How to Open a Coffee Shop in Georgia

Welcome to Georgia sign

If you want to learn how to open a coffee shop in Georgia, you’ve come to the right place!

You don’t have to go through the coffee shop startup process alone – or pay hefty franchise or coffee school fees.

Instead, learn how to start a prosperous coffee business in Georgia through our proven 7 Steps to Coffee Shop Success process.

Why listen to our advice? We have decades of coffee industry experience since our founder started roasting coffee in 1991. Over three decades, we’ve won major awards, including Roast magazine’s 2016 Macro Roaster of the Year.

Plus, our experienced coffee shop startup consultants have helped three Georgia entrepreneurs open and grow their independent coffee shops.

Owners of shops in Georgia cities and towns –including Kennesaw, Marietta and Valdosta – have learned how to open a coffee shop through our 7 Steps to Success coffee shop startup program.

Through our program, we can help you develop a strong coffee shop business plan  and provide insight into how much it costs to open a coffee shop in your Georgia community.

As a one-stop shop for independent coffee shop owners, Crimson Cup can also help you find a terrific location, lay out your shop, hire and train staff, market your shop and more. You’ll also gain access to award-winning coffee and coffee shop products that will keep your customers coming back!

Keep reading to learn more or call 888-800-9224 now to connect with our coffee shop consulting team!

Georgia is a Terrific State to Open a Coffee Shop!

With only six major coffee chain locations per 100,000 residents in Georgia, there’s plenty of opportunity to open and run a successful independent coffee shop in your local community.

Georgia ranks 48th in coffee shops per capita, according to a study by Zoma Sleep. The study counted 8,752 Georgia residents for every coffee shop in the Peach state.

Considering that 62 percent of Americans drink coffee, averaging three cups per day, it’s safe to say there’s room for more coffee shops in Georgia to serve both residents and the millions of annual visitors from other states and countries.

And, according to the National Coffee Association, coffee drinkers are flocking to espresso-based beverages brewed from high-quality beans. Consumption of cappuccinos, lattes, and mochas has increased by a staggering 50 percent since 2015, driven in part by strong popularity with 25-39-year-olds.

Small Georgia Cities Present Big Opportunities

With many counties in Georgia underserved by major coffee chains, it might pay to consider starting a coffee shop in a small city or town outside of major metropolitan areas such as Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Macon and Savannah.

Many of the 346 cities, towns, and villages in Georgia lack a gathering place where locals can get together over a cup of coffee.

Does your Georgia community need an independent coffee shop? Would you like to be the result that comes up when people in your part of Georgia search for “coffee near me?”

Georgia is Open for Small Business

Lazy Labrador Coffee House, Kennesaw, Georgia
Lazy Labrador Coffee House, Kennesaw, Georgia

With the 2nd-fastest rate of startup growth in the USA, Georgia is a terrific place to open a coffee shop!

Home to over 600,000 small businesses, the State of Georgia focuses on creating an environment where entrepreneurs can prosper.

You can find information about registering a new a wealth of resources covering business formation and operation on the State of Georgia government website.

The Georgia Secretary of State also publishes a First Stop Business Guide that assists small and medium Georgia businesses with:

  • Obtaining a business license
  • Writing a business plan
  • Choosing a legal business structure (many coffee shops operate as sole proprietorships or limited liability corporations.)
  • Labor laws
  • Financing opportunities
  • And much more

With 18 offices across the state, the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center also has services to help you start, grow and sustain your business.

Get a Head Start with Our Coffee Shop Startup Experts

Training a baristaAs a coffee roaster and coffee business consultant, Crimson Cup believes our company only succeeds when our customers do.

As a result, we support coffee shop owners at every step, from concept through opening day and beyond.

A one-stop shop for independent coffee shops, Crimson Cup supplies award-winning coffee and industry-leading coffee shop equipment and supplies.

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, our program covers everything business owners need to run profitable coffee shops:

  • Writing a sound business plan
  • Choosing a terrific location
  • Calculating startup and operating costs
  • Designing an efficient shop layout
  • Choosing an espresso machine and other coffee shop equipment
  • Training your baristas
  • Marketing your shop to attract customers
  • And much more.

Backed by over 30 years of specialty coffee know-how, our 7 Steps to Success program has taught hundreds of entrepreneurs in over 30 states how to open and run successful independent coffee shops. 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 became successful in their communities, check out our testimonials.

Georgia Coffee Shop Owners Recommend the 7 Steps to Success

Our coffee shop customers in Georgia say they saved time and money and grew their coffee business faster by following our 7 Steps to Success. But don’t take our word for it. Hear what some of our coffee show owners in Georgia have to say.

Hug In A Mug Coffee Company, Valdosta, Georgia – Founded 2017

Exterior of Hug in a Mug Coffee Company in Valdosta GeorgiaA serial entrepreneur with ownership in 30 Precision Tune Auto Care locations, Mike Scott was looking for a new business venture that would be less technical than his other businesses and that could be duplicated once learned. Specialty coffee seemed a perfect fit.

“We love coffee, and we love the idea of a business that the community can fall in love with,” he said. “We also wanted to give back to our community by donating to local nonprofits.”

Mike found Crimson Cup while searching for business opportunities on the Internet.

“I was looking for a franchise but decided against it once I saw Crimson Cup advertised on the Internet,” Scott said. “The service has been great! We love the coffee blends and recipes.”

Mike opened Hug in a Mug Coffee Company in 2017 through our 7 Steps to Success program.

This coffee shop startup system walks new business owners through seven steps to bring their business from concept to reality, with Crimson Cup trainers providing support at each step.

