Learn How to Open a Coffee Shop

With the 7 Steps Program That’s Helped Open
More Than 300 Successful Coffee Shops Across the USA

Higher Groundz Coffee & Tea in Maryland Heights, Missouri (top), The Village Brew Coffee House (left), The Orange Couch Coffee House (right)

Want to learn how to open a coffee shop? Or maybe open a coffee shop and bakery? You don’t have to go it alone – or pay hefty franchise or coffee school fees. Instead, learn how to start a coffee shop during any economic conditions using our proven 7 Steps to Coffee Shop Success consulting program. The U.S. coffee market is an estimated $48 billion a year pandemic and recession resistant industry that keeps growing.

Backed by over 30 years of specialty coffee know-how, the 7 Steps process has taught entrepreneurs in 30 states – most with little or no coffee shop experience – how to open and operate successful independent coffee shops.

Our experienced Coffee Shop Success Consultants will guide you every step of the way including determining coffee shop startup costs, writing a strong coffee shop business plan, training baristas, and much more.

Many customers say they saved time and money and grew their coffee business faster through the 7 Steps. But don’t take our word for it. See a few of their success stories below.

Ready to Get Started?

Begin by reading the book that started it all, backed by a risk-free guarantee.

Buy the 7 Steps to Success Book

Start a Coffee Shop with the 7 Steps Program

The 7 Steps
to Success

  1. Location
  2. Efficient equipment layout
  3. High-quality ingredients and equipment
  4. Marketing
  5. Training
  6. Customer service
  7. Cleanliness
“Crimson Cup has a great reputation and stands by their products. I can count on the 7 Steps team for advice and guidance. They were the perfect partner to help us open and run a successful coffee shop” — Kat Bissell, Owner, The Coffee Attic & Book Cellar in Iowa Falls, Iowa
“Crimson Cup delivers terrific service, incredible coffee-shop products, and excellent training.” — Kim and Mark Sementa, Owners, Sweet Aroma Coffeehouse & Bakery in Colchester, Connecticut
"I like that Crimson Cup is a one-stop shop for everything from amazing coffee to hands-on training and coffee business consulting." — Rachel Gray, Owner, Cornerstone Coffee House in Norris City, Illinois
"The people working for Crimson Cup are a family, and they work right beside you. Five months into this new adventure, they are still just a message or call away." — Destiny Schaad, Owner, Lock No. 4 Coffeehouse in Beverly, Ohio
"Our true joy at Crimson Cup comes from seeing independent coffee shop owners having fun while making sure their hard work translates into a profit.” — Greg Ubert, 7 Steps to Success

Helping Open Coffee Shops Across the USA

"Without Crimson Cup, we would have had no way of doing this... It didn’t seem like there were resources like this anywhere else."

“Crimson Cup takes care of the people they supply, and the drinks are amazing! The technical support and customer experience have been fantastic.”

"I’d advise other owners to work with Crimson Cup from the start. There were mishaps we could have avoided by having their guidance from day one.”

Meet Our Coffee Shop Consulting Team

Opening a Coffee Shop FAQ

Whatever your stage on the coffee shop ownership journey, the 7 Steps to Success are for you! Start today if you are:

  • An entrepreneur dreaming about your first coffee shop.
  • A barista looking to become a business owner.
  • An experienced café owner seeking to streamline operations and grow your business.

We start by giving solid information and answers to the most important questions about opening a coffee shop:

Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea has helped more than 300 independent coffee shops get off to a successful start without paying a hefty franchise fee. Since 1991, Crimson Cup has roasted and packaged quality, great-tasting coffee in Columbus, Ohio while providing coffee shop consulting and a coffee shop franchise alternative to entrepreneurs and independent business owners. We’ll show you how to keep your coffee shop successful over the long term. Crimson Cup caters to independent coffee shops, and currently works with about 400 businesses.

With our assistance, you can start your new coffee shop from a position of strength and experience. We’ll ensure that you have a successful opening by helping you to find a location, write your business plan, train staff, and more. With our help, you’ll avoid the most common pitfalls while still remaining independent. All of which makes opening a coffee shop much easier!

Crimson Cup is not a franchise or coffee school. Crimson Cup is a one-stop shop for independent coffee shop success.

A coffee shop franchise typically charges a huge fee just for the right to purchase their products and equipment then they dictate your name, your environment, and your attitude. Crimson Cup shows you how to open a coffee shop and can provide all the support that a coffee shop franchise does —but without the franchise fees, royalties, and restrictions on your business. Crimson Cup is an affordable and flexible alternative to a franchise.

