Starting A Coffee Shop: A Goal Fulfilled


Up until now on Dream|a|Latte, our tagline was “daring and dreaming of starting a coffee shop.” All of our adventures pursuing our “dream” have been shared on this blog since the birth of the idea on day one, to our Grand Opening, posted a month after our grand opening day! If you told me the initial goal of Dream|a|Latte would be met upon writing those first posts, I would’ve hardly believed it.

Starting A Coffee Shop: A Goal Fulfilled

One of the biggest reasons for starting this blog was so I wouldn’t back down. It would be easier to say I wanted to start a coffee shop, but then let the idea fade out when opposition came, and go off reasons why it wasn’t a valid idea anymore. But I didn’t want to give myself any excuse to be afraid or to doubt. I wanted to be accountable not to give up, but to hold on to this vision and not let it become extinguished.

SONDER Build Out on Dream|a|Latte, Starting a Coffee Shop

Me at week 3 of Build-Out. I had no idea how we’d make it through, but we did!

I also didn’t want to grab hold of such a big, new and powerful decision and let it consume my life (in a way that shuts all else out). I wanted to provide an avenue for people to share into the story; to hope in and experience the ups and downs along with us. We didn’t know what this journey would hold, and understanding we couldn’t do it alone anyway, I didn’t want to make it easier to isolate myself. Building a community was a big part of our motivation: whether that was to invite our current community alongside our story, but also for our future community to have something to look back on– to see these humble beginnings and feel they’re part of something bigger too!

Lastly, I decided to document this process because I wish I had got to see an inside look of something so intimidating as starting a coffee shop. I was reading a handful of “starting your own coffee shop” books, which generally were quite broad and unrelatable. I wished I had some magical resource to tap into the heads and experiences of owners who’d proven it can be done! But it’s not like you can just walk into a shop and expect someone to share such valuable experiences,  and even though many owners may be willing, very few of them are at their own shops with time to spare. Maybe though, I felt especially removed from these resources just so I would be pushed to be the one to share myself. Although I won’t be an expert, and at the time it might not even have happened, I at least wanted to be willing to give an inside look into a journey such as this.

SONDER Build Out on Dream|a|Latte, Starting a coffee shop

Week 7. We finally our quartz in that day, so it was a good day!

It was a bold move, at least for me and where I was at in life. I graduated with a business management degree, and although I wanted to be part of a dynamic, purposeful career, I figured I’d just work my way up into the corporate world (not like that can’t be dynamic or purposeful, but I knew it would feed my complacency over time, if that makes sense). However, those doors weren’t opening and I was forced onto a more unknown path: something so intimidating and unquantifiable like starting your own business. In an industry I knew nothing about. Yet I knew it was possible; I had a spark of faith that was dying to shine brighter than my fear. And I wanted even more to live my life inspired by faith and not settling for complacency, and starting this blog was the first tangible step that would change my life as I knew it.

A year and nine months later, we opened our doors to SONDER Coffee & Tea. Even as I write, I can hardly believe everything that has unraveled these past two years. How in the moment things that seemed impossible and frustrating are but a fragment of a memory now. I’ve learned a lot about perseverance, hope, hard work; about myself and who I was created to be. Well, all these loaded sentences will hardly communicate two years of the journey, but hopefully the little pieces found in this blog will.

Welcome SONDER Coffee, Starting a coffee shop

Week 10 and Build-Out is over!!! What an insane process, even looking at these old pictures– I don’t want to ever go back!!

So now that the goal of starting a coffee shop is reached, now what? Wow, even saying that is unreal… Well, there are still so many questions and adventures that are ahead. We’re open, but how do we run it well? And grow? And what does a life of a coffee shop owner look like? And what about growing into the coffee shop industry? There is still so much to learn and experience, not to mention I still have a lot of catching up to do sharing about the process up to opening day. Either way, it feels like this is just beginning. I have no idea what is ahead, but I’m prepared to continue to persevere, and live a life inspired by faith, boldness, and passion and not to settle for anything less– and to continue to share it on here! Thanks for journeying this far with us; the best is always yet to come.

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8 Comments

  1. Julia, I am so grateful to you for writing this blog! I am in the ‘leasing a space’ stage of things, and about to contact an architect… I found your blog via Pinterest. 🙂 Thank you, thank you, thank you for the inspiration AND the resources. JoAnn

    Post a Reply
    • Julia

      Well thank you for reading, I’m glad it’s helpful to you! Wow that’s very exciting, where are you located and what’s your shops name? I’d love to be updated with the progress and see the outcome! Best wishes!

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    • Julia

      Thank you, and thanks for reading! Let me know how your shop comes along!

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      • Thank You so much for sharing your journey. I am going thru the same process of opening a coffee and tea shop. Your journals have been very helpful and full of insight.

        Post a Reply
        • Julia

          Well thanks Carlo. Where are you at in your shop? Good luck with everything, I know it’s not an easy process!

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  2. I have enjoyed hopping around your blog today. I am still very much in the dream phase of a coffee shop but am working on making a plan to bring it to fruition. thanks for the peek inside your journey. I look forward to visiting here often.

    Post a Reply
    • Julia

      Well thanks for reading! Yes do so, and let me know if I can help in anyway 🙂 Good luck to you!

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