How to Open a Coffee Shop in Indiana

Welcome to Indiana sign

Welcome! If you’re interested in learning how to start a coffee shop in Indiana, you’ve found the perfect resource. No need to struggle alone or spend a lot on a franchise or coffee school classes. Our 7 Steps to Coffee Shop Success program will teach you how to create a thriving coffee business in Indiana. Why listen to our advice? With our decades of coffee industry experience, we have helped entrepreneurs across the U.S. – most with little or no coffee shop experience – open over 300 coffee shops in 30 states. We’ve won major awards for coffee quality and sourcing, including Roast magazine’s 2016 Macro Roaster of the Year and multiple Good Food Awards. Plus, our experienced coffee shop startup consultants have helped five Indiana entrepreneurs open and grow their independent coffee shops. Owners of shops in Indiana cities and towns – including Greensburg, Huntingburg, Terre Haute, Warsaw and Yorktown – have learned how to open a coffee shop through our 7 Steps to Success coffee shop startup program. Through this end-to-end program, we’ll start by helping you develop a strong coffee shop business plan and calculate coffee shop startup costs in your Indiana community. As a one-stop shop for independent coffee shop owners, we can help you find a terrific location, determine your cost to open, lay out your shop, hire and train staff, market your shop and more. You’ll also gain access to award-winning coffee beans and quality 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!

Indiana is a Terrific State to Open a Coffee Shop!

Downtown Indianapolis SkylineIndiana is renowned for its passion for basketball, the iconic Indianapolis 500 race, and a prosperous agricultural background. The state also is becoming a highly desirable destination for entrepreneurs, especially those in the food and beverage sector. Starting a coffee shop in Indiana presents several benefits, as we explore below. There’s plenty of opportunity to open and run a successful independent coffee shop in the state, which has only six major coffee chain locations per 100,000 residents. Overall, Indiana ranks 38th among the states in coffee shops per capita, according to a study by Zoma Sleep. The study counted 7,111 Indiana residents for every coffee shop in The Hoosier 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 Indiana. And, 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. Strong popularity among 25-39-year-olds is driving this trend..

Small Indiana Cities Present Big Opportunities

When starting a coffee shop in Indiana, it’s wise to explore smaller cities or towns that may not have as many major coffee chain locations. Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Evansville, and South Bend are well-served areas, so it may be worth considering alternative locations. Many cities and towns in Indiana‘s 92 counties lack a gathering place where locals can get together over a cup of coffee. Does your Indiana community need a coffee shop? Independent coffee shops provide the perfect environment for people to come together, relax and enjoy their favorite Cup of Joe or espresso drink. These social interactions can help build stronger communities. Having a local independent coffee shop also helps bring money into the local economy and creates jobs. This is especially important in rural areas where there are fewer options for employment. An independent coffee shop would be an incredible addition to any Indiana community! Read on to learn more about how to start a coffee shop in Indiana.

Indiana is Open for Small Business

Small businesses in downtown Auburn, IndianaRanked fifth best for the ease of doing business in the U.S., Indiana is a promising place to open a coffee shop! The state offers low taxes, affordable real estate, vibrant communities, and a well-established workforce. Home to over 450,000 small businesses, the State of Indiana 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 Indiana government website. This website assists small and medium Indiana businesses with:

  • Choosing a legal business structure (many coffee shops operate as sole proprietorships or limited liability corporations).
  • Getting a business license and various other licenses and permits, including local health department licenses for food establishments.
  • Links to other business formation and management resources.

The Indiana Small Business Development Center also has resources 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. To learn more about how members of our community became successful in their communities, check out our testimonials.

Indiana Coffee Shop Owners Recommend the 7 Steps to Success

Our coffee shop customers in Indiana 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 two of our customers say about working with our coffee shop consulting team.

