5 More Years of Success for The Coffee Attic & Book Cellar

November 6, 2022 (Published: May 28, 2021)
Kat Bissell and Jan Morton at The Coffee Cellar and Book Attic

Since purchasing The Coffee Attic & Book Cellar in May 2016, Owners Kat and Pat Bissell have perfected a unique blend of coffee and culture in downtown Iowa Falls, Iowa.

“We provide a cultural hub in which people can come to socialize, appreciate local art, have a bite to eat, enjoy a great cup of coffee, and relax,” Kat said. 

The First Coffee Attic & Book Cellar Opened in 2001

The Bissells expanded on the coffee and bookstore concept of original Owners Bob and Jan Morton.

The first Coffee Attic & Book Cellar opened in 2001 after the original owners learned how to open a coffee shop through our 7 Steps to Coffee Startup Success franchise alternative program.

After joining The Coffee Attic in 2006, Kat spent the next decade learning about coffee from the Mortons and Crimson Cup.

By 2016, she managed the coffee shop—making for an easy transition when she and husband Pat bought the business.

“It was our privilege to help Bob and Jan grow their unique coffee business for 15 years,” said Crimson Cup Founder and President Greg Ubert.

“We’re thrilled to continue working with Kat and Pat as they have made the shop such an integral part of their community.”

Relationships with Customers, Baristas and Crimson Cup Drive Growth

Pat and Kat Bissell toasting friends with coffee cups at The Coffee Attic

To mark her fifth anniversary as Owner and Manager, Kat talked about the role The Coffee Attic & Book Cellar plays in the local community and how she has grown the business.

She credits the coffee shop’s success to relationships with customers, baristas and Crimson Cup.

“We are a small community that supports one another,” she said.

“Our regulars say it feels like home. We have even played a part in two engagements!”

With a large loft, the shop has space to host study groups, meetings and parties for many local groups and charities.

“As a few examples, we present a poetry night for a local school, hold food pantry fundraisers and host local artists and wineries for our town’s Art/Wine Walk,” Kat said.

The shop also collaborates with home-based businesses. “We give them a space to sell their products, and they give us quality products from local vendors.”

Kat says building her barista team into a family has promoted the shop’s success. “Many of my former employees come back to see me whenever they are in the area, and I have traveled lots of miles to see them as well.”

Making Global Connections through Coffee

Collage of photos from The Coffee Attic & Book Cellar in Iowa Falls, Iowa

Apart from vital connections in the local community, Kat says travel—to Crimson Cup’s Innovation Lab for education, to other coffee shops and to coffee-growing countries—is one of her favorite aspects of owning a coffee shop.

The couple has visited some of the coffee farms and coffee processing plants in Siguatepeque, Honduras, that produce coffee for Crimson Cup.

They have funded a scholarship for student education and have done fundraising for and traveled to build a home for a coffee worker and his family.

 “Traveling to coffee-growing countries and meeting other coffee-shop owners has taught me that community does not end with our town,” Kat said. “We have made connections all over the world!”

Following Our 7 Steps to Coffee Shop Success

Black & White Streetscape of The Coffee Attic & Book Cellar

For the Bissells and over 200 local business owners in 30 states, the road to opening and running a successful coffee shop began with our 7 Steps to Success Program.

The program takes its name and content from Greg’s book, “Seven Steps to Success: a Commonsense Guide to Succeed in Specialty Coffee.”

Crimson Cup consultants guide new coffee shop owners in every aspect of coffee shop operations.

After helping each entrepreneur in writing a coffee shop business plan, 7 Steps trainers help bring the plan to fruition.

Customers receive expert guidance in finding a location, choosing equipment, hiring and training staff, menu ideas and much more.

Crimson Cup also supplies award-winning coffee, drink recipes, syrups, powders and other coffee-shop supplies.

“We’re a one-stop shop for anyone who wants to open and run an independent coffee shop,” Greg said.

“We build long-term relationships through the quality of our products and services—with no franchise fees, royalties, or long-term contracts.”

Coffee Attic Customers Rave about the Coffee, Food and Service

Owner Kat Bissell with Baristas at The Coffee Attic & Book Cellar

“This is hands-down the best place to go if you have a lunch hour meeting or just want to go there to catch up on some work with your computer or just to relax!” said one Facebook reviewer.

“Everything they have is excellent from their Americanos to their Lattes they even have breakfast sandwiches. Definitely 5 stars.”

Crimson Cup coffee ranks among the country’s best. Among many national honors, our coffee won 2017 and 2020 Good Food Awards—which recognize the best tasting, most responsibly sourced coffees in the United States. It was also named a finalist for a 2021 Good Food Award.

Building on a Legacy

Under Kat’s management, the business has grown through new coffee innovations and by opening a second location called the Coffee Attic Corner inside Hansen Family Hospital.

“We take great pride in continuing the dream Bob and Jan Morton made 20 years ago,” she said.

Asked to advise other prospective coffee shop owners, Kat said to look at Crimson Cup.

“I can count on the 7 Steps team for advice and guidance,” she said. “Crimson Cup has a great reputation and stands by their products.

“I trust the research that goes into the supplies we get from them and know they will be there whenever I need them.”

The Coffee Attic is open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday at 604 Washington Circle in Iowa Falls. For the latest news and updates, follow their Facebook Page.

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