How to Open a Coffee Shop in New York

welcome to new york sign

If you want to learn how to open a coffee shop in New York, we’ve got you covered!

Our 7 Steps to Coffee Shop Success program allows you to start and run a thriving coffee business without using expensive franchises or coffee schools.

Through this proven, hands-on process, our experienced coffee shop startup consultants have helped over 300 entrepreneurs – including six from New York – open and grow successful coffee shops. We’ve helped coffee shop owners in Brocton, Clayton, Lakewood, New Rochelle, New Hartford and Portville achieve their dreams.

The 7 Steps are based on decades of coffee industry experience. Our coffee shop business consultants, who have owned and managed thriving cafes, can help you develop a strong coffee shop business plan and calculate coffee shop startup costs in your New York community.

You’ll also start your business serving coffee from one of the best roasters in the country. Our founder has been roasting coffee since 1991. We have received numerous accolades for our coffee quality and sourcing, including Roast magazine’s 2016 Macro Roaster of the Year and several Good Food Awards.

Crimson Cup is a comprehensive resource for independent coffee shop owners. Our team can assist you in locating a fantastic location, designing your shop’s layout, recruiting and training baristas, promoting your business, and more.

You’ll also gain access to proven drink recipes and quality coffee shop products that will keep your customers coming back!

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

New York is a Terrific State to Open a Coffee Shop!

Statue of Liberty overlooks Manhattan, New YorkNew York State is well-known for its lively coffee culture, making it an attractive and promising destination for entrepreneurs interested in opening a coffee shop. Bustling city streets, charming towns and a diverse population make the Empire State a fertile ground for coffee businesses.

New York ranks 17th in coffee shops per capita, according to a study by Zoma Sleep. The study counted 4,976 New York residents for every coffee shop in the Empire State. That leaves quite a few New Yorkers without a nearby café.

New York has over 19.5 million residents and millions of visitors worldwide. Since 62 percent of Americans drink coffee, it’s safe to say there’s room for many more coffee shops in the Empire State.

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 50 percent since 2015, driven partly by solid popularity with 25-39-year-olds.

Small New York Cities and Towns Present Big Opportunities

Small businesses in Woodstock, New YorkAlthough New York City is often the go-to destination, there are plenty of undiscovered opportunities for coffee businesses in smaller cities and towns throughout the state.

Suburbanization and the growing popularity of remote work have increased the desire for specialty coffee shops in these regions.

As a result, you might consider starting a coffee shop in a small city or town outside of major metropolitan areas such as Albany, Buffalo, New York City, Rochester, Syracuse, and Yonkers.

Small communities often provide loyal customers and are typically more welcoming to small businesses. Moreover, operating costs in these areas are usually lower than in larger cities.

Many cities and towns in New York’s 62 counties lack a gathering place where locals can get together over coffee.

Would your community benefit from having its own independent coffee shop? A local café offers a venue for residents to congregate, socialize and savor a variety of delightful beverages. It also can support local business development and provide jobs for area residents.

Read on to learn how to start a coffee shop in New York.

New York is Open for Small Business

downtown in small new york townWith the third-largest economy in the U.S. and the third-best access to venture capital, New York is a terrific place to open a coffee shop!

The State of New York focuses on creating an environment where entrepreneurs can thrive.

Over 623,000 small businesses form a substantial portion of the New York State economy. About 98 percent have fewer than 100 employees.

You can find a wealth of resources covering business formation and operation on the Start a Business in New York State website.

This website assists small and medium New York 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.
  • Dealing with business responsibilities, like filing taxes and obtaining insurance.

The New York Small Business Development Center provides high-quality, confidential business counseling, training, and research at no cost to over 25,000 small businesses annually.

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
  • Finding and programming a pos system
  • 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 companies contribute to building communities in ways that larger businesses simply can’t match. We also understand that being part of a community can be the most fulfilling aspect of owning an independent business. To gain insight into the achievements of our community members, we invite you to peruse our collection of inspiring success stories.

New York Coffee Shop  Owners Recommend the 7 Steps to  Success

Our coffee shop customers 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 New York customers say.

St. Stephen’s Café, Brocton, New York – Founded in 2018

Ribbon cutting at St. Stephen's Cafe in Brocton, New YorkManaging Directors Stewart and Tammy Thompson of Breathe Life of WNY, Inc. felt a community gathering place was essential to the organization’s mission.

“Having a coffee shop was a perfect answer to bringing a fun place that was open to all ages to town,” Tammy said.

