How to Open a Coffee Shop in Michigan

Welcome to Michigan sign

If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur who wants to learn how to open a coffee shop in Michigan, we’ve got some terrific news! You don’t have to do it alone – or pay hefty franchise or coffee school fees.

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

Why listen to our advice? Our coffee shop startup consultants have helped over 300 other entrepreneurs start coffee shops in more than 30 states – and many are still thriving five, 10, or 20 years later!

Started as a small business by Founder and President Greg Ubert in 1991, our company combines three decades of award-winning specialty coffee expertise with over two decades of coffee shop startup experience.

And, as proud winners of Roast magazine’s 2016 Macro Roaster Of The Year Award and multiple Good Food Awards, we are ready to help fuel your success today!

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 Michigan community.

Owners of shops in Michigan cities and towns –including Grosse Isle, Howell, Iron Mountain, Lake Leelanau, Lincoln Park and Midland – 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 calculate coffee shop startup costs and cash flow in your Michigan community.

As a one-stop shop for independent coffee shop owners, Crimson Cup can 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 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!

Michigan is an Excellent State to Open a Coffee Shop!

Mackinaw Island Michigan From lively cities to remarkable natural resources, the State of Michigan offers opportunities that attract entrepreneurs, growing businesses and families young and old.

The state’s thriving economy provides abundant opportunities to open and run a successful independent coffee shop in your local community.

The Great Lakes State has only five major coffee chain locations per 100,000 residents. It also has 5,725 Michigan residents for every coffeehouse, according to a study by Zoma Sleep. That leaves a lot of Michiganders without a local coffee hangout.

Consider that over 62 percent of Americans drink coffee, averaging three cups daily. And according to the National Coffee Association, coffee drinkers are flocking to espresso-based beverages brewed from high-quality beans. In addition, sales of specialty coffee drinks, including cappuccinos, lattes, and mochas, have increased by 50 percent since 2015.

Given these statistics, it’s safe to say there’s room for many more coffee shops in Michigan. So read on to learn how to open your independent coffee shop.

Small Michigan Cities and Towns Present Big Opportunities

Small town downtown in MichiganIf you’re looking to open a coffee shop in Michigan, you might want to consider smaller cities or towns. For example, coffee chains cluster in the state’s major metropolitan areas like Detroit, Grand Rapids, Warren, Sterling Heights, Ann Arbor, and Lansing.

Many cities and towns in Michigan’s 83 counties lack a gathering place where locals can get together over a cup of coffee.

Starting an independent coffee shop in a small town in Michigan can be a great way to bring the community together and provide a unique experience. A locally owned café is more than just a place to get coffee. It’s an opportunity to create a warm, inviting atmosphere that encourages people to gather and socialize over food and beverages.

Keep reading for a guide on how to start your coffee shop in Michigan.

Michigan is Open for Small Business

Michigan business startup graphic Bloomberg recently ranked the Michigan economy Number One among 37 other states with a population greater than 2 million.

Nearly two-thirds of Michigan businesses described the state as having a favorable business climate and recommend Michigan as a place to start a business.

With the fifth-lowest cost of living and the ninth-lowest sales tax in the U.S., Michigan offers a fertile environment for entrepreneurs.

Home to over 900,000 small businesses, the State of Michigan 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 Michigan government website.

This website assists small and medium Michigan businesses with the following:

  • Starting a business
  • Taxes
  • Workforce
  • Choosing a legal business structure (most 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.

The Michigan Small Business Development Center also assists entrepreneurs who want to start or grow a business. Experienced business professionals offer management advice, financial analysis, marketing support and more.

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.

Michigan Coffee Shop Owners Recommend the 7 Steps to Success

Our coffee shop customers in Michigan 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. Instead, hear what some of our Michigan customers think about working with Crimson Cup.

Coffee Chaos, Midland, Michigan – Founded in 2004

Coffee Chaos barista wearing drink local t-shirtCrimson Cup customer Kim Krantz followed our 7 Steps to Success coffee shop startup process to open Coffee Chaos in Midland, Michigan, in May 2004. He’s been growing with Crimson Cup ever since.

Located at 6201 Jefferson Avenue, this independent coffeehouse features hot, iced and frozen espresso drinks, including cappuccinos, lattes and mochas. Hot and iced teas, frozen hot chocolate and fruit smoothies round out the drink menu. A variety of fresh muffins and pastries complement the delicious coffee drinks.

Coffee Chaos caters to customer comfort with free Wi-Fi, a spacious inside seating area and a generous outdoor patio with umbrellas and tables.

The popularity of the shop’s busy drive-thru is called out in its logo and tagline, “Pick Up and Go Espresso.”

“The approach that Crimson Cup takes is to make me, at Coffee Chaos, the best shop that I can possibly be,” he said.

“That I can sell the most coffee that I can sell. That I’m giving the best product, the best service. All of those things are what they are helping me do.”

“They want to make me successful. Because if I’m successful, Crimson Cup’s successful.

“That business model is so unique. That’s what sets them apart.”

Watch the video below for Kim’s take on how Crimson Cup has supported his success.

Elizabeth Perk Coffee House, Grosse Isle, Michigan – Founded in 2015

Elizabeth Perk Coffee House and Ice Cream Parlor, Trenton, MichiganMark Hayes and Debbie Rote-Hayes opened Elizabeth Perk Coffee & Ice Cream in 2015 at 2975 W. Jefferson Ave. in Trenton, Michigan.

The husband-and-wife team chose a historic location for their new venture – Michigan’s first A&W building, built in the 1940s.

The vintage-style interior features stained-glass skylights and seating at tables with marble countertops.

A drive-thru caters to coffee and ice cream lovers on the go.

Elizabeth Perk’s menu features Crimson Cup coffee, cappuccinos, lattes, café mochas, loose-leaf teas, and 28 flavors of ice cream from Guernsey Farms Dairy in Northville, Michigan. The two product lines combine in the affogato, a traditional Italian dessert that tops a scoop of ice cream with a shot of espresso.

Mark said they traveled across the Midwest to find a unique coffee roaster to supply their coffee. When they saw Crimson Cup, they knew it was the right fit for their business. “They have a fantastic flavor and concept,” he said.

Crimson Cup’s 7 Steps training program gave Debbie and her team the skills to succeed. “One of the most impressive things about working with our trainer from Crimson Cup is how a staff with no prior experience with coffee is now expertly crafting coffee beverages just a week later,” she said.

Crimson Cup has supported the couple’s success over the years. In 2019, USA Today named Elizabeth Perk the Best Ice Cream Parlor in Michigan!

Ready to Start Your Michigan 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 startup consulting team during regular business hours (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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  • FAQ’s

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  • Testimonials

    Successful independent coffee shop owners recommend the 7 Steps program.
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