“The most helpful step for me was location,” Scott said. “While I already understood the importance of location, learning what makes a good place for a coffee shop was very valuable.”

Located on a busy street with lots of other retail and service businesses, Hug In A Mug Coffee Company serves a full menu of hot, iced and frozen espresso drinks – including mochas, lattes and cappuccinos – as well as iced coffee and tea, cold-brewed coffee, hot chocolate, fruit smoothies and other custom drinks. Bagels, breakfast sandwiches, pastries and desserts round out the menu.

The Hug In A Mug Brew Bar entices coffee lovers to slow down and enjoy a hand-poured coffee using Hario v60 or Chemex brewing systems. “This is truly the experience for the coffee connoisseur who may have a more ‘discerning’ palate,” Scott said.

When asked for advice for aspiring coffee shop owners, Scott said, “Go with Crimson Cup.” He also noted the importance of having enough startup capital and funds. “It could take some time to get your name out.”

Wholly Grounds Coffee House in Cartersville, Georgia – Founded 2019

Interior of Wholly Grounds coffee houseTom and Kim Easter went from accountants to coffee shop owners following our 7 Steps to Success. They opened their Wholly Grounds Coffee House in 2019.

The couple decided to open a coffee shop to give back to the local community, planning to donate a portion of profits to local charities.

“I also wanted a retirement business that would provide plenty of free coffee!” Kim said.

They discovered Crimson Cup while searching for a coffee partner.

“We looked at local roasters and a few others, and we came across Crimson Cup from a Google search,” Tom Easter said. “We tried the product and loved it, and knew we found the right partner for our business.”

He said he read Greg’s 7 Steps to Success book about 10 times. “You have to work through all 7 Steps to get the outcome you want,” he said. “They all fit together. It’s a perfect program for success!”

Kim Easter said she was impressed with people and the integrity of Crimson Cup. “The knowledge they have that they’re willing to share is so valuable,” she said.

“We want to model our coffee house on what we learned from Crimson Cup – the honesty and transparency of how you do business is how we want to run.”

Asked to give advice to entrepreneurs who are thinking about opening a coffee shop, Tom Easter recommended taking a long-term approach. “Know that it won’t be an overnight success, so plan to work to where you want to be,” he said. “Have faith and confidence in yourself and the product you’re selling and give it time.”

Lazy Labrador Coffee House, Kennesaw, Georgia – Founded 2021

Sign for the Lazy Labrador Coffee House in Kennesaw GeorgiaLazy Labrador Coffee House opened November 19, 2021, in Kennesaw, Georgia.

But the story of this independent coffee shop began 30 years ago, when owners Bob and Susan Milani met on the streets of Olde Town Alexandria, Virginia.

Bob’s black female Labrador Retriever, Bocce, struck up a friendship with Susan’s blonde male Lab, Buddy. Soon, the dogs were inseparable. Their owners married in 1994.

A few years later, the Milanis moved to Kennesaw, Georgia. Bob worked as a medical device salesperson. Susan stayed at home to raise their two children.

Since then, their household has included five beloved Labs: Bocce, Buddy, Rosie, Cody and Kirby.

Investing in the Kennesaw Community

After retiring in 2020, Bob and Susan wanted to become more invested in their community. Soon, they discovered a revitalization plan for downtown Kennesaw.

The chief retail resource missing from the area? A coffee shop! Bob and Susan saw a way to serve the community by serving their favorite beverage.

A day later, they bought a Queen Anne style home built in 1909. The Victorian-era building sits on a half-acre in the heart of downtown Kennesaw’s entertainment and historic district.

Uniting Coffee Lovers with Canine Fans through the Lazy Labrador

Their vision: bring coffee lovers and canine fans together in a historic building with a working fireplace that offers outdoor seating, a fire pit, a wrap-around porch, and a dog park.

They named their shop The Lazy Labrador after Kirby, who likes to sprawl lazily at his master’s feet while Bob enjoys a delicious cup of coffee.

The only hurdle? The couple had zero experience in running a coffee shop.

“As we planned The Lazy Labrador, we tried six or seven different coffee roasters,” Susan said. “We even signed a contract with one, but they didn’t have a program to teach us to run a business.”

Following the 7 Steps to Coffee Shop Success

In their search for a coffee supplier, they discovered Crimson Cup. A one-stop shop for independent coffee shops, we supply award-winning coffee, coffee business expertise, hands-on training and industry-leading coffee shop supplies.

“Having the consulting was what clinched it for me,” Bob said. “We broke the other contract to go with Crimson Cup. Knowing someone would be there to answer all our questions gave us the confidence to move forward.”

Asked what he would say to others who are thinking about opening a coffee shop, Bob offered this advice:

“Make sure you’re well financed if you’re doing a historical renovation. Feel very confident in the partner you selected with Crimson Cup. They what they say they’re going to do, offer great products and have really solid experience.”

Ready to Start Your Georgia Coffee Shop Journey?

7 Steps to Success coffee shop startup guide

Begin by reading the book that put hundreds of other coffee shop owners on the road to success!

Backed by a risk-free guarantee, Seven Steps to Success: A Common-Sense Guide to Succeed in Specialty Coffee lays out a map for creating a thriving business serving your local community.

Inside the book, you’ll find a proven template for creating a solid coffee shop business plan, plus guidance on everything you need to get up and running.

Questions about opening a Coffee Shop? We’re here to help!

Call 888-800-9224 to connect with our coffee shop consulting team during regular business hours. Nights and weekends, you’re welcome to fill out this form, and we’ll get right back to you!