Success Story: 5 Bean Coffee Celebrates 15 Years of Coffee and Community

February 25, 2024 (Published: January 14, 2024)
Owner Tracy Heitmeyer celebrating the 15th anniversary of 5 Bean Coffee

Over a decade and a half, 5 Bean Coffee has become a local favorite in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, known for rapid and friendly service, diverse syrups, cold drinks and locally sourced baked goods.

As the shop celebrated its 15th anniversary, Owner Tracy Heitmeyer reflected on running her thriving independent coffee shop through economic busts, booms and a pandemic. She says support from our 7 Steps to Success consulting program has kept her on track.

Opening During During the Great Recession

Counter inside 5 Bean Coffee in Reynoldsburg, OhioInitially, Tracy could not have imagined how popular and successful her shop would become. She started her business in 2008, just as the economy imploded in what would become known as the Great Recession.

“The first few years were rough. I worked 16-hour days and put in the effort. Everything mattered until I was doing well enough that I didn’t have to fret every detail,” she recalled.

“Crimson Cup’s 7 Steps program was pivotal in transforming my vision into a thriving business. Their ongoing support, especially in staff training, product selection, and operational efficiency, has been invaluable.”

Despite the initial obstacles, she remained undaunted. “I’ve been self-employed since I was 23, and I’m motivated and unafraid of hard work.”

The 7 Steps Program and Book Were the Road Map to Success

Outdoor seating at 5 Bean Coffee in Reynoldsburg, Ohio.Under Crimson Cup’s tutelage, Tracy learned to navigate the challenges of the coffee industry, from the initial hurdles of the Great Recession to the unexpected pandemic demands. The 7 Steps to Success program equipped her with the necessary skills and reinforced a resilient and adaptable mindset.

“Crimson Cup gave me a road map to success,” she said. “Their 7 Steps team showed me what good coffee was and how to make it. They also provide professional products that look and perform well.”

“It’s been an honor and privilege to work with Tracy and her team the past 15 years,” said Founder and President Greg Ubert.

“As an entrepreneur myself, the best part of my job is helping other entrepreneurs start and grow unique coffee shops serving their local communities.”

Greg’s book, Seven Steps to Success: A Common-Sense Guide to Succeed in Specialty Coffee, forms the foundation of the coffee shop consulting program.

“The book distills everything I’ve learned from three decades in specialty coffee into an easy-to-follow primer for running a successful shop,” he said.

Exceptional Coffee and Customer Service Drive Growth

Hand holding a nitro cold brew coffee in front of coffee bags.Tracy’s commitment to excellence is evident in every aspect of operations at 5 Bean Coffee.

“Our customer service is more than average; it’s exceptional,” she said. “We strive to be super friendly and serve coffee quickly. We like drive-thru times to be as fast as possible while retaining quality.”

Her focus on staff training and attitude has paid dividends, creating a welcoming environment for customers and employees.

“We hire for attitude and train for efficiency. Our team is knowledgeable about our drinks and exudes politeness and efficiency. This terrific team is key to our success because customers are only as happy as the staff. ”

Loyal, returning customers are another factor in the shop’s 15-year growth. Tracy woos them with quality, variety and consistency.

“Crimson Cup coffee is steps, hills and mountains better than what you’ll find in the major coffee chains. People love it. We have actual flavor, not just burnt beans and sugar. We also have a ridiculous amount of syrups and are known for the different drinks we make.”

She said presentation also makes a difference. “Fun sprinkles, drizzle, and cup decorations increase people’s happiness. We put stickers on holiday cups and write notes like, ‘Have a great day!’ and ‘You’re awesome’ when we feel people need it.”

‘Being There’ for Customers and the Local Community

t-shirt with the slogan "support your local coffee dealer"Tracy cited consistency and being there for customers as another factor in customer retention and continuing growth.

“My business exploded during the pandemic because we had a drive-thru and we remained open normal hours every day. Crimson Cup kept up with my orders, and we had very few out-of-stock items compared to grocery shops and other businesses.”

She noted that her two closest competitors, which belong to large coffee chains, often closed randomly and without notice.

“That gave us the opportunity to show off and win customers. The customers we gained then are still coming back today!”

She enjoys sharing her success with the central Ohio community. “I love to donate to local fundraisers and support other female small businesses. I buy baked goods from another lady in a neighboring city. We carry candles, stickers, and cups from local artisans. Our branded merchandise is also made locally.”

Growing with Crimson Cup for 15 Years

Owner Tracy Heitmeyer celebrating the 15th anniversary of 5 Bean Coffee
Owner Tracy Heitmeyer celebrating the 15th anniversary of 5 Bean Coffee

Tracy said Crimson Cup has been an invaluable resource in helping her achieve her business goals. “The 7 Steps team is awesome! Whenever we have issues, they are there to help either physically or with advice or referrals.”

“The training is priceless. The original help with layout was, again, priceless. We are very efficient, and the layout helps. The original equipment lasted a long time, and I still have a few things we use 15 years later.”

Tracy advises new coffee shop owners to prepare to get to work. “I worked 50 to 60 hours a week when we opened,” she recalled. “You have to sweat the small stuff, especially at first.”

“But my motto for a long time has been, ‘What you concentrate on, you grow.’ We concentrate on good relationships, terrific drinks, and nurturing people’s strengths.”

As a long-term owner, Tracy says she doesn’t need to work in the shop much now. “I love that I can enjoy the fruit of all my initial labor now. I have an amazing manager and assistant manager who really keep things as I like them. I now stop in, converse, try to learn about the new staff, and let them know who I am and why we do what we do.”

Visit 5 Bean Coffee

Tracy invited everyone in Reynoldsburg, Columbus and central Ohio to experience 5 Bean Coffee. The shop is open seven days a week at 2087 Baltimore-Reynoldsburg Rd Suite A, in Reynoldsburg.

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