Start-up advertising, promos?


New member
Sep 7, 2006
Montreal, Canada
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As an ice-cream-shop-turned-cafe, we are finding it hard to draw some of our ice cream crowd back in, at the same time as bringing in new coffee customers. Could someone share their successful advertising techniques and promos? Advertising in our tiny local newspaper is very expensive... as I'm sure it is everywhere. Early in the summer we gave out free ice cream coupons to Little League coaches for their players, and this turned out to be a fantastic promo - because parents and family came with the player, and a free cone turned out to be a sale to four or five people. But for the life of me I can't create a promo that good for coffee. Help?



New member
Aug 22, 2006
Columbus, OH
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One of the hardest things to do in business is to dual brand. Are you an ice cream parlor, or a cafe? Friendly's tried to dual brand, and failed. Do you want to be known as an ice cream place with really good espresso drinks, or a cafe with really good ice cream?
Did you change the name of the business when you added the cafe? If so, in all your ads, print " the name of your cafe" featuring "the old name of the place" ice cream. If you did not change the name, make up one for the cafe. You can then reverse the ads to say, the ice cream parlor is featuring the new cafe's coffee. You might even see if your roaster would allow you to use their name, just make sure you make good lattes!
If your place looks like an ice cream joint, (bright lights, stainless steel, easy to clean up furniture), it will be very difficult to brand as a cafe. If your place looks like an espresso cafe (couches, stuffed chairs, living room setting), you may have problems when toddlers start dripping tootie fruity all over your furniture.
What ever you try, ice cream and espresso is a difficult pair to marry. I have some good ideas that I would share, if you wish to E-mail me. I hope to open my own coffee house someday, and I do not want half the country executing my ideas before I open my doors!


New member
Sep 28, 2006
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Running a cafe with 2 focus products

I am currently running 6th street cafe in Tucson,AZ. The owners approached me with the same issue...can succeed cuz of advertising. The cafe offers frozen custard and specialty coffee. You have to create a menu that mixes the 2 products. I have coined the "Freddezza" which is espresso and frozen custard blended. I have decided to sell travel mugs in Aug offering free refills of any espresso/coffee/freddezza for the entire month of sept...Word of mouth has made this very successful. Coffee is selling well and so is the custard as we mix it with the coffee. Try the coffee mug promotion to at least get people addicted and make their morning commute habit forming. Just make sure you are doing the espresso and coffee correctly. You will see ur sales increase after the promotion is over.