How to Open a Coffee Shop in Massachusetts

massachusetts welcomes you sign

If you want to learn how to start a coffee shop in Massachusetts, you’ve found the right guide!

Starting a coffee shop can feel overwhelming, but you don’t have to do it alone. No need for expensive franchising or coffee school fees. Save money and become a Massachusetts coffee shop pro by following our 7 Steps to Coffee Shop Success process. 

Why listen to our advice? Since 1991, we’ve helped over 300 entrepreneurs in 30 states open and grow their own coffee shops! 

We also know what it takes to open a shop in Massachusetts. Our experienced coffee shop startup consultants have helped Bay State entrepreneurs start shops in Boston, Burlington, Chelsea and Stoneham. Two of the owners have expanded to multiple shops!

Using the 7 Steps process, our consultants can help you develop a strong coffee shop business plan and calculate coffee shop startup costs in your Massachusetts community.

As a one-stop shop for independent coffee shop owners, Crimson Cup offers services that make starting your business easier. We’ll help you find the perfect location, design your shop layout, recruit and train staff, and come up with marketing strategies.

Plus, we’ve got amazing coffee and coffee shop products your customers will love. We’ve won major awards for coffee quality and sourcing, including Roast magazine’s 2016 Macro Roaster of the Year and multiple Good Food and Golden Bean awards.

We’re here to help you succeed! Keep reading to learn more or call 888-800-9224 now to connect with our coffee shop startup consulting team!

Massachusetts is a Terrific State to Open a Coffee Shop!

Boston, Massachusetts skylineKnown for its rich history and cultural heritage, Massachusetts also boasts a thriving coffee culture.

Bay Staters have a discerning palate, valuing quality and authenticity above all else. This passion for excellent coffee is evident in the way locals speak about their daily coffee rituals.

According to research by Zoma Sleep, Massachusetts ranks 10th among the ‘most awake’ states, based on the number of coffee shops per capita. The study counted 3,891 residents for every coffee shop in The Bay State.

There are only 13 coffee chain locations per 100,000 residents in Massachusetts, leaving many without a nearby caffeine fix.

Did you know that over 62 percent of Americans enjoy drinking coffee on a daily basis? On average, they consume three cups per day. With such a high demand, it’s safe to say that Massachusetts has plenty of potential for new coffee shops!

Research from the National Coffee Association shows that espresso-based beverages are becoming increasingly popular among coffee drinkers. In fact, almost 60 percent of coffee is now brewed using premium, specialty coffee beans. Sales of cappuccinos, lattes, and mochas have surged, due in part to the growing love for specialty coffee among 25 to 39-year-olds.

Small Massachusetts Cities and Towns Present Big Opportunities

Small town Massachusetts
Considering that many parts of Massachusetts lack major coffee chains, you might want to consider opening a coffee shop outside of the major cities like Boston, Worcester, Springfield, Cambridge and Lowell.

In fact, many cities and towns in Massachusetts’ 14 counties lack a gathering place where locals can get together over a cup of coffee.

Does your city or town need an independent coffee shop? These spots are perfect for hanging out, relaxing, and enjoying your favorite coffee or espresso drinks. Plus, they’re a great way to bring people together and build stronger communities.

Having a local independent coffee shop also creates jobs and brings money into the local economy. This is especially important in rural areas where there are fewer employment options.

Read on to learn more about how to start a coffee shop in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts is Open for Small Business!

a row of small businesses in MassachusettsThe vibrant coffee scene in Massachusetts provides a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs looking to start a business.

Massachusetts is a great place for coffee businesses to thrive due to its diverse demographics and strong economy. Unique coffee establishments are sure to flourish in this growing market.

Thanks to its numerous advantages, Massachusetts is a place where business thrives. It ranks second in the U.S. for access to venture capital and 21st for overall tax burden. Moreover, the state offers a wide range of resources and robust support for small businesses. 

Over 700,000 small businesses call Massachusetts home. They account for more than 99 percent of all businesses in the state. The state prioritizes creating a business-friendly environment where entrepreneurs can thrive.

You can find a wealth of resources covering business startups and growth on the State of Massachusetts website. This website assists small and medium-sized Massachusetts businesses with:

  • Starting a business
  • Taxes
  • Workforce
  • Choosing a legal business structure. Many coffee shops operate as sole proprietorships or limited liability corporations (LLCs).
  • Getting a business license and various other licenses and permits, including local health department licenses for food establishments.

The Massachusetts Small Business Development Center also assists entrepreneurs who want to start or grow a small business. Experienced business professionals provide free and confidential business advising, technical assistance and low-cost training programs. 

Get a Head Start with Our Coffee Shop Startup Consultants

Training a barista As 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, including:  

  • 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.

Massachusetts Independent Coffee Shops Open and Grow through the 7 Steps

Crimson Cup currently supports five independent coffee shops in Boston, Burlington and Stoneham, Massachusetts. With the guidance of our coffee shop consultants, one Crimson Cup customer was named one of the 12 Best Coffee Shops in Boston by New England magazine. It recently expanded to three locations in Boston!

The Well Coffee Houses, Boston, Massachusetts – Founded 2014

The Well Coffee House BostonThe Well Coffee House is a non-profit organization staffed by volunteers who desire to be a blessing to others.

The organization is an outgrowth of The Church at the Well, which was founded by Pastor Kevin Scott, his wife Christy, and Associate Pastor Matt Love and his wife Julie.

