And now for the Stacy’s side of the story…..
I can still remember the day Stephen came to me and pitched his idea for Sourdough Cuppa Joe.
To say I was shocked is an understatement!
Coffee and sourdough bread? Um, that was quite a bit different from his current job, a certain restaurant serving chicken sandwiches….
Stephen had never even so much as hinted at a change in career, not to mention starting his own restaurant. He showed me his numbers for expenses and sales and profit. Not having as strong a background in the restaurant business as he had, these numbers didn’t mean much to me at that time. But I just nodded my head and said, ‘OK,’ thinking this was probably just a passing fancy.
Fast forward a bit…..
Not much had been mentioned regarding this new restaurant idea involving coffee and sourdough bread, so I thought Stephen had forgotten about it or changed his mind.
I was wrong!
He came to me and said he was ready to get serious about moving forward. He had found a business mentor and had even begun looking at coffee suppliers. Again, I nodded my head and agreed, certain that this too would pass.
Things began progressing. We began looking at locations! We contacted a graphic designer, and I actually helped design the logo!
Okay, okay, so by this time I had started buying into his vision and getting excited, especially when we started tasting coffee roasts and saw the finished logo.
However, as you read in Stephen’s part of the story, location proved to be a snag in the process. A drive thru was essential in Stephen’s eyes, and that caused us to never even set foot inside a building in Knoxville.
Why not look in Chattanooga? I asked Stephen one day. We had tried to move to Chattanooga several times over the past few years, so maybe this was finally our opportunity.
And that was all it took! A month later we were signing the lease to the old Nana’s Frozen Custard building. Two and a half months after that was our Grand Opening Day. I was in disbelief – and more than a little terrified. I kept waiting for the phone call or text that would end it all.
But despite several snags and discouragements, to be covered in later posts, things eventually came together and opening day finally came.
It’s been almost two years since our Grand Opening, and oh, how much we have learned! Ups and downs and so many changes! I have learned so much during these two years, and now this little coffee shop is as much in my heart as it is in Stephen’s.
Our amazing customers and employees are my favorite part of this business, and are the reason I do what I do!
And you, our blog readers, are a new addition to our story! So Welcome to each and every one of you!
I hope you’ve enjoyed our story and that it has touched you in some way. To those of you who found this blog post because you are considering opening a coffee shop, if we can do it, you can, too!
I’m not going to lie to you; it will not be easy! It will take hard work and dedication – and lots of funds – but it is possible to pursue and succeed in this dream of yours. Shoot us an email, we’d love to hear from you!