Is 2022 the Year of the Independent Coffee Shop?

March 11, 2022
Collage of Independent Coffee Shops supported by Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea

Independent Coffee Shops supported by Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea After opening 20 new coffee shops in 2021, Crimson Cup expects to help another 23 entrepreneurs open their own independent coffee shops in 2022.

Since 2020, our coffee shop startup team has helped entrepreneurs in 14 states open 36 independent coffee shops.

The perfect time to open a coffee shop is now, said Founder and President Greg Ubert.

“Overall business applications have surged to record levels since mid-2020, and we’re seeing strong demand for coffee shop startups as well,” he said.

“So many entrepreneurs wait for the economic stars to align just right, which seldom happens,” he added. “Over the past 30 years, we’ve helped coffee shops open during the Great Recession and throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Most are still going strong.”

In total, Crimson Cup has helped over 300 independent coffee shops in 30 states get off to a prosperous start.

New Coffee Shops to Open in 13 States in 2022

For 2022, we have signed contracts with 23 business owners to open independent coffee shops in 13 states.

The new owners will learn how to open and run profitable coffee businesses through our 7 Steps to Success coffee shop startup program.

Based on Greg’s Book, Seven Steps to Success: a Common-Sense Guide to Succeed in Specialty Coffee, our 7 Steps program has helped hundreds of independent coffee shops become thriving local businesses.

A 7 Steps coffee shop startup consultant will guide each new owner through every step – from scouting a profitable location and writing a coffee shop business plan to planning a menu, choosing equipment, hiring staff and providing comprehensive training.

As a one-stop shop for independent coffee shops, Crimson Cup also supplies award-winning coffee, the best coffee shop supplies in the business, and ongoing support to help coffee businesses thrive.

“We set up new business owners to reach their goals, and then we keep working with them until they reach them,” Ubert said.

After a new coffee shop opens, the 7 Steps team supports them through grand opening celebrations and beyond to ensure ongoing success.

Court Street Coffee in Athens, Ohio — Going Strong Since 2007

Crimson Cup customer Debbie Fulks opened Court Street Coffee in Athens, Ohio in 2007.

“Tasting the coffee is like – Oh my gosh! – This is like the best coffee I’ve ever had,” she recalled. “That kind of sold me right there.”

Over the past 15 years, Crimson Cup’s 7 Steps team has continued to help Fulks grow her business.

“They’re just a phone call away,” she said. “If I have questions about drinks or equipment, marketing, staff … just anything. If the person I talk to first can’t answer, they point me to the right person. It has been invaluable.”

Most Crimson Cup Customers Have Increased Sales Since 2020

7 Steps Project Manager and Trainer Steve Bayless said that most coffee shops supported by Crimson Cup have seen increased sales the past two years.

“During the pandemic, shops with drive-thrus especially have boosted their sales,” he said. “Some customers with sit-down-only shops saw decreased traffic, but we worked with them to improvise temporary drive-thrus where possible.”

Founded During the Great Recession, 5 Bean Coffee in Reynoldsburg, Ohio Continues to Grow

Barista makes espresso at 5 Bean Coffee, an independent coffee shop in Reynoldsburg, OhioTracy Heitmeyer, who opened 5 Bean Coffee in Reynoldsburg, Ohio during the 2008 Great Recession, said her business continues to grow with Crimson Cup’s support.

“Without Crimson Cup’s help, I would never have been able to set up my shop as efficiently,” she said. “Frankly, I am not sure if I would have stayed in business.”

To stand out during the pandemic, Heitmeyer transitioned her shop to drive-thru-only service and focused on speed. “We quit doing pour overs or drinks that take a lot of time,” she said. “We became efficient enough that we average under 1.5 minutes per car!”

The coffee, roasted by Crimson Cup, wins rave reviews from customers. “They always say the drinks are better than the corporate chains, more balanced and not bitter, and the prices are better,” Heitmeyer said.

Strong Opportunity for New Coffee Shops

Greg said he continues to see strong opportunity for independent coffee shops. “Specialty coffee demand continues to grow,” he said. “There are so many cities and towns that lack a good place to gather over a terrific espresso drink.

“We’re here to help anyone who wants to get started in specialty coffee,” he added. “Give us a call with any questions you might have.”

7 Steps Sales Leader Scott Fullerton is the first contact for all new coffee shop owners. Reach him by emailing sfullerton@crimsoncup.com or by calling 1.888.800.9224.

“If you’ve ever dreamed about opening a coffee house, I’d love to help you get started,” Scott said. “We’ve helped hundreds of entrepreneurs take the leap from dreaming about a coffee shop to opening their doors. Chances are, we can help you!”

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