The Branch Gathering Place, Greensburg, Indiana – Founded 2021

The Branch Gathering Place + Coffee House in Greensburg, IndianaChanging lives in the community … one cup and one heart at a time. That’s the mission of The Branch Gathering Place + Coffee House, which opened June 25, 2021 in the heart of downtown Greensburg, Indiana. “The Branch is a place to come together, connect with others, and share friendships,” said Alex Sefton, executive director of local nonprofit All for One Ministry. “Coffee is just the delicious way to accomplish these goals!” All for One Ministry created The Branch after a community needs assessment pinpointed the need for a local coffee shop. “We wanted to create a place where all who enter are welcome, loved, and cared about. And, of course, enjoy terrific coffee and locally-baked treats.” One barrier was their lack of specialty coffee experience. To learn how to open and run a coffee shop, Sefton and Manager Samantha Baldwin turned to Crimson Cup. Alex’s expertise was in ministry and community services. He is a full-time student, working on a Master of Public Administration in nonprofit leadership from Indiana Wesleyan University. Samantha brings nearly 20 years of restaurant experience and a passion for the community. Alex was drawn to Crimson Cup because of our emphasis on relationships. “We wanted to connect with a company that invests in the communities they source coffee from.” Through our Friend2Farmer initiatives, we invest in life-enriching projects to provide a better quality of life for coffee farmers, their families, and their communities. It’s all part of our Focus on Good. The Branch Gathering Place + Coffee House, Greensburg, IndianaAlex also appreciated the benefit of working with a one-stop coffee business consultant and supplier. “7 Steps Trainer Steve Bayless was amazing,” he said. Steve conducted intense, on-site training in drink preparation and coffee shop management during the week leading up to opening day. “Having a designated project manager who knows the ropes and has done this a hundred-plus times was essential,” Alex said. He found Step Four, Focus on Marketing, the most valuable of the 7 Steps. “That’s really allowed us to draw more people to our products,” he said. “Having a dynamic presence on social media and creating one-on-one relationships with our customers is helping us grow.” After two-and-a-half years of preparing to open The Branch, Alex offered this advice for other prospective coffee shop owners: “Do whatever you can to impact your community. At the end of the day, coffee is coffee. Your signature mark is your willingness to love on the community you serve.” The Branch Gathering Place + Coffee House is open six days a week at 113 North Broadway Street in Greensburg, Indiana.

Loose Goose Coffee Company, Terre Haute, Indiana – Founded 2021

Loose Goose Coffee Company, Terre Haute, IndianaRachel and Richard Targett opened Loose Goose Coffee Company in 2021 to build a business around community, coffee and their love of dogs. At 3020 S. 7th Street on the South Side of Terre Haute, the shop offers a warm, friendly place to connect over terrific hot, iced or blended coffee drinks and local baked goods. A drive-thru window caters to coffee lovers on the go. Having worked as a barista and retail manager, Rachel Targett wanted to open her own shop to gain control over quality and customer service. “I wanted barista to be my forever job,” she said. “I enjoy quick interactions with people all day long.” Even with her barista experience, Rachel knew she needed support to open her own shop. “I came across Crimson Cup when I was researching products and coffee consultants,” she recalled. “I needed coffee experts to lead me through the process, and I was impressed that Crimson Cup bases its success on my success. Plus, their products are awesome!”


Loose Goose Coffee Company in Terre Haute, Indiana7 Steps Trainer and Project Manager Steve Bayless visited the shop the week before the soft opening to train the Targetts and their baristas in drink preparation and all aspects of coffee shop management. A few months later, Customer Growth Rep Heather Syx returned to help ensure successful grand opening celebrations. The coffee, roasted by Crimson Cup, has won a warm welcome from local coffee lovers. The roaster’s exceptional craft and specialty have earned top honors at the Good Food Awards, Golden Bean North America, Roast magazine’s Roaster of the Year and other competitions. One Facebook reviewer said, “I was in the coffee business for a decade and I am pretty picky about my coffee. I had an americano today that was extremely smooth and probably the best I have had in Terre Haute in a very long time. They are buying coffee from a great roaster that provides their customers with excellent support. If you are a coffee lover this is a must go to.” After working with Steve and Heather, Rachel said she found Step 5, Focus on Training, most valuable. “I don’t know where I would be without that happening,” she said. “It was absolutely the best part of the experience.”

Ready to Start Your Indiana 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 in Indiana?

We can 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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