A Motorcycle Garage Sees a Business Growth Opportunity
Not long ago, Pop’s Garage Fabrication was a busy motorcycle repair and fabrication shop in Roswell, Georgia. The business occupied one half of a 10,000 square foot building in a high-trafficked area, dense with car and motorcycle dealerships. Business partners Colin McDonald and Gordon Erickson saw a business growth opportunity when their direct neighbor, a kitchen and bath store owner, decided to retire and sell his half of the building.
The Pop’s owners didn’t want another business to move in. So, they decided to buy the space themselves.
“What are we going to do with it?” Gordon asked Colin.
The answer, of course, was coffee.
Adding a Coffee Shop to a Successful Business
The decision to turn the space next door into a coffee shop wasn’t an easy one at first. Colin and Gordon tossed around ideas for months. More motorcycles? A tattoo parlor? A yoga studio? Finally, a coffee shop seemed like the best way to fill the vacant space next door, for a few reasons:
- Colin had previous restaurant experience to bring to the table
- Coffee was a consumable product that could drive foot traffic into the motorcycle garage
- A coffee shop, rather than a full-service restaurant, would allow Colin and Gordon to go home at a reasonable hour
But, would it work?
“I wanted to make sure it was going to work in my space before we started,” Colin shared. “I wasn’t looking for the right location to start a business–I needed to fill a vacant space.”
Coincidentally, Colin’s mom had attended Texas Coffee School’s 3-Day Business Master Class a few months before. She and Colin utilized the Texas Coffee School coffee shop financial projection calculator, templates and strategy for estimating the profitability of a location.
“I sat in the window and counted cars for several days to make sure I had accurate information,” Colin said. (It turns out, 50,000 cars drive by every day.) When he plugged the figures into the Texas Coffee School coffee shop financial projection calculator, they realized the business had potential. That’s when Colin booked a seat in our 3-Day Business Master Class himself, ready to absorb everything he could about the process of making coffee and launching a coffee shop business.
Coffee and Motorcycles: A Powerful Combination for Business Growth
Pop’s Coffee Company opened next door to Pop’s Garage Fabrication in late 2020. What looks unassuming from the outside opens into a sprawling, open-concept 5,000 square foot space when you walk through the door. There’s an opening in the wall that previously separated the kitchen and bath business from the fabrication shop. Now, from the coffee shop, you have a direct view of the motorcycles next door.
To say the coffee business has been a success would be an understatement. In less than one year of being open, Pop’s business growth highlights include:
- Breaking even after the first month of business
- Averaging 250 customers per day in the coffee shop
- 40% of the coffee shop customers visit motorcycle fabrication shop next door
- Expanding business yet again to open a Triumph Motorcycle dealership, now a powerful business trifecta
- More than doubled the average transaction with a popular food menu
“It’s bizarre,” Colin shares about the success of the coffee shop this year. “My business partner has tremendous experience. But every day he says, ‘This is crazy.’”
Creating an Experience Beyond Coffee
Pop’s Coffee Company’s success is staggering, but it isn’t a fluke. The founders were intentional in creating a unique experience that would create loyal customers.
“Holy shit, this place is different than I expected!” is a typical response for a first time customer. The coffee shop includes motorcycle displays and art installations. There’s entertainment value in the design and layout. Many customers place their order, then walk around to look at motorcycles.
Colin explains that coffee, in its warm and welcoming nature, makes motorcycles seem less intimidating. Not every person who walks into the coffee shop is a motorcycle person. But most of them know someone who is, and it doesn’t take long for them to return with a few friends.
The Pop’s founders also made some smart moves as they opened during the pandemic. The just under 100 seats in the coffee shop are spread out, making people feel safely distanced. They also have power, attracting a crowd of regular remote workers who return two or three times a week.
To accommodate people who come to stay, Pop’s offers a growing food menu with breakfast and lunch items. From chorizo, egg, and cheese empanadas to salads to baked goods, customers return for the food as much as the atmosphere.
What’s Next for Pop’s?
This October, Pop’s will plan its second grand opening in less than a year: the Triumph Dealership. After meeting the Triumph marketing team, the co-owners began to wonder what it would take to add the dealership. Triumph was a good brand fit for Pop’s. Triumph motorcycles attracted many female riders, which was a match for the clientele Pop’s was bringing in. It also fit the aesthetic.
“We are detail oriented and style oriented. We aren’t grungy biker guys, we’re clean cut. More along the lines of a gentleman than an outlaw,” Colin said.
Triumph saw the potential, too, and expedited a process that normally takes 12 months to 8 weeks. It took another renovation to accommodate the space, and the third business is now ready to launch.
As Colin and Gordon catch their breath from a whirlwind year, they already have their sights on the future. They have their eye on Nashville as a great place to replicate the business they’ve created.
“We’ve been overwhelmed with how much this building has taken off,” Colin shared humbly. “We didn’t expect to jump out and start doing the sales we did. It was insane.”
However, Colin and Gordon were methodical and intentional in their launch. The pair observed the coffee and motorcycle combination growing momentum in other places and events. They curated a unique experience, based on a deep understanding of their ideal customer. And, they have the wherewithal to think steps ahead to find new opportunities for growth.
Discover Business Growth Opportunities with Texas Coffee School
Could coffee transform your business? Find out at our 3-Day Business Masterclass. We teach you everything you need to know about opening a coffee business:
- Estimate the revenue potential of a location
- Create an innovative business concept
- Learn how to make quality coffee with hands on barista training
Click here to register for our next available classes.