Looking for consultant in Mid-west


New member
Mar 7, 2005
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I've just acquired a coffee shop next to my retail location. I've got a mind for business and think it's a great opportunity- (and no- I have no experience in the coffee industry- however, I know a good cup when I have one- and quality and customer service are synonomous in my mind)just need some expert field advice/help in reviewing it's current operation and the competition and coming up with a game plan to compete profitability.

In an effort to keep costs down- can anyone recommend a consultant in the mid-west that they have used before?

And PS- thanks to all who have helped out with machine info- we got our La Marzocco at a price too good to mention (not a pre-owned Starbucks)!

The competition opened last week- complete with "Smoking" allowed; catering to students and high-end?!!?? (Didn't think the latter two go hand in hand- but if someone can clue me in- we're talking high school students-maybe I'm missing something?) We a very small (tiny) town. I'm thrilled- sounds like there's enough room for both!

ALso- does anyone have a source for the following:
Private label mugs
Tea pots
honey sticks
travel mugs


New member
Apr 18, 2005
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I'm also in the midwest. I haven't yet acquired a cafe yet. Actually, myself and a small group of other business enthusiasts are getting together with some area buseinss leaders to get things started. I'm from Two Rivers, WI, and we only have one other coffeeshop, which caters more towards older folk. We're looking to create a little bit more relaxed, youth friendly, yet still contemporary and adult-like environment.

In regards to the smoking and high-school high-end, the business that we are trying to start is going to play off of the success of one of these smaller, "exclusive" coffeehouses in a neighboring community that is considered a neat place to hang out in our area. I'll just put it this way; although I think smoking is disguisting, if they didn't have a small and cozy courtyard with smoking allowed in back they'd lose half of their business.

Good Luck!

Coffee Guy

New member
Oct 19, 2003
Seattle,Washington USA
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Sometimes good consultants are hard to find, especially in an area where coffee (espresso style) has not yet caught on. If you are enterprising you will do all of the leg work and eventually find a way to make things work. Some just wait for one of the big boys to come into town and watch them flourish before they lay stake. A lot will depend on what market you want to go after, i.e., do you want a place where customers come in, sit down and spend hours, commuter friendly whereas drive thru customers come by on their way to work in the mornings, or a combination of both? If you do decide to open a coffee business make sure that if others are involved that they share the same dreams and goals as you do. Nothing worse than someone telling you that it can't work, or can give you all of the advice in the world but are not willing to sweat along side of you. Also keep in mind that if you have outside investors, or banks, or financial people wanting to front the money may not understand what this business is all about. Sure they may have seen a S.B.'s or two, but a lot of them have no clue what the business is about or may not be willing to free up their money to help you get started. If you haven't found a good consultant in your area yet, you may have to go outside of your immediate area and find one else where. Sounds like you have everything in place. Are you open yet?


Nov 3, 2004
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Coffee Guy said:
Sometimes good consultants are hard to find, especially in an area where coffee (espresso style) has not yet caught on.

Good points -

I agree and will go even further to say that given the small community of consultants in this industry that are both ethical and capable, it is rare that new business owners can find reliable assistance in their home town regardless of coffee-popularity. Consulting services are not a commodity so your decision to obtain assistance should be based upon value (a.k.a. your anticipated return on investment for the services rendered), and not necessarily price or location.

Take Sherri Johns, for example, whose talents are arguably unsurpassed as a 28-year veteran consultant to the industry; her well-rounded skills are in demand all over the world and she has gained an enormous following from customers, both domestic and international. For Sherri's customers in Malaysia, Costa Rica, Brazil or even Seattle, the cost of a plane ticket from Portland is a small consideration compared to what they expect she will do for their company or other organization.

Also consider that there may be benefits to bringing in 'outsiders' with a unique point of view. It is human nature to favor a local supplier; whereas this may be a good approach for fresh baked goods and dairy, it's not necessarily best when you are seeking advice to differentiate yourself from your own local competition.


New member
May 12, 2005
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You may want to talk with the folks at Crimson Cup. They're in Columbus, OH. I met them at Coffeefest in DC last year.
We used a local consultant here in the Carolinas to open, but I want to talk with the Crimson Cup folks about marketing plans now that we're open.



New member
Aug 15, 2005
Milford, NE
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mid-west consultants

We opened our coffee shop last week and we owe much of our success to Dave and Lori Janovec "Grounds to Go" in Grand Island NE. They provided an excellent program of support and on-going training. They also roast their own beans. Tell them Randy & Cheryl referred you.