You’ve dreamed of opening up a coffee house ever since you saw that iconic coffee shop in Friends. You’ve got all the plans made, and you even began researching coffee bean blends and Keurig machines. At night, you dream about the meet-cutes your coffee shop will inspire and the locally-famous status you’ll one day reach. But what else do you need? Here are a few more items you should consider as espresso-ly necessary to one day make your caffeinated dreams a reality.
1. Local Art
The coziest, quirkiest coffee shops often feature local artists on their walls. Perhaps the art matches your chosen aesthetic for the shop, or perhaps it’s a wild mix-and-match cacophony of maximalism covering the walls. Whatever you choose, art is a great way to lift up local artists and add to your coffee shop’s decor.
2. Coffee Cups and Mugs
Easily overlooked, how you choose to serve your coffee is essential! You might consider double wall coffee cups to protect your drinks, or even invest in cute, mismatched mugs for those who hope to sit and stay awhile.
3. Comfy Chairs
Whatever your decor choices, you can probably agree that you want to make sure those who hope to study or work in your shop are comfortable. Perhaps you want a fun motley of chairs, or you lean toward cozy, sink-into-them armchairs. Bar stools are definitely useful for space-saving efforts, but couches invite conversation like nothing else. The options are endless — choose wisely!
4. Great Lighting
As any basic twenty-something will tell you: mood lighting can change a person’s entire experience. Be deliberate about the intensity and fluorescence of your coffee shop’s lighting as you consider your aesthetic, tone, and natural lighting already present.
Good pastries are essential for any standout coffee shop! The variety of pastries on the market is incredible; however, this might be an opportunity to build a partnership with a local bakery or restaurant. Keep the shipping costs low and the local pride high by creating local partnerships, even more broadly. You might be surprised by what you can find in your community.
6. A Clever Tip Jar
Okay, maybe this item isn’t so important. Even so, it can help set the tone of your shop to ordering customers and even will support your hard-working baristas. Consider the theme of your shop, its location, or other notable features when coming up with clever puns or witty wordplay.
7. A Few Standout Drinks
Why not make a name for yourself by experimenting with a few quirky flavors or previously-unknown names? Sure, not everyone will be enamored by your custom hazelnut-lavender-honey mocha, but those who are will certainly remember it and come back for more. This is a great way to help your shop stand out among the other options in town.
8. Reading Options
Invite your customers to hang out for a while by offering them options for reading on your tables. A single newspaper or magazine subscription might be adequate — something like The New York Times is both neutral and robust reading. If you’re feeling bold, you might consider scattering some books around your shop, or even pack them into a bookcase. Your customers can walk away feeling inspired after flipping through a few pages of The Alchemist or Illusions.
Of course, this isn’t a comprehensive list detailing every last item you need to open up your very own coffee shop. But for all the dreamers out there, these items represent a jumping-off point, a gentle initiation into the world of steaming mugs and coffee beans. Rise and grind! Your future coffee shop is yours to take.