Being in the industry now for 15 years, we’ve grown a company from not being able to afford an ice machine (ice cube trays in a commercial setting are not fun) to one of the top 10 coffeeshops in the USA. More importantly, Muggswigz has created so many smiles and inspired many to look towards a career in the coffee and tea industry. I’ve heard it from staff, guests, and people I’ve just met “One day I want to have a coffeeshop”. The following is my advice.


If you want to enter the industry, plan to do it for more than one day : ). Seriously, wanting to own a coffeeshop “one day” sounds pleasant. However, it’s about a year of work to get to that first day, and will likely be a bit of a struggle for years to come. It is a commitment. A commitment to the industry, your community, your staff, your family, and yourself. If you’re not ready to commit years of work to make your coffeeshop work, save yourself and everyone else the trouble and don’t start.


OK, now that I have you folks who are more serious about it still reading, do it. It’s work, it’s not rocket science, it costs money, but the start-up costs aren’t terrible. You’ll make big mistakes and have problems you never dreamt of, but when you overcome them and create and an organization that you are proud of, those annoyances will hardly matter.


Well here is your next big decision. What kind of “have”? You want to be an owner / operator? A hands-off owner? A remote owner? A part-time operating owner? A hobby owner? A manager? A franchise owner? A head barista? An operations manager? A quality and training manager? A partner-owner? A share-holder owner? You want to figure this out before you start. The question to investigate is – WHY do you want to have a coffeeshop? Your answer to that is the variable to calculate your kind of “TO HAVE” .

If you decide you want to manage or be head barista at a coffeeshop but not be the ultimately responsible owner, apply for a job at a good coffeeshop! Our shopkeepers have a lot of authority over their store and share in the profits!

If you want to be a hands-off or remote owner, search to purchase an established coffeeshop you think is going well, contact the owner, and hope you are lucky.

If you want to be an owner / operator or part-owner, contact us! We have many years of experience in both wholesale and retail and would be happy to be your wholesale partner.

If you want to be a franchise owner, check out some of the available franchises online. If none of them suit your tastes, find a coffeeshop you like and just ask the owner if they would be interested in a franchise deal. Or check out our Partner Store Program

If you want to be a shareholder-owner buy some shares of one of the publicly traded companies, and walk in and be like “I own this place, put it on my tab”.


It can get fun now. It’s your time to make it your own. People call all sorts of things “coffeeshops” so now really drill down into what will define yours. Bakery items, tea, espresso drinks, light lunches, pizza, coffee-mornings wine-nights, waffles, french pasteries, modern, chic, music, art, working space, a place for children, hipsters, donuts, etc.

Congrats! Now just keep it rewarding and enjoyable for yourself or move on. Truly support the community by helping out its members and supporting other locally-owned businesses. If you decide it’s time to move on, you still helped out your community, developed very valuable skills, and if you were an owner, maybe you can sell your coffeeshop to someone else or one of the other local shops. If you know that really one day you want to have a coffeeshop, then there is no time to start like the present!

Yours in great coffee and tea !