Hello from Central Pennsylvania!


New member
Jun 10, 2004
:-D Recently a friend and I opened a coffee shop in Central Pennsylvania...we're pretty new to the "scene" and are looking for some really good ideas and ways to make the business "fly". Anyone that's got any input, PLEASE feel FREE to give me a "yell". Thanks a bunch! :D


New member
Jul 17, 2004
And hello from eastern Pennsylvania

I am brand-spanking new to the world of coffee and coffee forums, but I have been wanting to open a coffee shop in my neck of the woods in eastern Pennsylvania. Apparently, Starbucks did a market survey in this area and has decided not to open a franchise here -- good news for me, I think!



New member
May 27, 2004
I'm not so sure that Starbucks NOT going in is such a good thing. They spend tons of money on site selection before going in. If they determined the market wasn't strong enough, that may tell you something. :shock:

Coffee Guy

New member
Oct 19, 2003
Seattle,Washington USA
I'd have to agree. Starbucks is usually a good sign believe it or not. This means that they have already spent the time and money to do the R&D. However, that only means that the potential was not up to their expectations. But you may have a shot on a smaller scale. And if it works out for you, then look out because Starbucks may make a come back. But if you open and become successful, they may be back.


New member
Jul 17, 2004

A friend told me about the Starbucks deal, but I don't know much about it beyond that--like where she got the info or how long ago the study was done. Coffee does seem to be getting more popular in the area. There's a small chain of drive-throughs that seem to be doing very well, called Mocha Mike's.

The Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton area boasts more than 500,000 people--previously a very working class area but now seemingly smothered by overpriced housing developments. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, I live in the fastest growing county in the state. Instead of being bitter about the loss of farmland, I thought I'd (at least try to) capitalize on the influx of people and their money. :D

My specialty is more along the pastries, cakes, and cookies end of things, but what better to go with these goodies than a good cup of coffee? In my area, at the foothills of the Pocono Mountains, Dunkin Donuts seems to be the only game in town--and with the aforementioned influx of out-of-staters, that franchise is growing in leaps and bounds.


New member
Aug 30, 2004
West Virginia
coffee shop ideas

Good Morning to all,

Why not observe a few other very successful chains and 'copy' some of their ideas. There is nothing wrong learning from other success stories. And I am not just talking about coffee shops or cafe's. Get creative and think outside the box.

As just a few examples .....

Look at Dunkin Donuts or Krispy Kreme, what marketing do they perform on a day to day operation. They sponsor little league team(s). They turn on the 'magical lights' when they are baking their donuts and have free samples. They have alot of exposure in the community, by knocking on doors and introducing themselves. Why not attend as many community events and social gatherings as possible and let people sample your products (maybe at cost), get the school kids involved in the area, maybe have a car wash at your business with coupons for future business....have a grand opening event and invite the media (free products for all the media at this time) or provide the local PBS sattion with free products in exchange for free advertising during the months that PBS has money drives, every morning provide the local media (newspaper, TV and radio) with free samples of your product for a week, join the chamber of commerce, etc., etc., etc.

Also, why not have some local youth groups (preferably a youth group like church, scouts, Civil Air Patrol, sport teams, school band) hand out grand opening coupons to area businesses (where Mom and Dads of the youth would be a good start). This could be a good marketing tool.

I would also ask every customer to leave a business card (for a 10% discount) for future marketing. Then follow up and ask those customers to bring a friend(s) for a discount. maybe sponsor a business meeting with your product.

You need to market your new cafe. Visibility in the community is important. If you are a community leader, or community volunteer, or school volunteer, use these connections to your advantage.

The key marketing principle here is to get people to know who you are and where you are located NOW...then if your product and service is good, they will return and bring their friends...that is where yoiu will make your money...later on. You will have to spend money to make money.

I would recommend that you have a soft opening for a few weeks before you have your grand opening...that way you can work out some of the bugs and alert the local media about your product (and possibly get some free advertising) for your grand opening.

If your product and services are inferior (for what ever reason) all the marketing in the world will not get you repeat customers.

I have a saying that I modified a long time ago...we all have heard that the customer is always right. Well here is my view....the customer is not always right BUT the customer is always the customer. Swallow your pride and ego and remember who pays the bills. Stay as neutral in business as you can and keep your opinions to yourself.

It only takes one 'former' customer (or employee) to spoil years of good business.

Again just a few suggestions and ideas...Good luck



Super Moderator
Staff member
Aug 14, 2003
Boca Raton
Some good ideas in there radarick...ummm...another and best thing to do is educate your customers....have trivia posted on your menu board..obscure stuff that the ordinary joe wouldn't know....I have worked at places that have wanted me to do cuppings for customers...till they watched me cup...my aim aint what she used to be...so they then they tried to get me to change cuppings in to tastings....I personally didn't have time to do this but it might actually stir up some intrest...if you do it...contact your local t.v. chanel and get them interested in the story.