coffee shop

Brewed Expressions, Brewing Success

Small towns are known for their institutions as much as they themselves are an American institution. In that respect Brewed Expressions in Van Wert Ohio is very much a town institution. Brewed Expressions has become so much of a vital staple in Van Wert that they’re already expanding operations a little over a year after opening for business. While the original Brewed Expressions is a drive thru in June they will be opening the first Brewed Expressions Café.

Brewed Expressions


Brewed expressions can only be described as a unique and adorable coffee “hut” and the people of Van Wert have definitely come to see it that way. Opened in January 2014, Brewed Expressions offers gourmet, handmade lattes, gourmet frappes, brewed coffee, homemade baked goods, breakfast, and much more. Not a coffee lover? There’s something for you too! View the online menu or call for details!

And the reviews you can find on Yelp and Trip Advisor of Brewed Expressions reflect that statement perfectly.

“Affordable coffee, good selection, friendly fast staff!!! She even threw away our crappy undrinkable mochas we got down the street at McD,” says Dana D. on Yelp.

Brewed Expressions Yelp


“This is the only place left in Van Wert that makes lattes, espressos, fancy coffees. They also sell locally made cookies from Flour loves Sugar. Right on 127 beside the Shell gas station. Very good,” Wanderer Ohio adds on Trip Advisor.

Brewed Expressions Trip Advisor


A coffee shop needs more than great coffee to be a smash hit however, it needs a great point of sale system to further enhance the customer experience. Brewed Expressions found it’s point of sale solution with Café Cartel Systems.

In fact Brewed Expressions feels the same about CCS as it’s customers and reviewers feel about it. They’ve been so impressed with CCS’ software and service that they’ve recommended the point of sale leader to other cafés in the area.

Clearly Brewed Expressions is brewing it’s own success with the help of CCS point of sale.

However, in spite of this success a tragedy has struck Brewed Expressions and their family. A barista by the name of Fawn was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor. To learn more or help out go to

Best Coffee Shop Point of Sale



How to Compete with the Big Coffee Franchise That Just Opened Across the Street


As a result of today’s high stress, fast moving society specialty coffee shops have surged in popularity in recent years in cities around the world. For most of these coffee shops business is going great, that is at least until that giant chain coffee shops decides to open it’s newest location right across the street. Here are some ways your coffee shop can compete.


Be Weary When it Comes to the Latest Trends

Much like the computers or smart phones coffee technology is constantly being updated, newer or more expensive doesn’t always mean better, however. New grinding techniques and roasting profiles also go in and out of style as rapidly as the latest fashion trends. Ultimately having coffee that “tastes like nothing you’ve ever had before” doesn’t necessarily mean it tastes better. After all, I don’t think you’d want to try a cupcake that tasted like a fish fillet. With that in mind evaluating each trend on case by case basis will be key in competing with a chain. With this in mind, it would be beneficial for your shop to complete a trial run of trends first and to always plan ahead while implementing them.




Become a Coffee Nerd

Be a nerd about everything your shop sales, whether it be coffee, tea, or baked goods. Learn everything there is to know about your product, from the coffee plants, to the farm the beans were grown on, to the recommended brewing styles for each particular bean, and the leaves your different teas come from, after all when competing with a chain it is imperative that you are the expert on each and every product you’re selling. After you’ve become the expert share the information with your staff because a knowledgeable staff will only help your chances.



Make Your Coffee Shop Into a Way of Life

Be welcoming. People don’t just visit a coffee shop for the coffee, they go for an experience. Whether your customers are there to relieve some stress, get away from the office, or have an informal meeting you want to make them feel at home. A homey atmosphere can set your shop apart from the chain and make the customer feel like you’re ultimately there to take care of them. People drink coffee for a wide variety of reasons, but a lot of it has to do with how it makes them feel, and the ritual. Here’s one area you can easily make you shop stand out from one of the impersonal chains




Don’t Underestimate the Value of Loyalty Programs

There is no quicker way to earn repeat customers than a loyalty program. The days of loyalty punch cards are long gone, today you can conveniently for both you and the customer, keep track of your loyalty points/purchases right from your point of sale software. You’ll not only impress your customers with your coffee, but with your desire to improve their experience. It’s the easiest way to earn repeat customers and keep them away from a franchise.