“We’re striving to offer hope in love, hope in community, hope in economics and hope that this little town is important to someone.”

The couple applied diverse work experience to their goal of opening St. Stephen’s Café in November 2018.

Stewart has been a pastor since 1991. Much of his career has focused on working with lives in crisis due to divorce, addiction, depression, and anxiety.

Tammy has worked for large corporations, small businesses, and in non-profit, church, and ministry roles. She used her experience in property and operations management in planning the coffee shop.

They knew from the start that Crimson Cup would be their coffee supplier. “A friend of mine started with Crimson Cup,” Tammy said. “I loved her coffee and made her establishment like my  second office.”

“When I knew that we would be coming to New York to open a coffee shop, I knew exactly what coffee I wanted,” she added. “What we received was so much more. The help on design, purchases, and guidance along the way has helped us become successful.”

She said the book’s template for a coffee shop business plan was most helpful. “The business plan helped us articulate to a community who were skeptical, donors who were unsure and personal financiers that we were legit.”

“It’s entirely different trying to formulate the words on your own versus having help with terminology and presentation. Crimson Cup helped us knock that out of the park!”

The Thompsons chose a historic building built in 1865 to house their café.

“It originally operated as The American Hotel, but was later renamed the St. Stephen’s,” Tammy said. “It traditionally ran as a bar/restaurant. Our inspiration was to convert it into a coffee shop so that all ages could enjoy a community environment.

“We continued with the name of St. Stephen to encourage the location to ‘live up to its name,’ which in the Christian faith was the first martyr of the faith,” she added. “He was social-minded, full of the Holy Spirit, and cared for the needs of widows, women and children.”

St. Stephen’s 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. An assortment of fresh baked goods rounds out the menu.

Tammy Thompson said local java lovers love Crimson Cup’s coffee. “They’ll say, ‘Man, this is good coffee!’ Some are still learning that with a good coffee you don’t need all that other ‘stuff’ to wash out the bean’s flavor. We are certainly helping them see that there is more than just a cheap latte.”

Calabria Coffee, New Hartford, New York – Founded in 2021

Calabria coffee ribbon cuttingThe opening of Calabria Coffee in the heart of the Village of New Hartford, New York, realized a six-year dream for Owners Bryce and Erika Lamberto.

“After several years working in the hospitality industry in Las Vegas, building our coffee shop was a big passion project for us!” Erika said.

A few months after moving to Bryce’s hometown of New Hartford, the couple began planning their coffee shop.

Looking for a coffee supplier and business consultant, they discovered Crimson Cup through Coffee Chaos in Erika’s hometown of Midland, Michigan. This independent coffee shop opened in 2004 through our coffee shop startup program.

“We knew right away we wanted Crimson Cup to be our coffee partner!” Erika said.

The Lambertos found Step One, Focus on the Location, the most valuable of the 7 Steps. “Without an excellent location, the rest might not have come together or been possible for us.”

Supporting the New Hartford community was a key goal for the Lambertos.

“Growing up here, there wasn’t a place where people could hang out,” Bryce said. “So, we created one!”

“Other than making high-quality beverages and providing excellent customer service, supporting our community is a top priority. Our goal is to be more than just another coffee shop; we want to positively impact people and our community.”

The coffee shop takes its name from Italy’s Calabria region, the ancestral home of the Lamberto family. Interior décor includes several call-outs to the region.

New Hartford coffee drinkers love the coffee roasted by Crimson  Cup. “We hear all the time that it’s better than the coffee chains,” Erika said.

One Facebook reviewer proclaimed, “I’m here to write a rave review about Calabria Coffee!!! The place is beautiful, classy, black and white interior… But the best was the coffee and the fabulous service.”

Working with Crimson Cup helped put Calabria Coffee on the path to growth, Erika said. “The amount of support and guidance we received was so instrumental in the initial success of our business.”

Bryce offered this advice for prospective coffee shop owners: “Take it one step at a time, follow your intuition, and don’t let anyone else dictate your future or tell you your dreams or goals aren’t achievable.

“Anything is possible when you don’t give up and keep moving forward.”

Ready to Start Your New York Coffee Shop Journey?

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 New York?

We can help. Call 888-800-9224 to connect with our coffee shop startup consultants 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.

Need More Information?

  • FAQ’s

    Important things about to know about opening a coffee shop using the 7 Steps program.
  • Testimonials

    Successful independent coffee shop owners recommend the 7 Steps program.
  • Have a Question?

    Click the button below to ask a detailed question!