Coffee Shop Success Story: Gateway Coffee Co. in Creve Coeur, MOFebruary 6, 2023 (Published: January 25, 2023)
On December 6, 2022, lines of excited coffee lovers stretched around Gateway Coffee Company at 12806 Olive Boulevard in Creve Coeur, Missouri, for the grand opening of the city’s newest independent coffee shop.
To celebrate, Owner Greg Conrad offered medium espresso-based drinks, teas and smoothies for just $1. Festivities also included free giveaways and a ribbon cutting ceremony with the Creve Coeur Chamber of Commerce.
Meet Gateway Coffee Owner Greg Conrad
A former sales and marketing executive, Greg became interested in starting his own business after struggling to find his next role.
Opening his own coffee shop offered a promising career path.
“I spent a lot of time in coffee shops while job searching,” he recalled.
“I also had been drinking coffee from a fairly young age since I had a Brazilian grandmother who was a big coffee drinker.”
Greg discovered Crimson Cup while exploring local coffee shops near Canal Winchester, Ohio.
“After considering opening a coffee shop, I started talking to some local shops to learn about the process,” he said.
“I stopped in 5 Bean Coffee in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. They spoke very highly of Crimson Cup and their consulting program.”
Crimson Cup has helped entrepreneurs open over 300 independent coffee shops across the U.S. Some have run their shops for 20 years or more. Others have opened multiple shops.
Learning to Open a Coffee Shop
Greg said he was encouraged that Crimson Cup supports independent coffee shops without charging franchise fees or royalties.
“After being in sales, I didn’t want to be locked into any contracts or have any expectations put on me from a franchise,” he said. “I wanted the freedom to change and adapt my shop as needed.”
Crimson Cup’s 7 Steps coffee shop startup consulting team guided him through every step, from writing a strong coffee shop business plan to designing and laying out his coffee shop, hiring and training staff, and much more.
“They have a great product and substantial support,” he said. “It took a lot of pressure off me while starting up, since I didn’t have to worry about finding the correct equipment or finding the right roaster.
In October, 7 Steps Project Manager and Trainer Steve Bayless spent a week at Gateway Coffee teaching Conrad and his baristas how to make terrific drinks and run the shop. He also stayed on-site through the shop’s opening day.
A Customer Growth Rep worked with Greg over the next few months, then returned for the Grand Opening in December to ensure a successful event.
Coffee Wins Rave Reviews
Roasted by Crimson Cup, the coffee and espresso-based beverages have received an enthusiastic welcome from Creve Coeur coffee lovers.
One Facebook reviewer praised the shop’s cozy atmosphere, convenient location and expert baristas, saying she was really pleased with her white mocha with oat milk.
“Very delicious and didn’t give me a sugar rush attack,” she wrote.
“Also, I love how they are brewing Crimson Cup coffee. I’m a Buckeye from the 614 and this gave me a sense of home feeling. Will be back!”
Visit Gateway Coffee Company
Greg invites everyone in Creve Coeur and the greater St. Louis area to visit Gateway Coffee company.
“We serve coffee, espresso drinks, non-coffee drinks, as well as a variety of baked goods to help you start your morning on the right foot,” he said.
“Whether you are commuting to the office, or just looking to get out of the house, stop by and grab one of our hand-crafted beverages.”
Gateway Coffee Company is open seven days a week at 12806 Olive Boulevard. Follow the shop’s Facebook page for updates about the menu, hours, and events.
Thinking About Opening Your Own Coffee Shop? Sandstone Coffee’s New Owners Have Some Advice.
As the proud owner of a new independent coffee shop, Greg Conrad has this advice for prospective coffee shop owners: “Accept help. Crimson Cup wants to see you succeed. There are no stupid questions.”
If you’re an entrepreneur who’s passionate about coffee and business ownership, opening a coffee shop could be the perfect opportunity for you!
To get started, call our 7 Steps Coffee Shop Startup Team at 888-800-9224 during regular business hours. Nights and weekends, you’re welcome to fill out this form, and we’ll get back to you within one business day.