Small businesses come in all shapes and sizes. They form the pillars of our economy and exist in every kind of industry imaginable. Coffee is certainly no exception! Corporate giants tend to soak up the spotlight on almost every street corner. But there is no shortage of hidden gems to be discovered just off the beaten path. Here are 8 great reasons I encourage you to explore and support the local coffee shops near you:
Brandon Ivan Pena is a coffeepreneur, CEO of 787 Coffee, a from farm to cup coffee experience, serving Puerto Rico’s finest coffee at his 21 coffee shops in New York City and in Puerto Rico.
They Strengthen the Local Economy
Mainstream coffee giants, while convenient, mostly focus their profits on brand development. Much of what you might spend there will only serve to further that development, likely in the form of yet another store just a few blocks away. Those larger corporations do very well at capturing the lion’s share of the economy but not as well at reinvesting in the communities they serve. Small, independent stores belonging to your local entrepreneurs can have a very different effect. Their investment in the community creates job opportunities and allows local talents to be showcased. Additionally, small businesses are far more likely to source their products and supplies from other local businesses, which helps to distribute profitability more evenly throughout the community. Such partnerships might also provide a platform for other businesses and organizations to advertise and mutually support each other. The use of product packaging or store signage to highlight those partnerships can help to create visibility and introduce you to other amazing businesses in your community.
Creating a small business is all about community interaction. The relationships these stores build with other businesses in the community (and their customers) means that their profits directly benefit the community itself. They are investing in each other, investing in you, and investing in the greater economy. So you can visit small businesses with the comfort of knowing that you aren’t lining the pockets of the mega-corporations and their shareholders, but supporting your neighbors, colleagues, friends, and family in the most organic way.
They enrich our community
Let’s be honest, you could go spend your time and money at any coffee shop chain but something they will never have is the charm and individuality small local coffee shops provide to the community. These shops are important parts of our community and we must support and preserve them. They are not only offering a cup of coffee but an experience and oasis away from the norm. They want you to spend your time with them, they want to know you and they want to make the community better. The entrepreneurs who choose to open up local coffee shops aren’t looking to push their brand or take over our community, they already are a part of the community and want to enrich it.
They provide unique experiences
The coffee industry is saturated. It’s crucial for small businesses to stand out. The art of coffee preparation has become somewhat universalized. There is an unspoken standard of expectation when someone orders or an espresso or cappuccino. Instead of reinventing the wheel, small stores focus on ways to create unique customer experiences to catch the eyes of the locals. Perhaps this means an unexpected store location, an unconventional décor, entertainment such as live music, menu items that feature fun names, or specialty products that are created with unusual ingredients. Being quirky, colorful, and overall different is a strength that smaller businesses have and it helps them shine in a market where, the art of making a latte has been perfected by many. As a consumer, you can be sure to expect something special by looking beyond the façade of the global giants.
They provide excellent customer service
Breaking into an industry as big as coffee is not an easy thing to do. Its dominated by massive corporations and is slowly being inundated with smaller stores offering a variety of niche products. All that competition means that customer satisfaction is paramount to their success. Having a unique product and creating an exciting experience is not enough. It is absolutely essential for customers to be impressed by the service level to ensure their repeat business. Larger coffee shops and corporate chains have a tendency to function like factories, simply mass-producing their relatively generic menu items. When you’re running late for work and need something convenient, that fits just fine. But in order to stand out from that, smaller shops find ways to elevate the morning routines of their customers. These entrepreneurs want to keep you coming back, which means they will often think outside the box in terms of customer loyalty. You might even be greeted with special promotions or discounts that you may not be offered at a chain store that has no interest in impressing you.
They provide better quality Coffee
Local coffee shops understand that their product needs to be excellent in order to survive in an industry that already has so many big names that their potential customers know and already support. So they’ve done extensive research and training on coffee. They personally test and try every thing they put on their menu to make sure you are getting only products of quality. They’re always thinking about the customer and their needs so they source their coffee from places they know provide specialty grade coffee that stands out from the masses. To them its not about the money they could make of off you instead its about doing what they love and doing it well while providing you with the freshest coffee you could find in your own neighborhood.
They are champions of the environment
Because local coffee shops are by the community and for the community most of them are champions of the environment. They want to protect all aspects of their community including the planet we call home which is why they choose to run the business in a more sustainable way. That means working towards eliminating the company’s carbon footprint. Which means your money isn’t going towards a company that is harming the environment in fact its more than likely going to a company that invests in helping find innovative ways to help the environment.
They provide personal touches
A smaller clientele enables local stores to build a rapport with their regulars. It allows them to personalize customer interactions by getting to know you and your preferences more intimately. The nature of being a small business gives entrepreneurs the unique ability to craft an excellent experience that is tailored to exactly what you need.
The benefits of having small businesses in your community are endless. They provide jobs, support other local businesses, provide investment opportunities, and create a more diverse local economy. The need for these entrepreneurs to stand out from the mainstream drives the innovation of new ideas and allows creativity to run free. An argument could even be made for positive environmental impacts by sourcing products and services locally. Regardless of what reasons you may find, After a conversation with Brandon Pena, CEO of 787 Coffee. LA Featured encourage everyone to explore the local coffee shops and specialty stores in your area. You won’t regret it.