Use the Highest Quality Espresso You Can

Espresso is one of the rare products where customers will pass other possibly cheaper shops by in order to get a higher quality product, which gives you a prime opportunity to outshine the more well known brand across the street. Make sure you have the highest quality beans, the best espresso machine on the market, and barista’s who care about serving the highest quality shot possible and you’ll be able to stave off any attack from the pesky chain across the street.



Best POS for Coffee Shop


Alternative Coffee Shop Business: Diversification

photodune-1618560-coffee-xs-300x199The US coffee market is an 18 billion dollar industry, where 2014 showed had over 20,000 running coffee shops across the US.

With such a hot market with high competition and almost no barriers to entry, coffee shops must implement a successful strategy to differentiate itself in order to gain market share.


With coffee shops being ubiquitous, differentiation is key to succeed in this industry. Top players such a Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts have seen the success and of their business and have established a strong brand presence with a loyal following. Customers experience little to no switching cost, so get your coffee shop to obtain some of the market share through these innovative ideas:


A coffee shop in 2014 provides more than just coffee. What makes you different?

*atmosphere ercwttmn775701003_76ce8283e8

Change up the mood and setting of your place. Decide on what kind of theme you want to have in your coffee shop. Take in mind decorations, music, lighting and interior design.  Your atmosphere creates your culture. Most importantly when choosing a setting, make sure it is a comfortable and friendly environment for people to meet up, chat and enjoy their coffee.



coffee-and-pastry*coffee pastries

Majority of the customers will enter before 11 Am to get their morning caffeine. Play around with other food items that will match these customers. Consider including a fresh bakery where baked goods are made every morning.  Other great breakfast items can be oatmeal, granola, yogurt and fresh squeezed juices added to the menu.  When business slows down during lunch time hours, increase revenue by providing specialty drinks, sandwich and salads to encourage more sales. Whatever you add, make sure it is either a different product from local competitors or tops them in quality.


*community participationCamille_015

If you are a smaller operating coffee shop competing primary with the large chains, try to get your community involved to support your shop instead. You can promote cultural events such as art displays, movie premieres,  live music nights or other interactive ideas.

Create special day events to promote families to come in like “Family Coffee Sunday” where families can enjoy discounts. This will also bring in more people at once and allow customers to interact with each other and bond at your shop.


bedisloyal*building loyalty

Whether you have different loyalty cards, gift options, promotions or even a whole new paying system it will intrigue customers. Take for example a self-serve coffee shop in North Dakota that lets customers physically get their own coffee and choose how much they want to pay for it. This risky move of using an “honor system” has paid off where customers have been seen to be an average of 15% more generous than paying for a normal costing drink.

    Other store differentiations can include cool apps or special services. For example you can offer customers the option of calling in or placing an order through an app or online to pick up coffee at a certain time to avoid long waits and lines. Analyze your surrounding community to see what needs they have and what services they would value in a coffee shop.


    Do something eye catching that your neighboring coffee shop does not provide.  Perhaps you can add a temporary or consistent artisan that will make special designs in your coffee. These can be requested by customers to add a fun element to coffee. Another options is to include a servant to come around and refill customers that stay at your shop with free black coffee. Other options are to include some mini contests where you show off the winner and offer gifts to encourage future participation from others.



Best Coffee Shop Point of Sale Software


Starting a Fair Trade Coffee Shop

What is Fair Trade Coffee?

Fair trade coffee is coffee that has been certified as ensuring farmers of the coffee received adequate compensation for their fair trade coffee beans. Many times fair trade coffee is also organic.

Why Fair Trade?

This infographic from breaks down where the costs go for a typical cup of coffee, one being regular and the other fair trade.  Find out more about why and how your coffee business can get fair trade certified.