Small Business Story: Fresh Market Coffee Faces Intense Local Competition

The CoverWallet Small Business Scholarship encourages entrepreneurship in students by asking them to take on the perspective of a local small business owner. Students share their perspective on the opportunities and challenges faced by a business in their community.

Student: Brooke Rennie, Navarro College

Small Business: Fresh Market Coffee

Small Business: Fresh Market Coffee

As a student, I am constantly trying to discover new places to inspire a thorough study session. It is so hard to keep myself motivated when staring at the same four walls for hours. Fortunately for me, I have discovered a little hidden gem inside one of our local produce markets. It’s named is Fresh Market Coffee (or FMC as I call it to my friends when we are messaging about meeting there!) and besides offering the most amazing organic grocery items and fresh flowers, it also boasts tucked away inside, a small coffee and bakery shop.

I have found it is the PERFECT place to study or to visit with friends, without that pretentious overdone coffee house feeling. Instead following the cookie cutter coffee house recipe of dark colors and traditional style furniture, they have chosen a light and open space with large windows, full of mismatched oddities and board games to play. They employ local high school and college students, and often host open mic night for regional bands, poets and singers and it is a wonderful way to spend a few hours on Saturday night! The baristas are friendly and talkative and genuinely seem to enjoy their patrons. One of my favorite things to treat myself to during a long study session is one of the Italian Sodas.

This local favorite is nestled amongst a town full of cute little tourist shop, lively local eateries and wonderful antiques stores. While this adds to the charm of Fresh Market Coffee, I imagine that they are constantly competing with businesses in the same area, always looking to edge in on the gourmet drink market. Also, this area of town tends to have high rental costs since it is located in the historic downtown area which is situated around the town’s original gothic style courthouse building.

According to statistics, Americans consume 400 million cups of coffee each day, with 65% being consumed during breakfast hours, finding a way to appeal to coffee lovers during the later hours of the day would be a way to bring a significant boost to sales. Competing for the consumer’s dollar with the larger coffee houses in the same town, I can only surmise is one of the largest hurdles that this business owner must battle constantly. I believe that any business based on prepared foods instantly faces a struggle the moment they open their doors for the first time. With a new eatery on every corner, this business owner must constantly be adapting to an ever changing and fickle market by setting themselves apart.

One thing that makes Fresh Market Coffee unique from other coffee bars would be that they have tried to marry the coffee shop with the market, as well as the antiques that you can peruse through. They even have furnished the coffee bar with antique furnishings that you can purchase if you fall in love with one of the pieces. There are so many places that I could carve out to really crack open my books, but every time I am drawn to this place because it inspires me. I just can’t imagine my world without Fresh Market.