The Well’s mission is to create high-quality coffee house environments that produce opportunities to build relationships, serve the community, demonstrate love, present the Gospel, and bring glory to Jesus.

Each month, The Well donates a percentage of profits and contents of its donation jar to a new nonprofit.

The first location opened on January 21st, 2014, in Boston’s historic South Station. It closed several years later because of construction in the station.

Currently, three coffee houses serve different Boston-area neighborhoods.

  • At the corner of State and Washington streets, The Well Coffee House State Street is right on The Freedom Trail next to The Old State House. It opened in 2018.
  • At 173 East Border Street, The Well Coffee House East Boston sits on Central Square in East Boston.
  • The Well Coffee House Everett is at 983 Broadway in Everett, Massachusetts.

The Everett and East Boston locations both opened in 2022.

With a motto of “Coffee – Love – Community,” The Well’s vision is to serve as a community gathering place:

“Today, coffee houses can be considered the modern day well. In the Bible wells served as a place to get water, socialize with others, have public meetings, listen to new ideas, hear the latest news, make public announcements, attract a crowd, serve needs, watch people and listen to prophets. The well was often at the center of the community which made it a very convenient place for public gatherings. Since all people needed water, the well served as a life source for the entire town.”

In 2020, New England Magazine named The Well one of the best coffee shops in Boston, writing:

“Named after the wells written about in the Bible that served as social gathering places, it’s fair to say that the people behind The Well Coffee House in Boston subscribe to the view that coffee-drinking can be akin to a religious experience. Indeed, the brand’s Christian mission statement extends to its status as a non-profit organization with a strong focus on helping local and global communities.

First opened in the city’s historic South Station in 2014, The Well have since launched a second outlet in State Street, with both venues serving up award-winning Crimson Cup Coffee, featuring a variety of Grade 1 beans and representing the most elite coffee beans harvested worldwide. Be sure to check out their fun drink for travelers called The Freedom Trail Freeze.”

All of the coffee houses serve our award-winning coffee, as explained on the shop’s website:

“The Well Coffee House chooses to serve Crimson Cup Coffee (2016 Roaster of the Year ) products for several reasons. They have had a passion for delivering awesome coffee since 1991…”

“Like The Well Coffee House, Crimson Cup also desires to build better communities and are always looking for opportunities to give back on a local and global scale. As a bonus, the Crimson Cup founder is a Harvard graduate.”

If you’re in Boston, we encourage you to visit The Well Coffee House! Or, watch them grow on Facebook.

Kushala Sip Coffee House – Founded 2015

Kushala Sip Coffee House Stoneham MassachusettsOriginally from Mexico and India, respectively, Kushala Sip Coffee House Owners Dalia and Vinod Valencia met in Boston while pursuing master’s degrees in business.

After marrying, the couple moved to Woburn and began scouting the area for a good independent coffee house.

Eventually they found some options in Melrose and Winchester, but they always wanted to have something closer in their own neighborhood.

After gaining corporate experience, the couple also decided they wanted to work closer with the community they had come to know and love dearly over the previous few years.

They turned to Crimson Cup and our 7 Steps to Success coffee shop startup program to learn how to open their own independent coffee shop, which they named Kushala Sip after a Hindi word meaning happiness.

Today, Kushala Sip offers an oasis where friends and customers can gather for coffee, tea and conversation in the small town of Stoneham, just nine miles north of Boston.

“Kushala Sip’s mission is to provide a sip of happiness every day to every customer,” said Dalia Valencia. “We believe that when people feel happy they are more positive and feel energized. When we provide happiness to others, we create a virtuous circle of goodness and wellness for ourselves, and for those around us.”

Located at 335 Main Street, #101, in Stoneham, Massachusetts, their coffee house serves up a full range of espresso-based coffee drinks and fine teas as well as locally baked cookies and pastries.

Open seating and a great view into the park across the street in the Stoneham Center Commons contribute to the relaxing atmosphere.

After consulting with Vinod and Dalia on all aspects of opening their coffee shop, a 7 Steps customer growth rep from Crimson Cup traveled to Stoneham to make sure the shop’s grand opening was a success

“New people started coming in because of our grand opening,” said Dalia Valencia. “It created a lot of awareness for our store. Without Crimson Cup and the awareness generated by the event, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”

“We partner with Crimson Cup because of their passion for roasting awesome coffee since 1991,” she added. “They are true coffee geeks obsessed with bringing the best coffee in the world home to you.”

The coffee, roasted by Crimson Cup, has won rave reviews from area coffee lovers.

“This is the best coffee shop ever!!!” wrote one Google reviewer. “I come here at least once a week and get the same thing—Frozen Kushala Mocha—but I’ve tried other things and they’re all amazing. My fiancé loves their iced green tea matcha drink. Sandwiches here are also 👌🏼 and just everything about the vibe and what they offer is so outstanding.” 

If you’re in the Stoneham area, we encourage you to stop in Kushala Sip. Learn more on the shop’s Facebook page.

Ready to Start Your Massachusetts Coffee Shop Journey?

7 Steps to Success coffee shop startup guide Begin by reading the book that put hundreds of other coffee shop owners across the USA 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 opening and running a thriving coffee shop 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 Massachusetts?

We can help. Call 888-800-9224 to connect with our coffee shop startup consultants during regular weekday business hours (9AM – 5PM Eastern time). 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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