The Shopkeeper Stories series shares the vision and personality of New Orleans business owners. Locally owned businesses infuse New Orleans neighborhoods with their unique character, and are a big part of why we want to live, work, eat and shop here. While drainage system improvements and road construction make “shopping local” a bit more challenging in the short term, the critical improvements mean our city will be safer and stronger for generations to come. We hope you are inspired and continue to shop small and shop local—even if it takes a little extra time!
The Shopkeeper Stories are brought to you by StayLocal, the Greater New Orleans independent business alliance, in partnership with Uptown Messenger. This series runs every first and third Tuesday of the month.
Featured Business Owner
The Station Coffee Shop and Bakery
Since February 2017
What ignited the spark for you to start your business?
I’ve been working in coffee since I graduated college, which is pretty common for people who graduate with an English degree. And I love it!My wife always wanted to be a baker and used to work at Angelo Brocato’s. We live about four blocks away and have always loved this building. It was sort of a dream of ours to buy it and open shop.
If your shop was a cocktail or beverage, what would it be?
An aviation. It’s a gin cocktail made with maraschino liqueur. It’s purple and fun just like The Station.
How do you define success in your business?
We’ve been open almost eight months now. The first big step was when I didn’t have to be here 24 hours a day—that was a success. Also, you have the opportunity to be successful every time you serve a customer a great cup of coffee.
Do you roast your own coffee? Do you get it locally?
We get some of our coffee from Orleans Coffee Exchange in Kenner and some from Revelator, that has a shop on Tchoupitoulas but are out of Birmingham. We also have coffees from four different countries, different continents, and like to mix things up.
We always try to have coffee from Ethiopia, because that’s where coffee started. People also originated in Ethiopia. To me it makes sense because lots of people aren’t human until they have their coffee.
What advice would you give to a budding business owner?
Make sure you love it. Almost every coffee shop I’ve worked at before this one was owned by someone who wanted to own something, not by someone who wanted to make coffee. It makes a difference. Everyone who works here cares about what they do and it shows in the product. You don’t have to know everything that you want, but you have to want to do it.