The atmosphere in Eureka, Missouri is more “friendly” these days, thanks to the new Orange Couch Coffee House at 98 Legends Parkways, which held its grand opening on September 7.
A Coffee Shop with a Central Perk Vibe
Local resident Maggie Schamber modeled her Orange Couch Coffee House on Central Perk, a favorite fictional hangout of characters in the sitcom “Friends.”
Living up to its name, her shop features a replica of the iconic orange couch seen in the show’s original opening credits.
Schamber said she designed her store to have a Central Perk vibe.
Like many entrepreneurs, Maggie had been dreaming of opening a coffee shop for years.
“I was working for a local credit union in the marketing department, building and maintaining relationships with business partners,” she said. “Part of my job was to scout new credit union locations.”
“I loved the space at 98 Parkways. After the credit union passed, I decided it was the perfect location for my dream coffee house.”
Following 7 Steps to Success
Although she loved coffee, Maggie knew she had a lot to learn. In researching how to open a coffee shop, she came across Crimson Cup and our coffee shop franchise alternative, 7 Steps to Success.
Based on Seven Steps to Success: A Common-Sense Guide to Succeed in Specialty Coffee, by Founder and President Greg Ubert, the program teaches everything newbies need to run a profitable coffee business.
“After reading the 7 Steps book and touring the Crimson Cup Innovation Lab in Columbus, I felt I had a good chance of succeeding with their guidance,” Maggie said.
A Three-Year Journey, Step by Step
From concept to opening, developing the Orange Couch Coffee House took over three years. Crimson Cup was there every step of the way.
“My 7 Steps Trainer, Steve Bayless, is so friendly, accessible and knowledgeable,” Maggie said. “He answers the phone on the weekend.
“Crimson Cup cares, not just about their owners but also their farmers.”
Helping Small Businesses Succeed
Greg Ubert said Crimson Cup’s goal is to help small business customers create unique coffee shops tailored to their dreams and the needs of their local communities.
“When I started Crimson Cup almost thirty years ago, my vision was to create a business that would offer an engaging work life, a fun environment and a culture of giving,” he said.
“I’ve been fortunate to realize all three. A big part of the fun has been helping hundreds of entrepreneurs create their own coffee businesses.”
The 7 Steps outlined in Greg’s book take prospective business owners through scouting a location through writing a successful coffee shop business plan to finding customers. A 7 Steps trainer works with owners every step of the way.
“We don’t just offer barista and manager training – although our training is among the best,” Ubert said. “What sets Crimson Cup apart is that we stay involved in our customers’ businesses. We don’t succeed unless they succeed.
“We’re proud that, even in the current business climate, our customers are finding ways to succeed,” he added. “Some have even seen year-over-year sales increases!”
Step 5: Focus on Training
Of all the steps, Maggie found Step Five, Focus on Training, the most helpful. “It’s all inclusive. They not only help with award-winning coffee and coffee shop products, but with location, layout and more.
“I loved that I could learn in my space rather than having to go to a barista school out of state,” she added.
Gaining Customers and Friends at the Orange Couch Coffee House
In its first few weeks, the shop is already gaining customers – and friends.
“Great coffee is like your best friend. We hear the drinks are fantastic, the shop looks great, the service is so friendly.”
People love taking pictures on the couch and with the quotes from the show. They sit down and relax, slow down, and look at the art. And they love the “Friends” references!
Customers choose from a full menu of hot and cold specialty coffee drinks, including handcrafted espressos, lattes, cappuccinos and mochas, plus frozen smoothies, hot chocolate and premium hot and iced teas. Locally baked goodies like chocolate chip cookies and donuts round out the menu.
Advice on Opening a Coffee Shop
As she begins her new life as a coffee shop owner, Maggie had this advice for others who are thinking about opening a coffee shop:
“Call Crimson Cup as your first step for sure. Have fun – but do it only if you’re serious about it. It has to be a passion. Be patient as you nurture your dream into reality.
“Come up with something different. If people don’t know you personally, the theme or name will get them in the door. Once they have experienced your shop and tasted your coffee, they will be back!”