In 2022, Crimson Cup published a series of startup guides to help entrepreneurs in each state achieve their dreams of opening their own coffee shops.
For 2023, the company’s 7 Steps coffee shop startup consulting team has updated its “How to Start a Coffee Shop in West Virginia” guide with even more tips and resources.
“West Virginia offers fertile ground for many types of small businesses, and coffee shops are no exception,” said Crimson Cup Founder and President Greg Ubert. “The Mountain State ranks 37th in the number of coffee shops per capita, with fewer than one coffee shop for every 7,817 residents. That leaves a lot of West Virginians without a local coffee shop.”
Crimson Cup supports independent coffee shops in Clarksburg and Bridgeport. Their owners learned how to open the shops through the company’s 7 Steps program.
The program is based on Ubert’s book, Seven Steps to Success: A Common-sense Guide to Succeed in Specialty Coffee, which he wrote to help coffee shop owners master all aspects of successful coffee shop operations.
“We help entrepreneurs with little or no coffee experience become owners of thriving coffee shops serving their local communities,” he said.
“From choosing a terrific location and writing a strong coffee shop business plan to calculating coffee shop startup costs, buying and laying out equipment, hiring and training staff and more, our team is here to guide you.”
Coffee entrepreneurs Kevin and Sarah Zakariasen named Stonewall Coffee in Clarksburg, West Virginia for the city’s most famous native son. A statue of Civil War General Thomas Johnathon “Stonewall” Jackson sits in the plaza next to their coffeehouse at 218 Court Street in historic downtown Clarksburg.
The Zakariasens and their children settled in Clarksburg after spending eight years as missionaries at an orphanage in South Africa. They realized downtown Clarksburg was ripe for revitalization and saw an opportunity to strengthen the community through coffee.
Lacking coffee experience, the couple explored coffee franchise options and visited Jitters Coffee House in Millersburg, Ohio, a nonprofit coffee house supported by Crimson Cup.
Even after the recommendation from Jitters late owner Martin Mann, the couple felt reluctant to purchase Crimson Cup’s 7 Steps to Success book and to follow its tenets.
Despite the book’s warnings against used equipment, for example, they purchased a previously owned espresso machine that proved unusable.
After trial and error, they began following Crimson Cup’s guidance, which is based on experience with hundreds of independent coffee shops in 30 states, Guam and internationally in Bangladesh.
“Knowing what we know now, we would have paid much more than $69.99 for the 7 Steps book,” Kevin Zakariasen said. “It is one of the best investments we have made.”
They also benefited from Crimson Cup’s comprehensive on-site training for coffee shop owners and baristas. 7 Steps Project Manager and Trainer Steve Bayless spent a week training the Zakariasens in their own coffee shop, then stayed on site for the soft opening in December 2016.
On the first day of operation, the Zakariasen family served over 130 people, with a line of customers out the door.
“It’s been really exciting and neat to see the community come out and say, ‘Hey, this is exactly what we needed here in Clarksburg,'” Kevin Zakariasen said.
The warm community welcome gave rise to the shop’s motto, “West Virginia gathers here.”
The Stonewall Coffee menu features hot, iced and frozen espresso drinks – including mochas, lattes and cappuccinos – as well as iced coffee and tea, cold-brewed coffee, hot chocolate, fruit smoothies and other custom drinks.
Comfortable seating and free Wi-Fi beckon customers to sit and socialize or catch up on work.
The shop is entirely family operated by the Zakariasens, their children and extended family members.
The owners believe Stonewall Coffee has become a vital part of downtown Clarksburg’s revitalization.
And, about five years after opening their first location, the Zakariasens started a second Stonewall Coffee at 1219 Johnson Avenue, Suite 103, in nearby Bridgeport. They held grand opening celebrations for the new shop on April 27, 2022.
“We’ve been really encouraged! A lot of people have told us over and over again how glad they are to have us in Bridgeport, and we are super glad to be here as well,” Kevin and Sarah Zakariasen said.
The couple invites everyone in Clarksburg, Bridgeport and Harrison County, West Virginia to gather at Stonewall Coffee.
“Our desire is to bring the best coffee experience to our customers,” said Kevin and Sarah Zakariasen. “West Virginia gathers at Stonewall Coffee because of our great coffee, friendly service and cozy atmosphere.”
For updates about menu, hours, events and more, follow the Stonewall Coffee Clarksburg and Stonewall Coffee Bridgeport on social media.
“As a coffee roaster and coffee business consultant, Crimson Cup believes our company only succeeds when our customers do,” Ubert said. “As a result, we support coffee shop owners at every step, from concept through opening day and beyond.”
“Although the fundamentals of coffee shop operation remain the same from state to state, the economic opportunities, business formation and licensing requirements vary widely,” Ubert said. “We’re excited to share information and resources to help entrepreneurs expedite their startup journey.”
He invited anyone who is thinking of opening a coffee shop in any state to call Crimson Cup for guidance.
“If you run into any roadblocks or just want to discuss your vision with a coffee expert, you can reach our startup team by calling 1-888-800-9224.”
To hear about the 7 Steps book in Ubert’s own words, download a free recorded introduction on Soundcloud.
About Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea
Founded in 1991, Crimson Cup is at the forefront of the coffee industry. Its attentive roasting, startup support and global partnerships are consciously designed for the greater good of communities around the world. Among other significant recognitions, the company has earned 2023 Double Gold awards at the Aurora International Taste Challenge, 2020 and 2017 Good Food Awards, the 2019 Golden Bean Champion for Small Franchise/Chain Roaster and Roast magazine’s 2016 Macro Roaster of the Year.
Crimson Cup travels the world searching for the perfect cup – driven by meaningful relationships, honesty and a shared vision for the future. Its Friend2Farmer initiatives foster respect and decency through mutually beneficial collaboration across local and global communities.
Through its 7 Steps to Success coffee shop startup program, the company teaches entrepreneurs how to open and run independent coffee houses in their local communities.
Crimson Cup coffee is available through over 300 independent coffee houses, grocers, college and universities, restaurants and food service operations across more than 30 states, Guam and Bangladesh. The company also owns several Crimson Cup Coffee Shops and the CRIMSON coffeehouse and retail store in Easton Town Center. To learn more, visit crimsoncup.com,.
Cheryl Claypoole, Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea, 614-361-5023, [email protected], https://www.crimsoncup.com
SOURCE Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea