The premier coffee shop and eatery franchise excels in creating a welcoming, memorable, family friendly atmosphere
Let’s face it: specialty coffee culture has a deserved reputation for snobbery and elitism. While this hasn’t dampened the enthusiasm for high-end coffee, as Zagat reports that the average cost of a cup of coffee is nearly $3.30, the experience that artisanal coffee shops typically provide is one that is non-inclusive, non-family friendly and intimidating, especially to newbies who are unfamiliar with the joys that hand roasted coffee can bring to their lives.
This all changes with Just Love Coffee Cafe. Founded in 2009, Just Love Coffee Cafe has blossomed into a franchise concept with multiple locations open in the fast growing metropolitan area of Nashville, Tennessee. Just Love Coffee Cafe is wildly popular because it is one of the first brands to offer high-end, specialty coffee in an atmosphere that promotes community, gathering and friendliness.
“We wanted the brand to be friendly,” says DJ Smith, Marketing and Creative Director with Just Love Coffee Cafe. “We wanted our brand to be approachable. This is the direct opposite position that many of our competitors take, who write their menus in Italian, or if you ask for sugar in your coffee, they look at you in a very pretentious manner. We didn’t want to be that. You can’t have a name like ‘Just Love Coffee’ and not be friendly. We didn’t want to take ourselves too seriously but we do take our coffee, our food, and our customer experience seriously. We want families to come in with their children and allow them to stay for as long as they like. This is what makes us unique: Just Love Coffee Cafe has a friendliness about it that our competition either disregards or doesn’t pay attention to. We want people to have a good experience.”
How seriously does Just Love Coffee Cafe take our coffee? Well, the results speak for themselves. We’ve been named a finalist in the prestigious Roast magazine’s Roaster of the Year competition for several consecutive years, and our bags of hand roasted beans can be found in a growing number of supermarkets and retailers, such as Whole Foods and Fresh Market.
“We take the art of making coffee incredibly seriously,” says Jason Smith, Head Coffee Roaster with Just Love Coffee Cafe. “We take pains to ensure that we’re getting the finest beans from around the world, and we ensure that we can source every single bean that we buy. Roasting coffee is a difficult process, which is why there is such a huge demand for specialty coffee: the taste is far more unique than what you can find in a standard QSR restaurant or even at the bigger coffee chains. We vary it up as well — by offering up to twenty different roasts, six of which are blends, at a time to appeal to the unique tastes of customers. We offer seasonal beans, create recipes for speciality drinks on our own, and we strive to keep ahead of the trends. We want to ensure that our franchise owners have the coffee that is not only relevant to the tastebuds of their customers but is also relevant to their interests as well: fair trade, sustainable and sourced.”
A playful menu makes Just Love Coffee Cafe a fun and memorable experience
A waffle iron-based menu creates unique and playful food offerings that differentiate Just Love Coffee Cafe from any other coffee shop in the nation and also inspires our customers to share photos of their food with their social media networks. From an owner-operator standpoint, though, food just doesn’t get any easier.
For starters, cooking on a waffle iron means that there is no need for a full kitchen and a full kitchen staff, which keeps both the overhead low and reduces the need for a large footprint. It also greatly increases the ability to maintain high quality control standards in terms of both taste and the speed at which food can be served to your customers. Of course, it also increases the potential level of profitability a new franchise owner can expect.
“There aren’t a whole lot of coffee shops that offer an all-day food menu, and certainly none that I can think of that cooks their food in a waffle iron,” DJ says. “It’s been wildly successful for us. Right now, our sales are evenly split, 50/50 on coffee and food, and our average ticket prices have increased significantly to $10 to $12 per customer. Most importantly, our food creates a memorable experience for customers with any taste or dietary preference, from meat lover to vegetarian, at any time of day. It really makes us quite unique, light hearted and approachable.”