For many entrepreneurs, the dream doesn’t end at one coffee shop. And why should it? When your business concept is a success, the sky’s the limit on how big your coffee shop dreams can be. Do you imagine multiple locations? A well-known coffee brand? Adding a truck or drive-thru? It’s possible to scale your coffee shop business to meet your goals.
Of course, growth doesn’t happen automatically. It requires time, strategy, and careful planning. One example of a coffee shop that’s scaled and grown successfully is Beanstalk Coffee & Sno. We wrote about long-time sno cone business owners Jennii Buendia and her husband Adrian when they opened their first drive-thru coffee and sno cone shop in March of 2020. Since then, they’ve opened a second coffee and sno cone location in Norman, OK.
These two coffee shops come after decades of building a well-known sno cone brand in Norman. We asked them to share their story and a few tips for others looking to scale a coffee business.
Jennii took our 3-Day Coffee Business Master Class before opening her first coffee shop. Register for our next class to start your coffee shop!
The Story of Beanstalk Coffee & Sno
Beanstalk Coffee & Sno started with selling just sno cones. By 2019, they had over 60 employees and were looking for a new retail location. But the space they found was 2,000 square feet, and couldn’t be funded by selling sno cones alone, especially in the winter. That’s when Jennii came to Texas Coffee School with the idea for a hybrid business model.
Beanstalk ended up opening the drive-thru coffee and sno cone shop during the pandemic. It was a hit! For a few months, the location was customers’ only chance to leave the house, eager for a hot beverage or a cold treat. True to its name, a 16-foot beanstalk stretches through the building. Parents and kids can each enjoy a menu item of their choosing in the family-friendly space. It was so successful that a second location was born.
Expanding to a Second Beanstalk Coffee & Sno Location
In July of 2022, Beanstalk Coffee & Sno opened their second location in a different part of Norman, across town from the original store. The road to opening this new shop was not without challenges. It took nearly two years, and they had to deal with issues such as getting a drive-thru window delivered, fixing water leaks, and even installing a new roof.
The new location, originally 500 square feet with a drive-thru, gained an additional 1,500 square feet by taking over the donut shop next door. This expansion allowed Beanstalk to introduce a full kitchen with an in-house baker. They’ve upped their food game with options like burritos, egg bites, cookies, cake pops, and cinnamon rolls, alongside the coffee and sno cone menu.
While Jennii shares that the second location took off a little more slowly, the warmer weather has brought busier afternoons. And Beanstalk’s loyal customer base continues to grow.
Tips for How to Scale Your Coffee Shop Business
Based on Beanstalk’s experience opening a second location, here are a few tips for how to scale your own coffee shop business:
- Know the demographic: Jennii explains the second location serves an area at a different income level than the first location. This required them to slightly adapt their messaging and they way they presented their products to best fit their new market.
- Expect the unexpected: “Don’t just expect that things are going to be exactly the same as last time,” Jennii says. The building needed more work this time around. The audience needed more awareness. And there were handful of other differences. Beanstalk learned to adapt quickly to the inevitable changes and challenges of a second location.
- Try different marketing methods: Beanstalk is investing in more marketing for this location, as they don’t have the advantage of a pre-existing loyal customer base in this market. They’re selling sno cones at schools, hosting in-person events, and keeping up their social media content.
- Create a great customer experience: The Beanstalk team works hard to serve up a top notch customer experience, starting at the register and continuing in their fun, well-designed indoor spaces! Here’s what one customer, Adam, had to say: “This location is fantastic. The inside decorations/wall art/chairs are all themed and it is done very well. Both my kids love going there (so do I).”
The Beanstalk Keeps Growing
In addition to the two drive-thru coffee and sno cone shops, Beanstalk also runs two seasonal sno cone stands and a sno cone trailer that also serves coffee. They’ve established themselves as a beloved brand in Norman. In fact, their success has already led to questions about a third location! While the team is excited about the future, they’re carefully considering next steps. The priority is preserving the quality, culture, and community already built.
Scale Your Coffee Shop Business, Take Our Coffee Business Master Class
Beanstalk’s journey to a thriving coffee and sno cone brand shows how success can come with methodical growth and innovation. If you’re thinking about how to scale your coffee shop business, consider taking notes from Jennii and Adrian! And if you could use a coffee shop business course to provide a clear and proven path to follow, check out our 3-Day Coffee Business Master Class. We teach current and aspiring entrepreneurs how to open a coffee shop or add coffee services to your business. View upcoming classes here!
Photos source: Beanstalk Coffee & Sno Facebook