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Church Coffee - Mistakes to Avoid in Setting Up Your Coffee Shop

Boake Moore

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People often write to me on how to set up a coffee shop in their church or next door to their church. Seems like a great idea and great concept. And everyone loves coffee. How easy could it be. And it will build fellowship and worship. But here are the mistakes one can make in setting up a church coffee shop or any coffee shop. And since you may be making a huge investment - some study and time should be spent.

Your Coffee shop investment will vary greatly depending on your chosen location and existing conditions. Some churches buy a coffee maker for $100 and the shop is open. We are excluding them. The coffee shop equipment that you will need will be approximately $12,000 to $15,000, or $150 for a simple top of the line coffee maker. Plus then the remodeling cost, decor, signs, furniture, fixtures etc. may range from $40,000-$400,000. Some churches have invested from a low of $3,000 to $220,000 to set up their church coffee shop. As an comparison, Starbucks invests on the average of upwards of $300,000 plus to open one of their shops. And hopefully your church is getting volunteers to help.

Here are the most common mistakes I see in setting up a church coffee shop - off the church grounds.

1. Starting to spend your money and your time without first determining if your project makes any business sense in the first place. And if your goal is to build worship then the numbers won't tell the whole story. But many coffee shops are also looking to have it break even or as a fund raiser for missions or children. You won't learn that from your friends, relatives or your coffee/equipment dealer!

2. Choosing the wrong location - if you are not visible, hard to get to, or in the wrong demographic area, you do not exist and probably will have very little business! The main reason for Starbucks success is the locations! And use your church to market and cross brand and use your church base to build your coffee shop.

3. Naming your shop with a name unrelated to your coffee business - you are driving along and notice a shop called Dottie's. Would you stop there for a cup of coffee if you did not know what it was? So don't get too cute or too themey - let people know what you are doing - serving coffee.

4. Not knowing which design or layout or how to design your work environment for speed and efficiency of operation - but also your design must allow and convey the right environment. Small groups and bible studies? and how do they interact with your other customers.

5. Having a menu that is too short or too long and confusing, the wrong food or no food or not focusing on items that matter the most. The food must match your theme and your coffee must match your crowd and purpose.

5. Music and what type of music and when is it played. Does it set the environment or not used at all. Do you use bands to draw crowds or drive off customers.

6. Poorly trained employees with no idea on how to prepare coffee and espresso based drinks properly and promptly. Not enough employees? Do you use volunteers? How much can you afford? And lastly what are your hours of operations?

7. Trying to do too much. Coffee shops environments are made over time with the right blends of service; worship and people. Not try and force the issue.

Ready to start? Plan and pray and spend some time picturing your coffee shop 1 year from now. How does it feel and smell and sound? Who are your customers and what are they saying? Pray some more.

Mission Grounds Gourmet Coffee, the church coffee, helps children and sales the finest coffee around. Boake Moore founded a non profit coffee company called Mission Grounds Gourmet Coffee - It donates all its profits and proceeds to helping orphans and impoverished children. We currently are building schools in rural China, orphanages in South America; supporting orphans in Russia and Africa. And helping homeless children in the United States.

Lets make the world better -
George “Boake" Moore
Mission Grounds


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