“[This was] really the deal of a lifetime,” said Einsel, founder and CEO of Thirsty Coconut, detailing a business deal he struck with 7-Eleven stores across Mexico late last year. The transaction saw Einsel’s company acquire an estimated $7 million worth of liquidated beverage equipment. Thirsty Coconut is starting a new bar and restaurant lease program where the company will make it easier for anyone to own a frozen drink machine to make smoothies or slushies for $199 a month, Einsel said. Einsel plans to refurbish the machines as part of Thirsty Coconut’s machine refurbish program, he said. City representatives specifically reached out to Einsel as he considered moving Thirsty Coconut out of Kansas – noting Johnson County specifically as an area with limited resources for startup success, he said – which helped lure him downtown. Not only did moving Thirsty Coconut into an 18,000-square-foot warehouse space – on the former Richard Gebauer Air Force Base on Westover Road in Kansas city – enable the company to take on a dramatic increase in inventory, it also placed it in an opportunity zone, Einsel said. Newly connected, Thirsty Coconut has just closed on a $2 million funding round, Einsel said.