How to Open a Coffee Shop in Pennsylvania

welcome to Pennsylvania sign

Are you interested in starting a coffee shop in Pennsylvania? You don’t have to navigate the startup process all by yourself or pay exorbitant fees for a franchise or coffee school.

Instead, follow our proven 7 Steps to Coffee Shop Success process to build a thriving coffee business in Pennsylvania.

Why trust our expertise? Our 7 Steps program is backed by over 30 years of experience in coffee roasting, café 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 open and grow successful coffee businesses. And most had no prior coffee industry experience!

To help you get started, our consultants can assist you in developing a strong coffee shop business plan. They’ll also guide you in calculating coffee shop startup costs in your Pennsylvania 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!

Pennsylvania is a Terrific State to Open a Coffee Shop!

shops on street leading to Independence hall in PhiladelphiaAs any successful business owner will tell you, location matters. And Pennsylvania has it all – from bustling cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh to charming small towns dotted across the state.

With only eight major coffee chain locations per 100,000 residents, Pennsylvania offers plenty of opportunity to open and run a successful independent coffee shop.

Pennsylvania ranks 19th in coffee shops per capita, according to a study by Zoma Sleep. The study counted 5,669 Pennsylvania residents for every coffee shop in the Keystone State.

That leaves a lot of Pennsylvanians without a local coffee shop, especially in the smaller cities and towns.

Did you know that most Americans are huge coffee fans? Over 62 percent drink coffee, averaging three cups a day. That’s a lot of caffeine! So, it seems as if Pennsylvania could definitely use some more coffee shops to keep up with the demand.

According to the National Coffee Association, coffee drinkers are flocking to espresso-based beverages brewed from high-quality beans.

Did you know that sales of cappuccinos, lattes, and mochas have increased by a whopping 50 percent since 2015? Experts attribute this trend to the growing popularity of these coffee drinks among younger consumers aged 25 to 39.

Small Pennsylvania Cities and Towns Present Big Opportunities

Small town PennsylvaniaSince you’re considering launching a coffee shop in Pennsylvania, it’s worth noting that many counties don’t have a lot of coffee chain locations. When seeking your location, you might want to explore some of the smaller towns apart from Pittsburgh, Philly, and Allentown.

Quite a few cities and towns in Pennsylvania‘s 67 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? A coffee shop gives people a place to connect with each other. It’s the perfect place to bump into an old friend or make a new one.

Owners of shops in Altoona, Bedford, Gibsonia, Irwin, Mansfield, Marleysburg, Springs and Whitehall have learned how to open a coffee shop through our coffee shop startup program.

Read on to learn more about how to start a coffee shop in your Pennsylvania community.

Pennsylvania is Open for Small Business

downtown lancaster pennsylvaniaPennsylvania’s business climate encourages success without stifling creativity or innovation. The Keystone offers an enticing mix of tax incentives, funding programs, and support services to small businesses. As a result, it boasts the fourth-highest early startup survival rate in the U.S.

Home to over 1.1 million small businesses, the State of Pennsylvania focuses on creating an environment where entrepreneurs can prosper. These businesses account for 99.6 percent of businesses in the state. And they employ 2.5 million residents — about half the state’s private workforce.

You can find resources covering starting and running a business on the Pennsylvania Business One-Stop Shop. This guide for aspiring entrepreneurs and existing business owners will walk you through resources available to help you plan, register, operate, and grow a business in Pennsylvania.

This website assists small and medium Pennsylvania businesses with:

  • Starting a business.
  • Naming your business.
  • Writing a business plan.
  • 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.
  • Running and growing your business.

The Pennsylvania 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. We love small businesses.

Visit Pennsylvania Coffee Shops Supported by Our 7 Steps Team

Want to see what owning an independent coffee shop in Pennsylvania is all about? Visit one of Crimson Cup’s customers in Pennsylvania, which flourish with continuing support from our Customer Growth Managers and other members of the 7 Steps to Success team.

Dawdy Haus Coffee, Springs, Pennsylvania – Founded 2014

Dawdy Haus teamLarry and Kay Byler opened their Dawdy Haus Coffee at 634 Springs Road in Springs, Pennsylvania in 2014.

Translated from Pennsylvania Dutch, Dawdy Haus means “Grandfather’s House.”

Inspired by their grandparents, the Bylers gave their coffee house the feel of a comfy cottage.

Walnut cabinets and a warm fireplace with a gorgeous copper chimney create a frame for family

heirlooms such as the marriage certificate of Kay Byler’s grandparents.

In addition to a full menu of espresso-based hot and frozen drinks and tea, Dawdy House features scrumptious meals, luscious baked goods and a mini-market with fudge, canned foods, and other Amish-style goodies.

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

“I never post reviews, but as a coffee lover this is one of the top coffees I’ve had,” said one Facebook reviewer. “Definitely worth the trip.”

