If you’re thinking about opening a coffee house, you’ve probably wondered what you should name your new business. You may already have spent hours on what you view as a critical task, and that might be keeping you from focusing on more important initiatives, such as choosing the right coffee shop location or developing your coffee shop business plan.
Keep in mind that naming your business is important, but it will not determine your success or failure in the specialty coffee industry. Serving exceptional coffee, hiring and training the right staff and marketing your new business will all have a greater impact.
The most important factor is that your business name communicates who and what you are in an instant. Most people choose something descriptive of their community or personally memorable. Be sure to tack on “Coffee House,” or “Coffee Shop, or “Coffee Bar” to whatever title you choose, because people are not going to stop their cars just to find out what your business is about.
Here’s how Founder and President Greg Ubert developed our company’s name. Crimson Cup takes its inspiration from the coffee cherry, the fruit that holds the seed we know as a coffee bean. When a coffee cherry is ripe and ready for picking, it becomes bright red or crimson. Coincidentally, Crimson was also the color of Harvard University, Greg’s alma mater, so the color had a personal relevance for him. We followed Crimson Cup with “Coffee & Tea”. These are descriptive words for what we do. Immediately, customers know at least some of what we supply.
Today, we get a lot of compliments for the name Crimson Cup, but it took time to garner these compliments. None of them were strictly due to the name of the business. They were earned, as our customers realized we were committed to producing the finest coffee available and making their businesses successful.
Crimson Cup® would never have meant anything unless we accomplished these two goals. So the name is what you make of it, plain and simple.
Conduct a Trademark Search
Once you’ve chosen a name you like, make sure you do the proper research to find out if it’s been trademarked or registered by someone else. The first thing you should do is an Internet search on the name. If that doesn’t show a conflict, you should then have an attorney do a state and national check on the name for you.
Being thorough up front could save you a big headache down the road. After being in business for over two years, one of our customers unfortunately learned this the hard way. A coffee house in another state previously had registered the name of their coffee house. Even though our customer had no intention of expanding out of state, the other coffee house insisted they stop using the name. Our customer had to go through the hassle of finding another name, changing all their signage and branded items (like mugs and cup sleeves) and making sure all their customers and people in the community knew of their name change.
Use Signage to Stake Your Claim
Once you’ve confirmed your name, have a huge sign made and posted outside the door to your coffee house. Whatever the signage states, keep the design plain and simple and make sure the words “Coffee House,” “Coffee Shop” or “Coffee Bar” appear in very large letters. Make sure the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed, and leave the small scrolling letters to wedding invitations. While they look attractive, it is hard to read decorative lettering while driving a car or walking the dog. You may want to consult with a graphic designer to develop a professional logo that helps your chosen name stand out.
Names of Successful Coffee Houses
Still wondering about what to name your coffee house? Browse this list of names chosen by some of our successful customers for inspiration.