Mini's Coffee - A Coffee Shop & Roastery in Smalltown, USA
Mini's Coffee - A Coffee Shop & Roastery in Smalltown, USA
A coffee shop & roastery committed to serving world-class coffee in a very small town, because great coffee deserves be everywhere.
A coffee shop & roastery committed to serving world-class coffee in a very small town, because great coffee deserves be everywhere. Read more
About this project
When my fiance and I moved back to his hometown of Finleyville, PA last year, we were shocked to learn that there wasn't a single coffee shop in our new town. In fact, the proximity between the two closest coffee shops is over 10 miles with Finleyville right in the middle.
It is a dead zone for a decent cup of coffee.
So, within a few days of settling in (ok, it was actually before we even unpacked the car), we started talking about opening a coffee shop here. Coffee is a huge part of both our lives (I'm a professional barista and coffee educator and Kyle is an aspiring coffee roaster) and the thought of living in a community where it didn't even exist really bothered us.
Why didn't our town have a coffee shop? The prevailing theory from the outsider prospective is that residents didn't want one. That they had absolutely no interest in fresh roasted coffee or expertly crafted espresso beverages. And that an artisan coffeehouse would be neither desired or appreciated.
But could that really be true? The assumption that small towns are inhabited by "small-minded" uncultured residents struck us as nothing more than a bad stereotype that had been perpetuated for far too long.
There was only one way to know for certain, so we decided to start asking residents if they wanted a coffee shop.
We brought up the coffee shop idea every chance we got, with every person we saw. The UPS driver, my fiance's grandmother, our neighbors, the cashier at the gas station, and basically every other Finleyville resident that would listen.
We talked to a pretty diverse group: construction workers, contractors, carpenters, small business owners, commuters, teachers, bankers, grocers, bartenders, servers, construction workers, contractors, salesmen, PTA members, hair-dressers, mechanics, farmers, truck drivers, postal workers and even the Chief at the local volunteer fire hall, and they all told us the same thing: "of course we want good coffee! You need to make this happen.”
So here we are, trying to make it happen.
Our Vision & Our Mission
We think that every town needs good coffee. Because, coffee isn't just a white Styrofoam cup, an automatic drip machine, or a pot that has been sitting on a burner since who knows when. Its a daily ritual for tired early morning commuters, a reason to sit down and catch up with old friends, a valuable companion for a hard working student, and a part of our lives.
By opening a cafe with in-house roasting, our customers will have access to a seriously fresh cup of coffee and our community will have a common ground to connect, share, and create. Geat coffee brings them together.
We want to open a coffee roasting cafe which will also be the first coffee shop in our hometown, so we can serve great coffee to our community and give them a place to enjoy it.
Why we are asking for your help:
Opening a coffee shop is expensive, especially when you are committed to serving an extraordinary product by roasting coffee beans daily in house. To open the kind of establishment that we have described, we will need superior quality equipment, skilled baristas, and premium food and beverage products
We currently have $24,000 in capital to cover the cost of securing a space for lease, building it out for a coffee shop with an in house roaster, and purchasing the products we need to have on hand to make specialty coffee.
We need still need $28,000 to get the doors open. Here is how the money would be used :
Espresso machine - $9,000
Coffee maker - $900
Coffee grinder - $600
Food service equipment (microwave, toasters, dishwasher, refrigerator, blender, etc.) - $11,000
Storage hardware (bins, utensil rack, shelves, food case) - $2,500
Counter area equipment (counter top, sink, ice machine, etc.) - $5,000
Store equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) - $8,000
Risks and challenges
Opening and running a coffee shop is a lot of hard work, but we are ready for the challenge. We have 8 years of coffee shop management under our belt. Annie is a professionally certified barista and trainer as well as an active member of the Barista Guild of America. Kyle is an expert in Global coffee issues, sustainability and the coffee business. As members of the SCAA we also have a network of industry professionals that we can look to for assistance.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
I can make coffee at my house. In fact, I have an appliance whose sole purpose is to make me coffee. Its purpose is so specific that is named Mr. Coffee. So, why do I need a coffeehouse to get what I already have at my house?
The answer to this is variety and quality. An automatic drip coffee maker at home or even a one cup machine (Keurig, etc.) can only make one style of coffee beverage: brewed coffee. Without access to espresso and milk steamer you cannot have a café latte, cappuccino, mocha latte, macchiato, etc. And while brewed coffee can be delicious and is the most recognizable form of coffee, it can be a bit plain. Grocery store coffee and hot milk is not a latte. There are also bags of “cappuccino” you can make at home which are not even close to what a cappuccino even is.
Freshness of home brewed coffee is entirely dependent on the type of coffee purchased. Coffee begins to lose freshness immediately after being roasted. The majority of bagged coffee purchased in a grocery store is pre-ground and stored in a vacuum sealed bag for the purpose of maintain “freshness.” The problem with this is pre-ground beans are aged and allowed to lose their freshness before they are ground and sealed into their bags. Also, pre-ground coffee is best within a week to two weeks after roasting but most bags of coffee have a “best-by” date which gives no indication of when they were actually roasted. Whole bean coffees in a vacuum seal package are also aged before they are put into the packaging and generally meant to be consumed around 30 days after roasting. Again, like the ground coffee, most whole bean coffees do not have a roasted date so you cannot be sure when they began to lose freshness. Generally, when buy you coffee at your local grocery store, you will be buying coffee whose ideal freshness faded away while on palette waiting to be stocked or on the shelf itself.
What that ultimately means is that the coffee you brew at your house is usually a distortion of its original flavor.
You have to take into consideration all of these factors before you can then realize that you also have to account for the quality of bean that was picked, processed, roasted, and then packaged. At the outset you could have a substandard coffee crop from who knows where which was massively roasted who knows when which is then brewed for consumption in a plastic appliance on your kitchen counter.
This is why it is so important to us to open a coffeehouse that roasts coffee beans in-shop. The green, unroasted beans can be selected from origin so the customer will always know where they came from, roasted in small batches as they are needed, and ideally served within 48 hours of the roast.
That is a brief, joyous jaunt for your coffee bean when compared of the arduous journey of getting it from a shelf.
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