Making It: Old Brooklyn Coffee Shop Turns To Community Support
Editor’s note: This is part of a series exploring how Northeast Ohio entrepreneurs and small businesses have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic and their plans for moving forward.
Coffee Coffee Coffee is currently offering cold brew delivery in the Old Brooklyn area and planning to reopen in June or July.
Maker: Trey Kirchoff, owner and operator
Business: Coffee Coffee Coffee, a multi-roaster coffee shop sharing space with bike shop, Sixth City Cycle
How has the your business changed since we last spoke in 2018?
“We’ve had a wonderful first two years. Old Brooklyn has really embraced us. We have an amazing community. I felt it in my guts when I first decided to take this one and I’ve been proven correct. It’s a slow climb. It’s a slow growth and we’re able to do it because the rent is cheap in Old Brooklyn. Like, we’re on the fringe, man. Fortunately, we got an early start with the neighborhood, and they’ve been tremendously supportive during this time. If this happened six months after we had opened or something, I just don’t know if we’d have this level of support.”
Talk about the pandemic’s impact on you and your staff?
“So I believe it was on March 12th, I told the staff, ‘Hey, you are indefinitely cut from the schedule. I don’t know what that means for this week, or next month, or anything, but we do intend to come back.’ We are in a very fortunate position where we are almost, I mean this is like famous last word, but we’re almost too small to fail. Myself and four employees make up Coffee Coffee Coffee. And if you take those people out of the equation, it’s just a big room with an espresso machine in the middle. So we are entirely the culture of Coffee Coffee Coffee. Like, I cannot come back on my own. I have to come back with the team. There’s going to be a lot of very talented people looking for work. I don’t want to add to that pool with my employees. I want to retain my employees.”
How will this change the business moving forward?
“We were about to reveal a new version of ourselves. We were in the midst of, like, the menu, the marketing, the merchandise was all about to change over the course of the summer to reflect this more fully realized vision of what Coffee Coffee Coffee was already trying to be. Now, that whole idea is like sliced in half. I think the smartest thing for me to say is that I have no idea what it’ll look like when we come back. I don’t think my goal as a coffee shop owner and operator is going to be packing in people on a Saturday. That changes my north star to saying, ‘OK, what’s our minimum viable audience on a Saturday? How do we give the absolute best version of what we do to them?’ And I can imagine that means they’re going to want a little more elbow room.”