you can follow his Instagram @carpenoctemcafe and his website.

How to Contribute! 

To help make his dream a reality, your donations and prayers are welcome! Mancuso has set a high goal but that is because he is starting from scratch and plans to incorporate sustainable and zero-waste materials; he’s currently raising funds for coffee grounds (which will be given to farmers for fertilizer) and equipment such as espresso machines and grinders.

Eventually, when Mancuso begins the physical process of setting up his pop-up stand in the market, he invites those who helped to grab a drink free of charge! Through setting up a physical location, he hopes that Carpe Noctem Café will bring a unique experience and that it becomes like a second home to coffee lovers like you. 

You can visit this link to donate or scan this QR code!