Espresso biz in Ohio???


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Feb 8, 2005
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I just wrote in response to another topic, and thought I should post my question as 'new'....

I joined the forum yesterday -- it has been REALLY helpful to browse, looking for answers to some of the questions I didn't even know to ask yet!

I very recently moved to Ohio from eastern Washington state and am originally from Montana, so specialty coffee is not new to me (making it is!), but it seems like a semi-new concept in this area.... There are NO 'huts'! I've only seen one so far. Good opportunity? Or are people out here not ever going to be mass esspresso drinkers? Most everyone I've met so far only drinks brewed coffee -- most not even with cream or sweetener.

Any advice? There are Starbucks all over the place, so I'm thinking that is a good sign... This will be my first business venture, so I'm thinking drive-thru for now, and possibly getting into something bigger when I see if that does well enough.

Thanks so much in advance -- this forum is GREAT!!! : )
i think the espresso based drive thru is a relatively recent idea and good for the lives on the go, especially in the AM. Being from Ohio (Cleveland) I can tell u that there are just as many coffee houses in the city and surrounding suburbs as any other city and suburbian state can boast but there are always room for more. this business sector is still very young and sprawling. I would think the drive thru would be a more advantageous venture in your region now as I cannot remember many when I lived there, nor my last visit last year.

one thing we must remember is if the public drinks drip coffee we must educate them on the benefits of drinking espresso based beverages. if u r in a more rural area of ohio, u can still flourish if the demand for your product is there. your research will show whether it is there or not.

good luck!
Hi AprilG:

So you left Eastern WA for Ohio. Well good luck to you. Are you planning on staying there for a length of time? If so, then it may be a good idea to venture forward and eventually start up a drive thru. If not, it would be a shame to contribute time and money and not see it through. A lot of people see drive thrus pop up around the country now; and the ones that educate themselves as students first, i.e., do a lot of research both book and OJT are the ones that prove to become more successful than the ones that want to take short cuts or the cheap way of starting the biz just to get one open. Many come to these forums and others like them to seek knowledge and swap ideas. However, keep in mind what the spirit of these forums are for. Some here are biz owners of drive thrus, coffee shops, cafes, etc., and others are professional (myself included) roasters, consultants, trainers, and the like looking to help where we can. Sort of like giving something back due to the success of what our customers have done for us. Truth of the matter is before you even get past square one you need money to make it happen, the desire to be dedicated enough to endure the start up, and be a great people person. Those are the most important elements in this business. The business part and operations are all learned skills. But the first 3 can not be taught, you have to possess them.

What part of Ohio did you move to? We have a new customer in Celina, Ohio. Are you anywhere near there? If so stop by a place called "The Potter House" (419) 586-2695, and visit Vance Nation (owner) and enjoy a cup of coffee. He's just beginning to serve our drip coffee in his place. He's just learning about the coffee boom himself. We will look into the espresso later, but he just wanted to start up on serving coffee for the time being.

Take your time a visit the espresso places that are either close to work or close to your home and study what they are doing and maybe stop in for a drink or two and strike up a conversation if time permits. That's how I would begin my research. Also be very careful about those that call themselves experts and want to sell you a bunch of stuff and are not willing to spend some time with you first so you can get a better feel about their qualifications. There are also some go ones out here as well, but it's up to you to make a good decision to work with someone you build a relationship with.

Well I didn't mean to write a novel, it's just that sometimes I get so involved with what I'm doing, I just can't shut up :oops: In any case good luck, and if you have more indept questions for me, you are always welcomed to pm me any time.