Twice this week, I met up with friends at my favorite local coffee house. As I parked my car and got ready to enter the shoppe, I was reminded of all the things this little shoppe does to keep me coming back for more.
The shoppe is called Ryan Bros. And these three brothers are what I call Movers and Shakers. For these micro-roast makers, it’s not just about a quick espresso to go. It’s about creating an experience that goes beyond the last sip. Movers and Shakers know the value of this experience.
How Three Brothers from San Diego Got it Right
The three Ryan brothers get it. They have created a place where locals can savor the good things in life. Family, friendship, laughter, togetherness. So, after two 16 oz. San Diego Sunrise vanilla lattes, I decided to dig a little deeper to see what makes Ryan Bros a Coffee Lovers destination.
Having run my own business for 13 years, I am well acquainted with the rigors of daily operations. I was constantly innovating, creating new departments and events, collaborating with others, to help my brick and mortar shine. I learned, like the Ryan brothers, that you must be committed to not sit still, to tell a story through your brand, to be a difference maker in your community. I learned you must be a Mover and a Shaker. It’s not easy…but it’s attainable. So what makes a mover and shaker tick?
1. A Commitment to Hard Work
Successful business owners are not afraid to roll up their sleeves and get dirty. They constantly look for ways to innovate. They look for ways to be different. They know the value of hard work. Creating a micro-roast from scratch takes time and persistence. Heck, these guys were working on the perfect slow roast long before the twinkle of their brick and mortar shoppes. Two decades of hard work, have paid off.
2. Consistency Is King
I love my city. Don’t be a hater, but we San Diegans are well acquainted with consistent 70-degree average temps. We rely on this consistency! This sunshine fuels the entrepreneurial spirit that makes up our populous. My point is: when it comes to business, consistency is king. From the welcome your customer receives when they walk through the door, to the first sip of their favorite drink or the new product they see on your shelves, be consistent in your message. Every time I walk into my local Ryan Bros, I know I will be greeted with a smile and a genuine care for how my day is going. I order my favorite daily blend, San Diego Sunrise and I know all is well.
Savvy entrepreneurs, no matter the industry, will put a focus on branding. And branding has everything to do with how well you tell YOUR STORY. Do you convey your message in your logo and tagline? Is that image branded on everything you do? (I’m not just talking business cards and signage.) I love the Ryan Bros. trademarked tagline “Life is too short to be bitter.” A clever and telling rhyme written by one of the brothers says it all.
4. A Sense of Community
The brothers have done a good job of building community. On any given day, you’ll find a place of respite and refreshing for locals and tourists alike. Families of little ones. Retired couples walking their dogs. College students. Friends and colleagues after a workout at the neighboring gym. I learned early on in my business that people crave a sense of belonging. Do your best to create a community of believers.
Way back before smart phones, tablets and laptops, I helped edit a book (yes, an actual 266-page paperback) called Location, Location, Location by Luigi Savlaneschi. I learned the importance of location from a genius. Is your possible location easy to access? Does it have lots of parking? Is it a corner spot? Is it right off the freeway? Does it have a major tenant. All are make-it or break-it considerations. I’d say the Ryan brothers understand the importance of location. They have Five locations: one in a major league baseball park, one at an international airport , one in in the heart of a downtown historic district, one in beautiful wine country and one in the fastest growing neighborhood in San Diego. Brilliant!
Truly, running your own business is a unique blend of passion and unsurpassed dedication. Competition can be fierce in a world of big boxes and blends. Small businesses have a beautiful ability to be movers and shakers. Whether you are retail, restaurant, service-related or are a handmade artisan, you can SOAR when you commit to this advice.
Venturing back to Ryan Bros. with my husband and life-long business partner on this beautiful San Diego Sunday. Think I might treat myself to a Specialty Tea today. Sip. Relax. Enjoy. Repeat.
P.S. They use Fair Trade practices! More on that in the next post. Stay Tuned!
Camille Akin was wholly committed to tea drinking until just five years ago. She took up coffee while getting her son to football practice early. Now an empty-nester, she is an avid coffee drinker, traveler, blogger/marketer, and advocate for women and small business. She is passionate about helping others succeed.