Coffee Shop Success Story: Spire CoffeehouseMarch 15, 2023 (Published: January 20, 2023)
Something new is brewing in Toms River! Area resident Bob Opitz is thrilled to announce the opening of Spire Coffeehouse at 1922 Hooper Avenue.
He developed the coastal-inspired coffee and tea shop through our 7 Steps to Success coffee shop startup program.
A play on “inspire,” the shop’s name also alludes to the New Jersey Shore lighthouses and Bob’s goal of reaching the pinnacle of success and community service.
“We offer a wide variety of hot and iced drinks, and provide a selection of baked goods and snacks,” Bob said.
“So, whether you’re stopping for your morning coffee or an afternoon snack, we’ve got you covered!”
Meet Owner Bob Opitz
Bob sees Spire Coffeehouse as a chance for a second career. After 30 years in the insurance industry, he yearned to follow in his father’s entrepreneurial footsteps and open his own business.
“My father ran a computer consulting business and a sporting goods franchise, so I’m an entrepreneur by blood,” he said.
“A coffeehouse seemed like a good way to have fun and enjoy social interaction while giving back to the Toms River community.”
With no prior coffee industry experience, he searched for information on how to open a coffee shop.
“I knew I didn’t want to go the franchise, route. I wanted to be independent. I didn’t want to have to put a ton of money down up front and then be locked into doing whatever they told me to do.”
Connecting with Crimson Cup
Bob’s search for a coffee partner led to Crimson Cup and our 7 Steps to Success program.
Based on the book, Seven Steps to Success: A Common-sense Guide to Succeed in Specialty Coffee, by Crimson Cup Founder and President Greg Ubert, the program teaches entrepreneurs with little or no coffee experience how to run a profitable coffee business.
“The book was great, concise, to the point, without being preachy,” Bob said.
Learning How to Open a Coffee Shop
After Bob read the book, our 7 Steps coffee shop startup consulting team guided him at every step, from writing a strong coffee shop business plan to designing and laying the coffee shop, choosing coffee shop equipment, hiring and training staff, and much more.
“To this point, I think the most valuable of the 7 steps has been in the location and layout,” he said.
“That really helped me figure out where I wanted to have my shop.
“Knowing what to look for in a site was critical.”
In December, 7 Steps Project Manager and Trainer Steve Bayless spent the week leading up to the opening of Spire Coffeehouse training Bob and the Spire Coffeehouse baristas in all aspects of drink preparation and coffee shop operation.
Steve stayed on site through the shop’s opening day to ensure everything went well.
More of a Partnership than a Franchise
A Customer Growth Rep continues to work with Opitz, guiding him through Grand Opening celebrations and beyond.
“It’s amazing just how open and helpful everyone has been,” he said. “For someone who didn’t know anything about coffee shops, I’m confident I can call anyone at Crimson Cup, and they’ll be able to help me with whatever I need.”
“I think that ties to Crimson Cup’s business model. They believe that they succeed when I succeed. It has more of partnership feel than a franchise, where I would have to cut a check every month regardless of how my shop is doing.”
“It’s a more collaborative relationship, and I appreciate that.”
Visit Spire Coffeehouse
Bob Opitz invites everyone in Toms River, Ocean County and the Jersey Shore to visit Spire Coffeehouse.
“Our shop offers a comfortable, neighborhood feel for hanging out with friends, doing some work or studying, and enjoying community events while enjoying the highest quality coffee, tea and snacks,” he said.
“We pride ourselves on serving award-winning coffee and tea products, and we work with local dairies and bakeries to source the freshest and tastiest additions to your coffee.”
Spire Coffeehouse is open seven days a week at 1922 Hooper Avenue.
Follow the shop’s Facebook page for updates about the menu, hours and upcoming events.
Thinking About Opening Your Own Coffee Shop? The Owner of Spire Coffeehouse Has Some Advice.
Asked to give advice to other aspiring coffee shop owners, he said, “Be prepared for it to take longer and cost more than you initially thought.”
“Definitely do your homework on location and design. The biggest challenge for me was the construction process.”
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.