Starting a Coffee Business in Kentucky
Salvador Sanchez always wanted to own a coffee shop. His dream came true when he opened A Cup of Commonwealth and started doing business in Kentucky.
Salvador Sanchez is the owner of A Cup of Commonwealth, Chocolate Holler, and Magic Beans Coffee Roasters. James and Chase traveled to Lexington to interview Salvador at his office in the back of his original shop.
Driven by a Mission
A Cup of Commonwealth’s mission statement is “Embrace community. Serve others. Create culture.” We had Salvador dissect this statement and speak about the significance and application of each piece. Salvador said that he’d seen many businesses break or bend their mission to suit whatever was happening to it at the time. As a result, his business’ mission statement was carefully crafted to ensure that the business could grow without compromising the mission. This three-pillared statement is used as a guide to make sure that strategic decisions always align with the company’s core values.
An Ideal Location
So, what made Salvador decide to open his dream business in Kentucky? Salvador and his business partner researched multiple U.S. cities before they landed where they did. There were several factors that made Lexington the top choice for this new coffee venture. For example, the proximity to a college campus was a factor, as was the lack of nearby coffee shops at the time.
Building a Community
One of Salvador’s favorite memories in the shop began with a very unfortunate event. Shortly after the shop opened, someone shattered a window to break in and steal the little money that was in the cash register. The next morning, a couple customers came in to buy their morning coffee. Because there was no money in the register, the baristas couldn’t provide change to customers, so they were going to let them have their drinks for free. Instead, the customers paid extra and said to keep the change. This happened multiple times and with different amounts of money. Over the course of the morning, word began to spread that A Cup of Commonwealth had been broken into and needed help. Subsequently, the community got behind the shop and helped them to have the best day of sales that they’d had to up until that point.
There is a line on the coffee shop’s website that reads “To celebrate Kentucky is to celebrate community,” and that could not be more true. This story of the shop’s early days helps to confirm that the company made the right choice when they chose to open their business in Kentucky.