One of the fun things I have planned for the Indie Business Studio grand opening is an artisan coffee service from the Franklin Street Coffee Company. From the beginning, this seemed like the perfect addition since the coffee shop opened around the corner back in June. Over the weekend, I confirmed our pricing and arrangement, and I thought everything was all set. Imagine my surprise and disappointment when I read a few hours ago on their Facebook page that they are now closed. I was so disappointed that I drove downtown to look for myself. Here is what I saw.
Sad but true. Lucky for us, another Indie coffee shop has agreed to fill in the gap. It's not located as close to our new offices as the other shop, but I am grateful that they are going to help us out. In the meantime, I had a great idea. I wonder if the closing company would be interested in hosting a pop up coffee shop at Indie Business Studio. Here's why I think this could work.
- Scheduled events Indie Business Studio will host classes to help small business owners succeed. We'll also have periodic Indie Business Network member meetings, business book club meetings, “Show and Share” nights and networking meetups. Why not have a pop up coffee shop at the studio during some of those events?
- Minimum purchase requirement. If the studio agreed to a minimum purchase requirement for each event, then the coffee shop would make a minimum amount of money and we would work hard together to promote events so everyone could be successful.
- No overhead. Well, it wouldn't exactly be “no overhead,” but it would be less out of pocket than it takes to cover the costs for a coffee shop. The studio would cover the utilities for an event where they “popped up,” and they would cover all of the sales taxes and merchant processing fees. Their old overhead would be replaced with the time and manpower needed to set up and take any equipment.
- Licensing. I realize that the shop probably already has a retail and food license attached to a particular address. But if that can become “mobile,” perhaps we could work something out where they could build their brand, and then in a year or so, go back to their old location (or another one) and grow from there.
It must be possible. After all, we are having a pop up wine shop at the studio opening. If the city would approve it for wine, why wouldn't they approve it for coffee too?
We have lots of Indie Business Network members with retails shops. Who knows, Indies … maybe there's a chance you could do something like this in your city where your shop is located!
I don't know what all of the details are, and maybe they have more sunken costs to recover than popping up at the studio could help out with, but I'm willing to explore possibilities. We'd have to work out an insurance arrangement, but I'm willing to figure out the details as we go. I hope the owners of the Franklin Street Coffee Company read this so they can let me know their thoughts.
No pressure or anything …
Shout out to the Alice Jules Coffee House for filing in the gap for us so quickly! Check them out on Facebook.
1. What do you think of pop up shops in general? What about a coffee pop up shop? Would you go? Are there any in your area?
2. What sorts of positions could be taken with local officials to encourage them to allow a pop up coffee shop?