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Jul 15, 2015 2:59 PM ET

Archived: Urban Bean Co.: A small, independently run coffee shop in the up and coming Capitol Park district of Detroit

iCrowdNewswire - Jul 15, 2015


Personal Story

I moved to Detroit in the winter of 1993, which means I have been a Detroiter for over 20 years. I worked on the line at Chrysler for 12 years. In 2005, I began the renovations on this small, Mid-century modern coffee shop in the Capitol Park section of downtown Detroit. Slowly, I fixed up the place myself and with some of my friends. Finally, I opened in 2008 only to have the Detroit economy implode. I shut the doors a year later.
In 2013, I reopened the place with my partner, Ed. We have been open steady now for two years as the neighborhood grows around us. Now other organizations are looking to move in – which is great – but as an independent retailer, we need to upgrade to compete to stay in this neighborhood.

Business Description

We are a small, independently run coffee shop in the up and coming Capitol Park district of Detroit.

I decided to build out this space in 2003, back when I had a full time job. In exchange for free rent from the original owners, I put my own time and money into the buildout of the space, customizing everything. Finally, I opened in 2008 only to close the doors a year later, due to the U.S. economy that significantly impacted Michigan and Detroit. In 2013, I reopened with my new partner and have been open ever since.

We pride ourselves in using and promoting other local businesses and products. We pride ourselves on being part of and promoting the local electronic music scene.

Our customers are mixture of local regulars, and travelers from within Michigan, nationally, and internationally – about 60/40.

Our biggest challenge is to remain competitive with larger chains that have bigger resources – balance sheets, space, staff, etc. as the neighborhood is improved and more residents move in. There are just a few part time employees, and myself. This presents a challenge to focus on improving the business while also running the business as I often work 12-14 hour days.

Our goals for this business are to adapt to the growing needs, and improve our available services as the neighborhood changes and grows around us. We have to upgrade and improve to capture and meet the needs of the anticipated growth in clientele.

I am most proud to have been in Detroit for over 20 years, and I want to remain here for at least 20 more. I want to be part of the survival, changes, evolution, and ultimate success of Detroit and UBC.

What is the purpose of this loan?

$1,500 – Large Commercial Brewer
We currently have a commercial brewer that brews coffee for 72 oz containers. While functional, we believe that an upgrade would be more efficient, and could potentially allow for us to increase our catering ability to serve local businesses.

$1,500 – Ice Machine
This is crucial for us in the summer. We have to buy ice from a local salesman, and he is not always available. This creates a situation where we have to make local store runs such that we never run out of ice for iced coffee drinks. An ice machine ensures that we will never have that issue again.

$1,500 – Digital Menuboard.
Our current menu board was printed on a paper. This would allow us to seasonally change the menu and reflect changes in market prices for our products. It will also be helpful to highlight the DJs playing upstairs by showing highlighting by showing a live feed to those people on the street.

$500 – Freezer
Based on our small size, we need to have extra capacity for certain items in the summer time. This will help us expand our offerings to include more items with regard to summer beverages, and freeze some food for the winter.

Contact Information:


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