A coffee school will be happy to take your money to be trained in their classrooms, but then sets you free to sink or swim. Buried deep in their website terms and conditions, you’ll often find language like this: “does not represent or warrant that (i) Client will be profitable as a result of attending Texas Coffee School classes or from receiving consultation or advisement from our coffee school, or (ii) that consulting services or training from our coffee school will be the difference between profitability and unprofitability, success and failure, financial or otherwise, of Client, Client’s business, or Client’s career.” Not much confidence-building there!

With over 30 years of experience in the specialty coffee industry, we know what it takes to be successful:

  • Our coffee buyers travel the globe – by plane, boat, bus, jeep, foot, and even mule – to discover exceptional coffee and cultivate long-lasting relationships with the hard-working farmers who grow it.
  • We roast our own coffee, which consistently wins national awards for quality and sustainability. If you buy the book, we’ll send you some free samples!
  • Our 7 Steps to Success consulting team has been there and done that in the coffee industry, helping over 300 entrepreneurs across the country open and grow their independent coffee shops.
  • Follow the path of hundreds of successful 7 Steps customers. Some have grown their businesses for 5, 10, 15, or even 20 years. Others now own multiple shops. And they’re still working with our team.
  • We operate a growing chain of Crimson Cup Coffee Shops which act as test laboratories for new coffees, drinks, brew methods, marketing promotions, and more. So, unlike most coffee consultants, we back our advice with hands-on experience!
  • We provide a complete line of quality coffee shop products – including award-winning coffee, tea, sauces, smoothie ingredients, and syrups – to create awesome drinks that your customers will love.
  • You’ll get our proven playbook for independent coffee shop success – including a coffee shop business plan, competitive pricing strategies, advice on choosing coffee shop equipment, drink recipes, marketing plans, and more.
  • Our hands-on training comes to you! Your 7 Steps trainer will travel to your coffee shop the week before your soft opening, teaching you and your team using best practices in drink preparation and café management. Then, your trainer stays with you to support your team on opening day.
  • Our success depends on your success. For decades, we have grown our company by helping entrepreneurs like you grow their coffee businesses.
  • You’re not locked into long-term contracts, franchise fees, or royalties. Instead, we keep earning your trust and business through attentive service, month after month and year after year.

No! We tell you everything that’s expected, up front. No surprises. So here’s what you need to know: In order to work with us, you must agree to follow our proven 7 Steps to Success process. If you do that, you will have a much better chance of success than going it alone. And, since 50% of small businesses fail within the first three years, that’s no small thing.

No, but we’d like for you to give us a try. We work with more than 400 customers nationwide and none of them would continue to work with us if we provided inferior products, overpriced equipment, or ineffective training. We want to be with you for years, not just when you first open your coffee shop. The best way to do that is to help you prosper with quality products and continued support.

Absolutely. Most so-called “coffee schools” give you a few hours of training on their equipment plus some classroom time in their offices. We train you in your coffee shop with your equipment to get you and your staff ready for opening day. And, as long you’re following the 7 Steps process, there’s no charge for training. Roast magazine editors cited our education and training programs as a factor in choosing Crimson Cup as their 2016 Macro Roaster of the Year. Here’s Debbie Fulks of Court Street Coffee in Athens, Ohio talking about the training and ongoing education that she and her staff have received to help them stay successful in a competitive coffee shop market:

We think they’re among the best in the business. In competitions and blind taste tests, Crimson Cup consistently takes top honors against both well-known mega coffee shops and other small roasters like us. We provide a complete line of products including coffee, tea, sauces, smoothie ingredients, and syrups. In 2016, were were honored as Roast magazine’s Roaster of the Year.

We love small businesses. We believe that small businesses build communities in ways that big businesses can’t and that being part of a community can be the most rewarding part of independent business ownership. To learn more about how members of our community become successful in their communities, check out our testimonials.

No! We want to earn your business. That means we must keep providing top-notch products and support every day which has been our philosophy since we were founded.

Learn How to Open a Coffee Shop in your State!

Alabama Hawaii Massachusetts New Mexico South Dakota
Alaska Idaho Michigan New York Tennessee
Arizona Illinois Minnesota North Carolina Texas
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California Iowa Missouri Ohio Vermont
Colorado Kansas Montana Oklahoma Virginia
Connecticut Kentucky Nebraska Oregon Washington
Delaware Louisiana Nevada Pennsylvania West Virginia
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Georgia Maryland New Jersey South Carolina Wyoming