Will a coffe shop work? Expert opinions needed!


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Mar 12, 2004
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I live about 30 miles north of Houston, Tx in one of the largest middle class subdivisions in Tx (est mid 80s). Until recently this was mostly rural farm land so the area has a "down-home, country" feel, but in the last 2-3 years the area has been experiencing a building boom of subdivisions for upper middle class familes. (To give you some idea of the road traffic that has cropped up, it now takes me 15 minutes to drive the 3 miles to the freeway while only going through two lights.)

There is one Starbucks within 5 miles. There are no colleges in the immediate area but we have several high shcools and almost all of our teenagers have their own car. My neighborhood ranges from retirees to empty nesters to young famlies starting out.

I want to open a Coffee Cafe where people can have desserts and coffees from around the world. I do not think I'd offer expresso or " fancy" coffee drinks as I intend to also sell the beans retail so the customer could have the same great cup of coffee at home. (Expresso machines at home are unheard of in this area.) I would like to generate a personal income of 50K+.

Do you think the demographics I've described will support this sort of endevor?

All thoughts are welcome...and appreciated!
Hi ncrew:

It's great that you'd like to start a coffee biz, however, serving espresso will make you more money both in the short run and the long run. You can also build your other sales by starting with espresso as your base. Keep in mind most coffee drinkers consume their favorite beverage in the morning and now the coffee business is all about convenience. And even if you want to do a cafe, try to have the ability to have a drive up window. You can still have a coffee shop and sell one pound bags of single origin coffees, etc. I would suggest you visit the Starbucks in your area and look at how they operate, study their menu, look at how they merchandise. All of these things will give you a model to work from.

I hope some of this helps.
Beverage catering concept

Hi coffeelovers-
I am considering a concept of coffee beverage catering. I live in Minnesota and have seen some of the corporates in the industry call themselves catering when they basically charge to deliver a coffee dispenser and some pastries, only to pick it up later. My idea is to take my Rancilo S-24 and a "catering set up" and provide on site beverage services for parties of 15-50 people... some pre-contract and some "cash bar" The idea is to bring the coffeehouse experence to them.Of course my main concern is providing top quality coffee/espresso based drinks, but any input or opinions on the idea are greatly welcome. Thanks
Hi ncrew..coffee guy is right! Espresso itself is actually the 'base' for a number of different beverages (from Cappucinos through to cafe mochas!). My thoughts are that its vitally important you have an espresso machine so you can present all these tempting drinks to your new clients.... believe me they will be sold and impressed! As per CG's comments sure, you must still have all the other extras... especially the interesting single origin coffees from such wierd and wild places as Indonesia :wink: . Maybe you are right...your area is not 'espresso-ized' yet... but believe me it is only a matter of time before it is and it is far better to be out there leading the charge than trying to chase the pack! Good luck
I agree, you do need a base. Once that's accomplished then provide them with some tasty Indonesian coffees in addition to Africans, etc. Ahh, there's nothing like having a wonderful cup of French Pressed single origin coffee :wink:

You're right Alun_evans, "Maybe you are right...your area is not 'espresso-ized' yet... but believe me it is only a matter of time before it is and it is far better to be out there leading the charge than trying to chase the pack! "