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 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? Our team has over 30 years of dedicated experience in coffee roastingcafé management, coffee business consulting and entrepreneurship. 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 over 300 entrepreneurs across the U.S. become successful coffee shop owners. And most had no prior coffee industry experience! 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 coffee shop startup costs 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!

Atlanta, Georgia skylineGeorgia’s rich culture and history make it a prime spot for coffee shops. The Peach State offers attractions ranging from bustling cities and vibrant small towns to beaches, historic sites, museums and national parks that attract visitors and locals who drink coffee. And, with only six major coffee chain locations per 100,000 Georgia residents, there’s plenty of opportunity to open and run successful businesses. 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. Over 62 percent of Americans drink coffee, averaging three cups per day. So it’s safe to say there’s room for more coffee shops in Georgia to serve residents and the millions of annual visitors. According to the National Coffee Association, coffee drinkers are flocking to espresso-based beverages brewed from high-quality beans. Sales of cappuccinos, lattes, and mochas have increased by a staggering 50 percent since 2015.



Small Georgia Cities and Towns Present Big Opportunities

Small business storefronts in Lowndes County, Georgia Some Georgia communities lack major coffee chain locations. So you might consider starting your shop in a small community outside of Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Macon and Savannah. Many cities and towns in Georgia’s 159 counties lack a gathering place where locals can get together over a cup of coffee. Does your community need an independent coffee shop? Local cafes provide a space to bring people together, enhance the local culture, and support the community. They can also create a sense of belonging, allowing people to connect and share ideas. Read on to learn more about how to start a coffee shop in Georgia.




Georgia is Open for Small Business

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

With the second-fastest rate of startup growth in the U.S., 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 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 the following:

  • 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 business consultant, Crimson Cup believes our company only succeeds when our customers do. 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, industry-leading equipment and quality  products. 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.

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 in 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. In addition, 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 providing 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, loved it, and knew we found the right partner for our business.” He read Greg’s 7 Steps to Success book about ten 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 the people and the integrity of Crimson Cup. “The knowledge they have that they’re willing to share is 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 advise entrepreneurs thinking about opening a coffee shop, Tom Easter recommended 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 in 2021

Sign for the Lazy Labrador Coffee House in Kennesaw GeorgiaLazy Labrador Coffee House opened on 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 and stayed 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 and soon 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 back to you within one business day.

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