The shop maintains stellar ratings on Google, Facebook and other ratings sites.

Rustic Joe’s Coffeehouse, Marleysburg, Pennsylvania – Founded 2017

Sign outside Rustic Joe's Coffee House at Leber's Log CabinsIn 2017, Owners DaVonne and Matt Leber opened Rustic Joe’s Coffeehouse at in the main building of Leber’s Log Cabins, 4983 National Pike in Markleysburg, Pennsylvania.

The original family business was established in 1932 by Roy and Frances Leber, two Midwest brothers of German descent.

They fell in love with Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highland Mountains, purchased land and turned local timber into log cabins. Located along scenic Route 40 – also known as The National Pike – the cabins and new coffee house are near the borders of Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia.

Rustic Joe’s Coffeehouse 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.

Its signature drink is the Rustic Joe’s Mocha, which melds white chocolate, caramel and steamed milk with an espresso base. A variety of locally baked goods round out the menu. Cupcakes from the Mountain Cupcakery attract customers from all over the area.

Greenbean Coffee House, Altoona, Pennsylvania – Founded 2017

Greenbean Coffee House Altoona Pennsylvania
The new Greenbean Coffee House

Katy and Travis McCabe opened their original Greenbean Coffee House in Altoona, Pennsylvania in 2017.

As the owners of two franchise-based cleaning businesses, the couple was intrigued by Crimson Cup’s model, which offers all the support of a coffee shop franchise without the associated costs.

“Tired of paying franchise and royalty fees to others, I absolutely wanted to do my own business this time around,” Katy said. “Crimson Cup made it easy!”

The McCabes sought to create a hub for community social interaction, where locals can share stimulating conversation over an espresso, work awhile, meet business clients, enjoy a fragrant baked good or delicious light meal with friends.

“Imagine yourself in a comfortable nook, surfing the web (Free Wi-Fi), holding a business meeting, hanging out with friends, listening to great music (sometimes LIVE), admiring local art, catching some rays on our patio, participating in open mic night, hearing a poetry reading, going through our drive-thru for a quick cup of joe before or after work and you will understand the draw and excitement of the Greenbean Coffee House,” Katy said.

After the success of their initial small location, the couple opened a luxurious coffee bar in the Graystone Grande Palazzo. On June 10, 2022, they opened a new Greenbean Coffee House at 715 6th Avenue, across the street from their first shop.

kat’s Coffeehouse, Gibsonia, Pennsylvania – Founded 2023

exterior of kat's Coffeehouse in Gibsonia, PennsylvaniaSomething exciting is brewing in Gibsonia, Pennsylvania! Kat’s Coffeehouse held its grand opening April 25, 2023, at 617 Warrendale Road, Suite E.

kat’s Coffeehouse is the latest in a series of enterprises for owners Kathy and Todd Williams. Before venturing into coffee, the entrepreneurs made waves in kitchen textile design, the steel industry and retail clothing boutiques.

After creating two successful Pittsburgh-area clothing boutiques, the serial entrepreneurs needed something new to keep the momentum going. Then, encountering a local coffee shop for sale, they took a chance and made an offer.

The only problem? They had zero coffee experience.

“With no prior experience in the industry, we knew we needed a partner that truly understood coffee,” Todd Williams said.

Enter Crimson Cup.

“I was researching coffee providers and got in touch with their amazing 7 Steps coffee shop startup consulting team of Scott Fullerton, Steve Bayless, Heather Syx and Dave Eldridge,” Todd said.

He then read Greg’s Book, which forms the foundation of our 7 Steps program.

“It was apparent from reading the book and talking to the consulting team that the business model Crimson Cup provides works,” Todd said.

As part of their due diligence, the couple visited our Crimson Cup Innovation Lab in Columbus, Ohio, where Kathy tasted a cup of black java with no additives. “It was the best cup of coffee I’ve ever had!” she exclaimed.

That was the deciding factor. “After an exhaustive three-month search, we knew we had found our coffee partner,” Todd said.

“The 7 Steps team is outstanding. Each of them knows this coffee business and shares your joy when you succeed.”

“Weekly calls with Steve and Heather and learning from Dave, whom I call the expert of experts, have helped us avoid so many mistakes,” he added.

After completing the startup process, Todd had several thoughts to share with others contemplating opening a coffee business.

“Don’t do it alone!” he said. “Do it with someone who shares when you win and helps when you need help. Most important – if you don’t have great coffee and training nothing else matters. Plus, work with a coffee business consultant that instills operations best practices so you can get to be profitable faster than doing it alone or just buying coffee from a roaster with a marketing pitch.”

Ready to Start Your Pennsylvania 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. You’re welcome to fill out this form on nights and weekends. We will respond within one business day.

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