New Coffee Shop, Am I Crazy?


New member
Feb 26, 2006
Hello everyone, I am a newbie to posting on this forum but I have to confess I have been reading on this site for a while, finally took the plunge to join. So here's my question, Am I crazy for wanting to open my own independent coffee shop? My wife says I have been acting crazy about this for months, ever since I started talking about opening my own shop. No, really, I have been in development stage since November,I am now working with a small business development center and I am on my way to ownership. I have a local roaster, a great potential location next to a Kroger, a supplier for syrups and sauces, cups and lids, a local coffee machine supplier, and everything is falling into place. I completely expect to wok my butt off to make this shop run,
it in a county of about 50,000 and a town of 15,000. Lots of potential, no other coffee shops in the town. Like I said the location is next to a Kroger that gets 25,000 customers a week, also a tanning salon, UPS store, dry cleaners, Radio Shack, and a GNC in same building. I guess what I'm asking is "Is it worth it?" Can I support a family on what an owner makes by running a coffee shop. My business developer says it looks great, just wanted to get a few comments from people in the industry. Thanks!! :)


New member
Dec 4, 2005
New York
well any business is a risk, I think when you said the part in your question about "can you support your familly" most of us were reluctant to answer I think non of us want to be responsible if your venture failed and you could not support your familly. I think in your case you may have to look at priorities and back up plan before you start.

Coffee Guy

New member
Oct 19, 2003
Seattle,Washington USA
Ahh...I say go for it, bet the farm if necessary... :twisted: Just kidding...As MC says it's best to have a back up plan before you quit your day job. Although this is a very good business and the potential to make money is great, you really have to set down and realistically pencil things out. If you have all the things lined up as you say here, then I would ask those people who may become your future vendors their thoughts. As for the location, it better be a sure thing and not just a potential. Potential means nothing, signed leases means business. I'm confused about something though??? If this town only has 15,000 residence and the Kroger's is only doing 25,000 customers per week, doesn't that strike you as a little odd? Just a thought. In any case, be careful, and as I mentioned earlier, ask some of these questions to the vendors.


New member
Feb 16, 2006
Answer to your question

As I learned late in life, if this is a mid life crisis thing that you are going through, they have pills that can take away your urge to start your own business. Then your wife will no longer think that you are crazy. Did you get your sports car and girl on the side yet?


New member
Nov 6, 2005
re: Am I Crazy?

I'll assume that you've done the math on how many cups per day you will need to sell to break even. Now, let's think about your location. OK, so it's next to a supermarket that draws in 25,000 customers per week. How many of those customers fall in the demographics profile of potential specialty coffee customers? If 20,000 of those customers are over 65 and living on social security they will most likely not become avid patrons of your shop.

Another important thing to consider is proximity to a college or high school campus, a professional center, i.e., medical complex, large attorney firm, etc. These would be your best customers.

Ten years ago I told everyone in St.Louis who bought an espresso machine from me that this was the future of coffee in America. Most people thought it was just a fad. At that time there was one Starbucks and just a few specialty coffee shops. There are now 26 Starbucks locations and over 100 shops serving espresso drinks.

Yep, you and Starbucks are both crazy... like a fox. Good Luck, -Dave