This week I’ve had the amazing chance to travel back to my university and once stalk the tables of my favorite coffee shop; McConn. I’ve remember so many mornings, sitting on the brick fireplace while I read my devotions or hastily finished homework that was due for my morning class. There are so many life changes that happened for me here. I still vividly remember when I heard the news that I was offered the position of manager, it was a cold brisk walk from the business building on campus to the manager’s office where I was told to meet. I had a hunch, but with McConn, you never know for sure. I feel so privileged to be a part of something so large and undeniably awesome.
But enough about me.
Lets focus on you. On your shop. Or your bar. Or your job. In the midst of a cut throat competition of coffee shops pitted against each other in the race for caffeinated survival, it’s hard to tell what can give an edge. One thing is for certain, those who can emphasize unique methods or practices thrive. Key word being: UNIQUE. People are always thirsting for something different. Being a coffee shop addict, I love looking at the small things that make shops different.
Soak up the image. They have an espresso machine as art, outside, the shop. May I stress the fact that they have placed a multi thousand dollar piece of machinery outside as a lawn piece!? While I understand it is probably used, old, and/or broken, it certainly is an eye catcher and the first of it’s kind that I’ve ever seen. Bravo Lulu’s.
I remember a coffee shop in Canada. They had a two glass jars that were used for spoons. One jar for clean, one for dirty. This was so refreshing because you were not reduced to using wooden sticks or plastic straws to stir your coffee. It was a pleasurable experience to use real silverware to sir my coffee. The coffee shop went the extra mile to clean all the silverware to provide it’s customers with a unique expierence.
The drinks can also be a massive uniqueness opportunity. Personally, I can never find a coffee shop around my area that does an excellent Cuban shot. That is specially unique to McConn for me. Things like the Aztec mocha (Arcedium Coffee House in St. Charles, IL), the Mexican hot chocolate (McConn) and others can be specific drinks in a store can be a bankable unique characteristic.
I find that most success is found in something that people cannot find anywhere else. It’s the rarity that brings people back time and time again, especially at a coffee house. So find what you do well and is unique to your store and accent it.