How He Started a Coffee Business (With $1,800)

Maxwell Mooney opened his first Narrative Coffee cart in 2015 with just $1,800. Now they’ve just opened their second brick-and-mortar coffee shop, and are bringing in an average revenue of more than $80,000 a month. Wondering how he grew his coffee business? Watch this video to find out!

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Maxwell was a coffee geek well before opening a coffee shop. As a world-class barista, he’s competed and placed at a number of barista championships, so when he decided to become a business owner, a café was a logical choice. After starting with a coffee cart in 2015, they opened their first full café in Everett in 2017, expanding to a second location in Bellingham earlier this year.

In this interview, we’ll get Maxwell’s insider insight into starting a coffee shop business. We’ll find out how he made the most of his initial coffee cart investment, and how much it cost to expand that into a brick-and-mortar. That expansion also meant growing the team, and we’ll learn how he attracts and retains skilled baristas, along with his advice on the best marketing approaches to bring in new customers.

One major ingredient in Narrative Coffee’s success are their foundational systems that help them maintain quality across their coffee shop business. We’ll learn how Maxwell developed these systems, as well as the tools and software he uses to manage workflow across multiple locations. Anyone interested in the coffee industry will learn a lot from this interview! And if you want to hear more insights into owning a coffee shop, check out some of our past owner interviews:

How to Start A 7-Figure Coffee Business ►

Behind the Scenes of a $24,000 a Month Coffee Shop Business ►

Resources: – Find out more about Narrative Coffee on their website – Our ultimate guide to starting a coffee business – The preferred productivity software of Narrative Coffee and small businesses across the United States – Scheduling, payroll, and HR app for small businesses – Tool for managing your payroll, benefits, and employees


0:00 Intro
0:53 How Maxwell Got Into Coffee
1:38 How To Overcome Business Struggles
2:05 Systems and Processes
4:06 Key Things Maxwell Has Learned
5:06 Tips on Starting with a Coffee Cart
6:38 Tricks to Exceptional Customer Experience
7:26 How To Get More Retail Sales
8:41 How To Keep Customers Coming Back
9:41 the Benefits of Your Community
11:31 Let’s Talk Numbers
12:22 The Key To FREE Advertising
13:46 Tips for Beginners on a Budget
14:47 Reaching the Breakeven Point
16:12 The Importance of Systems
16:51 Blitz Time with Maxwell!
19:21 Choosing The Right Merchandise
20:25 How To Keep Employees Happy
21:35 How To Not Lose Efficiency
22:29 Where To Find Quality Suppliers
23:02 Maxwell’s Best Sellers
24:07 The Must-Have SOPs
25:22 Key Software and Tools
26:38 How To Deal with Inflation
27:33 The Benefits of a Tip Pool
28:41 The MUST-HAVE Equipment
29:37 Advice Maxwell Wants You To Know
30:54 What You Can Expect with Profit Margins
31:46 How To Fill The Need
32:55 The Trick to Scaling Smoothly
34:06 Business Owner Struggles
34:43 The Importance of Review
35:54 Time Management Tips
36:41 Advice to Entrepreneurs

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