What to Expect as a Coffee Shop Owner

New Year, new Career! How to Start a Coffee Shop in 2021

We spend the beginning of each year making promises to ourselves. But this year, the resolutions feel different. The 2021 resolutions come after a year of adjustment, isolation, and hardship. For many of us, 2020 was a year to reflect on the things that truly make us happy. (And the things that don’t.) Is 2021 the year you leave a frustrating, stagnant, or unfulfilling career behind? Is it finally the year you learn how to start a coffee shop? 

Coffee shop ownership has the potential to bring meaning and fulfillment not just to you, but to your community. Our 3-Day Coffee Business Master Class teaches you how to start a coffee shop and launch your new career as a coffee business owner. It’s a step-by-step coffee business road map, hands-on barista training, and a course in entrepreneurialism all in one. The class is the first step to building a career you truly love. 

At the same time, it’s important to us to set realistic expectations. Choosing entrepreneurship as a career path isn’t easy. It may even require more patience, more work, and more of a willingness to get your hands dirty than your current career. 

What can you realistically expect from a career as a coffee shop owner? Here’s what our experience (and the experiences of hundreds of former students) can tell us. 

Ready to start a coffee shop? What to expect as a coffee shop owner:


If you’re not willing to deal with discomfort, coffee shop ownership is probably not for you. There are moments in the path to entrepreneurship that feel like a mental, emotional, physical, and financial beat down. But here’s the thing. We’ve found that those who are willing to get uncomfortable (we mean really uncomfortable) for at least two years of their life, are generally never uncomfortable again. 

We speak from experience. Over a decade ago, Texas Coffee School came as the result of  our founder, Tom Vincent, training people how to make espresso with equipment he carried around in a Rubbermaid bin. Our former students have walked away from successful careers, navigated opening during a pandemic, and poured their hearts and souls into their business’s success. In the end, discomfort is a small price to pay for the freedom and fulfillment on the other side of Coffeepreneurship®. 

Man carrying boxes into coffee shop


It’s true. You can make money as a coffee shop owner. If you do it right, that is. A profitable business is never a guarantee, but it’s very possible with the right business strategy, a lot of perseverance, and some patience. 

A profitable coffee shop business is the result of a solid business plan, a viable concept, a strategic location, and efficient systems and processes. We cover all of those topics and more in our coffee business classes, including strategies to project and track financials for the first five years. 

We also teach our students how to save thousands of dollars along the way. Those savings come through lease negotiations, contracts with contractors, thoughtful hiring practices, and masterful time management. It is possible to start and scale a highly successful and profitable coffee shop. But, it’s just as possible to waste time and money without an intentional strategy.

Coffee shop window with the words "specialty coffee"


The promise of being your own boss may be what’s fueling your entrepreneurial vision. Coffee shop ownership can offer you the freedom not available in your current career. You have the opportunity to create an atmosphere and space that fits your unique vision. You get to choose your employees and colleagues. From the ground up, you get to build every element of your coffee shop, from the menu to the people to the schedule.

This type of independence also requires discipline. If you can’t hold yourself accountable to every step of the process, nothing will be accomplished. You’ll have to learn how to manage people and time. As the owner, you’ll have to take pride in doing some unglamorous work, like mopping floors and cleaning toilets. 

Man cleaning a toilet

But, if you’re leaving another career because you don’t have room to grow, innovate, or take ownership of your work, you’ve come to the right place. Walking into your own coffee shop, built from your hard work, time, and vision, is one of the most meaningful ways to spend your work day.


Inevitably, you’ll run into obstacles. Your timeline and budget will be stretched on your way to opening. The city may slow the permitting process.  There will be people in your life who don’t support your career shift. It’s possible a global pandemic could thwart your grand opening plans. 

When issues arise, some people become so hung up on the problem they’re unable to move through it. They feel angry, victimized, and unable to deviate from their previous plan. Instead, you have to accept the challenges that come your way, adapt, and move forward. Hurdles are a part of entrepreneurship. The ability to overcome them is central to your success. 


Whether it’s your love for the ritual of coffee, your commitment to your community, or your innovative spirit, there’s a reason you want to start a coffee shop. Simon Sinek calls that reason your “why.” Not only is it the thing that will help your unique business concept take shape, it will also help you find meaning and fulfillment in your work each day. Fulfillment is what most of our students are seeking when the walk through the doors to our coffee classes. And it’s what many of them find as they pursue a career as a Coffeepreneur®. 

Coffee shop wall art. "Culture, community, quality."

“I decided to do something for me for a change. Instead of chasing money, I thought about the things that were really important to me: sourcing great products, taking care of people, and telling stories,” shared Tadd Overstreet, our former student and owner of Stylus and Crate.

Tadd’s experience is proof you don’t need a life altering reason to pursue your goal of opening a coffee shop. Maybe you’re fed up in a frustrating, unsatisfying job. Or, maybe you feel inspired to take on new challenges. Either way, now is the right time to seek meaning and fulfillment in your career. 

How to start a coffee shop step-by-step

This is the year to follow through on your resolution. Are you ready to take the first step? We teach you how to start a coffee shop step-by-step in our comprehensive, top-reviewed 3-Day Coffee Business Master Class. Don’t wait for another year and another resolution to pursue a career you love. Classes fill quickly. Click here to register for the next available class.

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The Best Coffee Training Available

We’ve helped hundreds of students successfully launch their own coffee shop businesses. Join us in our 5-Star Rated Coffee Classes, whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur looking to open a coffee shop, a manager, a barista or home enthusiast looking to sharpen your skills.